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Windows XP Installation

There are many reasons why you may need to install Windows XP from scratch. Perhaps your hard disk drive has failed and you have replaced it or the existing installation of Windows XP has become damaged or corrupted beyond repair. Whatever your motive installing Windows XP is easy and can be performed by any reasonably computer literate individual. Its easy to do it yourself and considerably cheaper than paying a professional to do it for you.

Before we wade into our tutorial on installing Windows XP there are a few things we need to make you aware of. Lets first make a few things a little clearer in regard to common computer terminology. Although reinstalling or installing your operating system is often referred to as formatting the hard drive the actual process of formatting the drive has nothing to do with installing your operating system. Confusing? Perhaps a little. When you format a hard drive the hard disk is effectively erased by the formatting process and what remains is an empty disk with a filesystem on it. The next logical step once the drive is formatted is to install an operating system, like Windows XP, onto the disk so that your computer will work as you expect. If you add a second hard disk to your computer it will need to be formatted so that your computer will be able to use it, but it need not have an operating system installed on it for your computer to be able to store data on it, just a file system.

To format your computer and install Windows XP you will need a Windows XP installation disk and a product key. The installation disk is a CD that is used to actually put Windows XP onto your hard disk drive and it contains all the files and components that are then copied onto your computer by an installer program that runs off the CD. The product key is a 25 character code that looks like FTG56-AMW5G-K56FL-EXMOD-EM2F5 and it should be found on a sticker that is affixed to the case of your computer or the packaging of your installation disk. Without an installation disk or a valid product key your attempt to install Windows XP will most likely not fare very well. Make sure you have located your product key before you insert the installation disk into your computer. If you can find your product key but your installation disk is missing or damaged contact a computer shop about replacement media. You may also have a friend or associate that might have an installation disk that you can borrow. There are programs such as Rock XP that can be used to retrieve your product key off your existing installation of Windows if it is still functional. The worse case scenario is that you may have to buy another copy of Windows.

A lot of the devices on your computer such as the sound card, network adapters and video card may possibly need to have drivers installed for them to work. Locate all of the drivers disks for the computer that you can find. Be prepared for the possibility that you may need to download and install drivers from the internet before the devices in your computer will work properly if you do not have the appropriate drivers.

Before you format and reinstall back up any data you dont want to lose. Our tutorial specifically aims to show the reader how to format and reinstall windows and during this process all your data will be lost and all your programs will need to be reinstalled. Formatting and reinstalling from scratch will get rid of all spyware, viruses and malware on your computer giving your computer a clean fresh start. If this is not your intention consider repairing windows instead.

So now we have an overview of the task we are about to perform, grab your windows installation disk and product key and lets install Windows XP.