If you are building your own desktop computer, you have probably purchased a hard disk drive for it. This disk drive will be a blank, or "clean," drive that will need to have an operating system installed on it. Windows XP is a good choice for an operating system because it can be obtained inexpensively if you don't already have an old copy of it laying around.
Installing Windows XP on Your Clean Hard Disk Drive
Check that your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements for running Windows XP. These requirements can be found on the packaging for the Windows XP CD.
Insert the Windows XP CD into your CD-ROM drive and boot the computer. The computer should automatically detect the CD after it finds the blank hard disk drive. If it doesn't, you may need to enter the bios and change the boot sequence, which is the topic of other articles.
Choose "Yes" or press the "Enter" key when you are asked if you want to install Windows XP.
Hit the "F8" key to accept the End User License Agreement. Hitting "F3" instead will cancel the installation process.
Choose the partition where you wish to install Windows XP. If you have partitioned your hard disk drive, you will see multiple options here. If not, there is no need to worry about creating any partitions unless you want them for purposes other than the installation of Windows XP.
Choose the type of file system you would like to use, FAT32 or NTFS. Most people would advise using NTFS, but feel free to research the file system types and decide for yourself. Choose the one you want, then press the "F" key. The computer will now format the hard disk drive. Note: if you are using an XP Upgrade CD, you will be prompted to insert your older Windows version CD to confirm its existence and validity.
Watch as the installation continues and let the computer restart itself several times. You will periodically be asked to enter personal information as the installation completes.
At the Windows Activation screen, you should enter your Windows XP CD Key to activate the product. You have thirty days to do so, but there is no reason not to do it immediately. It is completely up to you whether to register the product; it is not required.
Enter a username after the product is activated and you can begin using Windows XP.
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