While Windows XP often offers the ability to simply do a straight upgrade from Windows 98, some computer users prefer to do a "clean" installation of Windows XP rather than upgrade. Unfortunately, because of the way Windows is set-up, there is no "uninstall" process for Windows 98. In order to remove Windows 98 from a hard drive prior to installing XP, you will have to format the hard drive containing Windows 98, which essentially erases everything on the hard drive. Fortunately, this is not a difficult task and can be done directly from the Windows XP setup program.
Turn on your computer and insert the Windows XP installation disc into the computer's optical drive.
Press a key to enter the Windows XP setup program when prompted.
Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the screen asking you to choose a partition on which to install Windows XP. Instead of selecting a partition, highlight the partition containing your Windows 98 installation and press the "D" key. This will delete the partition--erasing all the data the partition had contained.
Confirm that you wish to delete the partition. Once the partition has been deleted, highlight the "unallocated space" and press "C." This will create a new partition. Once the new partition has been created, highlight it and press "Enter." This will be the partition onto which you will install Windows XP
Select the "NTFS File System" option when asked how you wish to format the drive. Windows XP will now format the drive and continue with the Windows XP installation.
Follow the on-screen directions as prompted by the installation process. At some point in the installation, you must type in your 25-digit Windows XP Serial key, as well as specify a name for the computer and whether it will be located in a workgroup. Once this process has finished, Windows XP will be installed on your computer.
- Make sure that you have all the drivers for your computer's hardware on a CD somewhere, otherwise you will be unable to use the hardware once Windows XP is installed.
- Make sure all your important data is backed up before you follow the steps outlined in this guide as formatting a hard drive will erase all the data that hard drive contains.
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