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Windows XP in a Nutshell by Troy Mott, Tim O'Reilly, David A. Karp

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Appendix A. Installing Windows XP

Some of you will be fortunate enough to never have to endure the installation of an operating system. After all, a large number of Windows XP users will obtain the OS preinstalled on new PCs. Others, however, may be confronted with one of the scenarios listed in this appendix.

Windows XP can be installed from within Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x.[14] It can be installed from DOS, or even on a system with no operating system. The procedure is somewhat different in each of these scenarios, as are the programs that are used and the components of Windows that end up being installed. The following sections outline the steps required to install Windows XP in each of these scenarios. Refer also to Appendix B for additional issues that may complicate the process.

Note that if you’re installing Windows XP on a hard disk that has data on it, you’re strongly encouraged to back up your entire system before you proceed. Make sure you use backup software that you’ll be able to run from within Windows XP; otherwise, your backup will be worthless. See Appendix B for more information on backup software.

Installation on a New (Clean) System

The Windows XP installation CD is bootable, which means that (assuming your PC supports bootable CDs) you can put it in the drive, turn on your computer, and the installation process will start automatically.

To configure your computer to boot off a CD, you’ll need to use your system’sBIOS setup ...

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