DEM-PCsolutions Blog
Tips and tweaks from DEM-PCsolutions & Friends


Hi there.

Today I’m just going to talk you through how to install Windows XP Pro (or even Home) on a PC. This could be useful if you are currently running other (older) operating systems such as, Windows 98 or Windows 2000, or if you wish to upgrade your computers hard drive and need to reinstall Windows.

Difficulty Rating:            2.5/5

For this guide you will need the following:
-A working computer!!!
-A Windows XP installation disc and a valid Product key (these probably came with your computer and the key should be on a sticker on your computer)
-Some backup media such as an external hard drive or DVD disks.

1. Ok to start remember to back up all your files that you wish to keep as after the installation there is a good chance that you will loose your data.

This can be done by using many different kinds of storage media although some of the most popular are external hard drives and DVD disks.

Simple copy your files over onto the media and these can then be restored to your computer after Windows XP has been installed.

Something I also personally like to do is make a list of the software you have installed on your computer so you know what to install again after the XP installation is complete.

2. Right to get rolling:

First insert your windows XP CD into your CD tray and reboot your computer.

When your computer restarts you should see an option about selecting your boot device, usually this selection is accessed by pressing either F12 or Esc at the very start of the computer boot process. It will look something like this:

You will then see a menu such as this one: Which gives you a selection of devices to boot from such as your hard drive, or in our case to boot from the CD drive.

3. You should now be displayed with a blue menu with several options on as shown below. We need to select the “set up Windows XP Now” selection, to do so press enter.

You will then be greeted with a Microsoft license agreement, to agree to the terms press F8.

You will then see a screen showing the hard drives on your computer and what is installed to them, in my case I have a completely blank hard drive but probably in your case this screen will say something about your previous Windows XP installation.

Next we need to install Windows XP to the hard drive, now don’t worry about overwriting all your data as hopefully you have backed it up previously.

Select your hard drive from the list and press enter, this will then display the hard drive formatting options.

You will have the option of using a FAT32 file system or a NTFS file system and the speed at which you wish them to be formatted (I advise never to select the quick format.)

Now don’t worry if you don’t know much about file systems because basically FAT32 is older and slower yet more compatible, while NTFS is newer, quicker but less compatible. (Compatibility isn’t really an issue unless you will be using you hard drives in other computers such as Macintosh computers)

Choose your selection and then you will be displayed with a progress bar which lets you know the hard drive is being formatted and that the file system is being written to it.

4. After your hard drive has been prepared you should see a graphical installation screen which will prepare Windows for the Installation.

The first screen of the setup you will meet is a regional language configuration screen to which you select your desired options and click next.

Then on the next screen enter your Name and Organisation information.

Then on the next screen you will be asked for your windows product key, if your disk came with your pc you may get lucky and not be asked for your serial key as it is pre-registered to the company that sold you your computer. If on the other hand you are not so lucky you have to find your product key and enter it in the boxes. (Your product key will often be on a sticker on your computer)

After you have done this you will be asked to enter a name for your computer and an administrator’s password. For the computer name just put a name that will identify your computer, such as “OFFICE-COMP”. Then enter an administrators password and remember it, hopefully you will never need to use the administrator account but it is used to solve pc problems if you ever get any!

Next screen, nice and easy, enter the date and time and hit next!

Windows will then start to install properly and you will be given an estimated time until completion. In this time I suggest you put your feet up and relax.

5. At the end of the installation your computer should restart and you should be greeted by a nice Windows XP Logo!

Then you will meet a pleasant “Welcome to Windows” screen.

After you click next you will make your first user account, just enter the name of a desired account to get going.

“THANK YOU” and congratulations from Windows means that you have successfully installed Windows XP on your machine!

You will then get logged in for the first time and see your new XP Desktop.

Then the first thing you should do is go to:
Start > All Programs > Windows Update to get the latest updates from Windows.

Then reinstall your software and copy your files over and you have your PC back!

Easy eh…

So thanks for reading, I will hopefully be writing a similar tutorial for Windows Vista in the very near future. And if you have any questions or technical queries don’t hesitate to ask as I will try my hardest to help you out.

Daniel J Walton.


First blog, first post in a blog… let’s see how thing’s go? Basically this site will soon be filled with little tricks and things put forward by the DEM-PCsolutions team, for you to use, in order to make your PC experience that little bit nicer..With any luck, the advice should come in at a fairly steady, regular rate so it should be jam-packed in no time at all.. demtips