Requirements to Install Windows XP on a Computer

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There are five methods to install Windows XP onto a computer: installing Windows XP onto a new hard drive; doing a clean install of Windows XP after removing viruses or spyware from an existing hard drive; installing Windows XP onto a computer with no operating system (OS); installing Windows XP to access or repair data from a damaged disk; or to use Windows XP as part of a multiple boot operation. Depending on the purpose of the installation, different requirements apply.

Windows XP CD and Related Software

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It goes without saying that the Windows XP CD is necessary for installation. A Windows XP or other version of Windows boot disk may also be necessary to boot the computer. The computer user should have ready access to the product key, which is required to install and activate Windows. The user should also have the relevant drivers available. Most computer manufacturers supply a CD containing the necessary drivers with a new computer. If the computer intends to use a multiple boot operation, the necessary partitioning software should be readily available, along with software for DOS and any other operating systems to be installed.

Finally, backup copies of all data and related files should be available to reinstall after the installation of Windows XP is finished. The Files and Settings Transfer Wizard allows the user to store desired files on an external source while Windows XP is being installed, then restore them to the hard drive once installation is completed.

Necessary Computer Hardware

Your computer should also be set up the way you will use it once Windows XP is completely installed. The bare minimum necessary setup includes monitor, mouse, keyboard and CD drive if you’re crunched for time. However, if peripheral hardware is connected at a later date, it may be necessary to install or update drivers to accommodate them. If you are transferring files between hard drives or computers, a cable to connect the old to the new equipment is needed.

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Using XP to Join a Wired or Wireless Network

The necessary hardware to join a computer to a high speed Internet network is a DSL modem, cable modem or router, and an Ethernet or USB cable. To enable wireless network capabilities, a wireless router is also needed. The computer should have wi-fi capability built in, or a wi-fi card should be installed. Many laptop computers have available card slots for wi-fi cards.