If your PC currently runs an older version of Windows, the next big question is whether or not you should upgrade it to Windows XP.
You can upgrade to Windows XP Professional from Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Windows 2000 Professional, or Windows XP Home Edition. If your PC currently runs Windows 3.1, Windows 95, or Windows NT Workstation 3.51, you can’t upgrade to Windows XP Professional at all—you have to perform a clean install , as described in the following pages.
Upgrading the operating system retains all of your existing configuration settings and data files. Your desktop colors, font choices, and wallpaper all remain the same, as do some more important elements, including your Favorites list and the files in your My Documents folder.
Upgrading might seem like a convenient option because you don’t have to go back and redo all your preferred settings. Unfortunately, upgrading can bring along some unwelcome baggage, too. Outdated drivers, fragmented disk drives, and a clutter of unneeded registry settings are just some of the things that Windows preserves when you upgrade. If all this artery-clogging gunk has already begun to slow down your computer, upgrading to Windows XP will only make things worse.
Furthermore, following an upgrade installation of Windows XP, you may find that some of your software doesn’t run as well as it used to, and various other system glitches ...