Windows XP Installation Methods

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We will spend this section examining the different methods of installation that you may select for your XP deployment.

Windows XP Installation - Standalone Methods
Whew! All that information, and we have not even begun to do the installation yet! However, careful pre-planning can lessen or totally eliminate a lot of installation headaches.

Once you have selected the installation method(s) that will work best for your environment, successfully piloted the rollout to a variety of test groups, and completed troubleshooting any errors you encounter in the pilot, you are ready for full deployment. So now that we have done all that preparatory work, let's install Windows XP Professional.

You can configure your disk partitions prior to installation or you can create the partition as part of the setup procedure. It is recommended that Windows XP Professional be installed on a 2GB partition.

As mentioned in the last section, there are a number of ways you can install Windows XP Professional. Some methods will support only a clean installation, others only an upgrade installation, while still others will support both. Which method, or methods, you choose will depend on several different business factors. Some of these factors may include:
• Number of computers involved in the deployment

• Amount of user interaction you wish to allow in the installment

• Need to customize the installations

• How homogenous the hardware is

• Active Directory Service availability

We are about to look at a couple of the stand-alone methods of installation-methods used when you are either installing only one system, or are installing a system that currently does not have network connectivity.

CD-ROM Windows XP Installation
There are actually two types of CD-ROM installations. The first type is what is often referred to as a standard installation-that is, putting the CD-ROM in the drive and going for it! Before rebooting your computer, insert the Windows XP CD into your CDROM. If Windows automatically detects the CD, it will automatically run the Setup Wizard. If the CD is not automatically detected, you can start the installation using CDROM:\I386\WINNT32.EXE for Windows 9x, Windows XP and Windows NT 4.0 Workstation. Select INSTALL A NEW COPY OF WINDOWS 2000 for Setup to begin.

For Windows NT 3.51 or earlier, Windows 3.1, MS-DOS, or systems booted with a DOS boot diskette with CDROM support, running the command CDROM:\I386\WINNT.EXE will start the installation. This type of standard install usually requires some user interaction. An unattended answer file and a uniqueness database file can be included with the installation to provide a hands-off installation. These methods are detailed in the section below.

The other type of CD-ROM installation is a bootable CD-ROM. An automated clean install can be provided for any system that does not have a network connection. An image, created with SysPrep, can be copied onto a CD-R. This type of install can be either fully automated, with a unique script for each user created on a floppy disk, or can be deployed with user interaction. The bootable CD-ROM may not be suitable for very large images (over 650 MB).

In order to use either CD-ROM method from system boot, your system must allow it to start from a CD in the BIOS, and be capable of El Triton No Emulation support.

Network Connection
You will first have to establish a connection to the shared network folder that contains the Setup file. This can be done using an MS-DOS or network installation disk that contains the network client software to enable connection to the server. It is a good idea to have disk-caching software, such as Smartdrv, loaded as well.
The command is: \\servername\sharename\i386\winnt.exe.

Windows XP Installation Steps
No matter which method you choose, the steps for installation remain the same. When Setup begins, the Windows XP Professional Setup screen appears in text mode

Setup inspects the computer's hardware configuration and then installs the Setup and driver files.
After all files are installed, the Welcome to Windows XP Professional Setup screen appears, still in text mode.

Three choices are given for your selection:
• To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

• To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

• To quit Setup without installing Windows XP Professional, press F3.

• To continue with the installation, press ENTER.

The next text screen displays the license agreement. You will need to press Page Down a few times to read the entire agreement. When you have read the entire agreement, and are at the bottom of the screen, press F8 if you agree to the terms outlined and wish to continue with the installation.

The Windows XP Professional Setup screen appears, welcoming you to Setup, and then a second, text-based screen appears with the following options (Figure 1-6):

• To setup Windows 2000 on the selected partition, press ENTER.

• If you have unpartitioned space on your hard drive, Setup will ask whether you wish to create a partition. Press C to select this option.

• If you wish to create a new partition, but want to delete the existing partition first, press D.

NOTE: Any new partition will need to be formatted either as FAT or NTFS.

If the partition you select for installation is a FAT partition, Windows Setup will ask if you wish to leave the current file system intact, convert the existing file system to NTFS, or format the partition using the NTFS file system.

The final step in the text-based mode is for Setup to examine the existing hard drive or drives. It then copies the files needed to complete the Windows XP Professional installation to the hard disk and reboots the computer. Upon restart, Setup enters the GUI mode. The Windows XP GUI mode Setup Wizard screen appears at this point. First, Setup will collect system information. It will then do Dynamic Update, if possible.

Remember: Converting a partition to NTFS leaves any files that presently exist on the partition intact. Formatting will delete all files on the partition in the process.

NOTE: Dynamic Update is a new feature of Windows XP. During the installation process, before any files are even installed, Windows XP checks the Microsoft website for critical updates. If any are available, it then downloads them so that they can be included in the installation. Windows XP gives the user the opportunity to load the most recent critical updates.

Finally, it prepares for installation, and then begins the installation process. Setup detects and installs devices, such as the mouse and the keyboard.

Windows XP Pop Quiz 1.2 Questions
1. What are the two types of CD-ROM installations?

2. What is the syntax to connect to the shared network folder that contains the Setup file?

3. What are the three choices given to you when the Windows XP Professional Setup screen appears?

4. What is the difference between converting your partition to NTFS and formatting your partition as NTFS?

5. What is Dynamic Update?

Windows XP Pop Quiz 1.2 Answers
1. The first type is standard installation, when the CD is auto-detected and the Setup Wizard starts automatically. The other type of CD-ROM installation is a bootable CD-ROM. An automated clean install can be provided for any system that does not have a network connection. An image, created with SysPrep, can be copied onto a CD-R. This type of install can be either fully automated, with a unique script for each user created on a floppy disk, or can be deployed with user interaction.

2. The command is: \\SERVERNAME\SHARENAME\I386\WINNT.EXE, where SERVERNAME is replaced with the name of your server and SHARENAME is replaced with the name of your shared directory.

3. The three choices are:
A. To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

B. To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

C. To quit Setup without installing Windows XP Professional, press F3.

4. Converting a partition to NTFS leaves any files that presently exist on the partition intact. Formatting will delete all files on the partition in the process.
5. Dynamic Update is a new feature of Windows XP. During the installation process, before any files are even installed, Windows XP checks the Microsoft website for critical updates. If any are available, it then downloads them so that they can be included in the installation. Windows XP gives the user the opportunity to load the most recent critical updates.

Deborah Timmons is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. She came into the Microsoft technical field after six years in the adaptive technology field, providing technology and training for persons with disabilities. She is the President and co-owner of Integrator Systems Inc.

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