Installation of an operating system on a computer which already has an OS is very easy. It can even be an upgrade from the lower version to the higher version. The installation is similar to installing other software and does not take much of thinking from the user's end. But when it comes to installing the windows XP from scratch most of the users find it difficult to carry on the task.
Let us now go through the requisites for installing Windows XP from scratch.
1. First of all if there is already an operating system and you want to make a clean installation removing the previous OS (operating system) you need to format the entire system. This task is taken care of while installing windows xp. Before starting the formatting process ensure that you have a bootable CD and not an ordinary CD. Once the whole system is clean you require to boot from the CD to start the installation process. Also, keep the CD key handy so as to enter it whenever it asks. Apart from windows xp CD you also need to keep your motherboard CD handy so as to install the system drivers after the OS is installed.
2. Take a backup of any important data which you do not want to lose due to formatting.
3. Restart the computer and press DEL button on the keyboard or any other button assigned to enter the BIOS settings of your computer. Once inside the BIOS, go to boot order or boot preferences or any other name given to the boot sequence. Change the first boot to CD ROM and also the second boot just in case to be sure the OS starts from the CD. Press F10 or any other key assigned to save the changes and exit from the BIOS setting.
4. By default the installation is done in the C: drive. But you can change the drive if you want by selecting Advanced option during the start of installation. If you want to format the entire PC do so by deleting all the partitions when asked and creating the new ones. If not, you can keep them intact. Windows XP formats the partition to NTFS file system for installing windows. You can format all the partitions into NTFS now itself or you can quick format once the OS is installed by going to MY Computer> right click> format.
5. The installation typically takes about 40 minutes depending upon the data to be formated in your pc. The installation process asks some questions in the middle of installation regarding your pc and it does not proceed until you answer them. So it is better to be around the pc and keep checking the process.
6. Once the installation is done you are given choices to set up the network and other things like security features. You can skip these if you plan to do them at a later stage. After the installation is complete you have to install your system drivers which you will find on your motherboard CD.
7. While installing your system drivers the computer may restart once or twice. When it does the first time press the DEL button or any other button assigned to enter the BIOS setting. Change the setting of boot sequence to hard disk for first boot. You can keep the 2nd and 3rd boot to anything you like. Now save the settings and exit from the BIOS setting. Now your system boots from the OS installed on your hard disk.