Jason Zandri's latest article in the Learning Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week series covers the four stages of an attended installation of Windows XP Professional from a CD-ROM.
by Jason Zandri
Welcome to this week's
installment of Windows XP Professional Exam (70-270) in 15 minutes a week,
the second in this series. This article covers attended installations of
Windows XP Professional from a CD-ROM.
Windows XP Professional from a CD-ROM to a clean hard disk consists of these
the Setup program - Partitions and formats the
hard disk (if required) for the installation to proceed and copies the files
necessary to run the Setup Wizard.
the Setup Wizard - Requests setup information
about the local workstation where the installation is taking place.
Networking components - Installs the networking
components that allow the computer to communicate with other computers on
the local network.
Completing the installation - This final phase
copies files to the hard drive and configures the final stages of the setup.
There are some noted
differences in the Windows XP Professional installation and older Windows
NT4 and Windows Professional installations.
The design of the
installation program assumes that your system has the ability to boot
directly from a CD-ROM or that you will use a Windows 95/98/ME boot floppy
to begin installing from a CD. The ability to directly create setup floppies
has been dropped from Windows XP. Setup boot disks are available only by
download from Microsoft. The Setup boot disks are available so that you
can run Setup on computers that do not support a bootable CD-ROM.
There are six Windows XP
Setup boot floppy disks. These disks contain the files and drivers that are
required to access the CD-ROM drive through generic PCI drivers and begin
the Setup process.
If your computer does
support booting from a CD-ROM, or if network-based installation is
available, Microsoft recommends that you use those installations methods.
Setup will not prompt the
user to specify the name of an installation folder unless you are performing
an unattended installation or using winnt32 to perform a clean
the Setup Wizard installs the Windows XP Professional operating system files
in the WINDOWS folder. If this folder exists on the partition you have
chosen for the install, setup will warn you that you are about to overwrite
the current operating system installed on that partition. In order to keep
it (e.g. dual or multi booting scenario), you would need to choose another
partition for the installation.
To start the Setup program, insert the Windows XP
Professional installation CD-ROM in your CD-ROM drive.
If an operating system is
detected on the hard drive, the following message will appear;
In this scenario, you would
need to press any key on the keyboard to continue with the CDROM
computer starts, a minimal version of Windows XP Professional is copied into
memory. This version of Windows XP Professional starts the Setup program.
of the files are copied and the system is restarted, the text-mode portion
of Setup is started which prompts you to read and accept a licensing
select "F8-I agree" to continue. (If you elect not to accept the agreement,
the installation will end)
then prompted to select a partition on which to install Windows XP
Professional. You can select an existing partition or create a new partition
by using any unpartitioned free space on the hard drive(s).
(The above example shows a
partitioned and formatted drive)
Once a partition has been
selected the next step is to select a file system for the
new partition. Next, Setup formats the partition with the selected file
system. (This would assume that a file system didn't currently exist. In
this example, one already does and it is formatted in NTFS so I have elected
to leave it as is. Any formatting done here during setup will destroy any
existing data on the partitions formatted.)
Setup copies files to the hard disk and saves configuration information.
restarts the computer once the file copy is completed and then starts the
Windows XP Professional Setup Wizard, the graphical user interface (GUI)
portion of Setup.
GUI-based Windows XP Professional Setup Wizard is the next stage of the
settings - In this section you are able to
customize settings to your language and where you live as well as setup
Windows XP Professional to use multiple languages and regional settings.
Personalize your Software - In this section you
can enter the name of the person and the organization to which this copy of
Windows XP Professional is licensed. This can be your own name and nothing
in the organization field or the name of the company in both places if this
installation is being performed in a place of business. Software installed
on the system later will often use this information for product registration
and document identification.
Product Key - This page is where you enter your
25-character product key in order to install the software.
incorrectly type the key, an error message will be generated.
Name And Administrator Password - Here you enter
a name for the computer or use the auto-generated one that Windows XP
computer name will always display in all uppercase letters, no matter how
you type it. The name is not case sensitive.
Administrator Password box on the same screen, you will enter the password
to be used for the administrator account and in the Confirm Password box you
will re-enter it to make sure that it is entered correctly.
passwords do not match, the above error message will appear and you will
need to enter them again.
Dialing Information - This section will begin
only if an installed modem has been found on your system.
correct country or region if it is not selected. (It should match your
selection from the Regional settings page.) Type your area code or
city code and any number you might need to dial to get an outside line. You
can also select either tone or pulse dialing on this page as well.
Time Settings - This section of Setup allows you
to verify that the correct date, time and time zone are entered and whether
or not the system should adjust itself automatically at the daylight savings
times events each year.
Settings - The next section of setup deals
entirely with installing the Windows XP Professional networking components
on your system.
Windows XP Professional networking components involves the following
Detect network adapter cards - The Setup
Wizard detects and configures any network adapter cards installed on the
computer. By default, it attempts to locate a DHCP server on the network. If
none is found it will use an Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) IP
address. (The APIPA IP address feature of Windows XP Professional
automatically configures a unique IP address from the range 169.254.0.1 to
169.254.255.255 and a subnet mask of 255.255.0.0 when TCP/IP is configured
for dynamic addressing and a DHCP server is not available.)
Select networking components - The Setup
Wizard prompts you to choose typical or customized settings for networking
The Typical (selected by
default) installation includes the following options:
- Client For Microsoft Networks. Allows your
computer to access network resources.
- File And Printer Sharing For Microsoft
Networks. Allows other computers to access file and print resources on
- QoS Packet Scheduler. Helps provide a
guaranteed delivery system for network traffic, such as Internet Protocol
- Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Allows your
computer to communicate over local area networks (LANs) and wide area
networks (WANs). TCP/IP is the default networking protocol.
You can install other
clients, services, and network protocols during the Windows XP Professional
installation by choosing CUSTOM, but it is recommended that you wait until
after the installation has completed to add additional services. (The
exception would be if the lack of these services would prevent the system
from coming online to your network properly upon restart.)
Workgroup or Computer
Domain - This section allows you to choose to join a domain for which
you have administrative privileges or to join a local workgroup. You can
create the computer account in the domain you are joining ahead of time or
during installation. (The Setup Wizard prompts you for the name and password
of a user account with authority to add domain computer accounts if you
elect to create the account during the Windows XP Professional
installing the networking components, Setup starts the final steps of the
installation process, which include;
- Install Start menu items - Shortcuts that
will appear on the Start menu are installed and configured during this
- Register components - The configuration
settings that you specified earlier during the install are configured now.
- Save the configuration - The Setup Wizard
saves your entered configuration settings. Once the system is restarted,
the computer uses this configuration by default.
- Remove temporary files - Any files used
by the Setup Wizard that are no longer needed are deleted.
- Restart the computer - The computer is
automatically restarted. This is the final step of the Setup Wizard.
Upon restart, the computer
will either boot directly to Windows XP Professional or it will bring up the
operating system selection window (the text of the BOOT.INI file) if you
have more than one operating system installed.
After you start Windows XP
for the first time, you will come to the Welcome to Microsoft Windows screen
to finish setting up your computer. Click on the Green NEXT arrow at the
bottom right hand corner of the display.
The system will then check
to see how you will connect to the Internet. If Windows cannot detect the
settings it will prompt you for input. (You can also select SKIP to by pass
The Registration of your
Windows XP Professional software IS NOT REQUIRED. You can skip this step and
never go back to it.
The Windows Product
Activation screen appears next. Windows Product Activation has been designed
by Microsoft to protect their intellectual property as much as possible from
software piracy. According to Microsoft through the setup feature, you do
not need to send any information at all when you activate the product, not
even a name. This step is required, at this time or within the first 30
If you decide to skip this
registration step now, you will only be able to use Windows XP Professional
for 30 days. At that time, the operating system will not function without
activating the product. You will have no other option but to either blow the
partition away and reinstall the OS for another 30 days or activate the
If you skip this step,
Windows XP will periodically remind us during our 30-day period to Activate
The next screen we are
brought to is the Internet Access screen, which allows us to configure our
Internet connection at this time as well. You do have the option to skip
this step as well.
The next screen that
appears is the User Setup screen. On this setup page you are able to enter
the name of each person that will have local access to this computer. If you
choose to do this now, Windows XP Professional would create a separate user
account for each name entered.
These names would first
appear on the Welcome Screen in alphabetical order. At that point, users
would be able to select their name from the Welcome screen to use the
computer. The local administrator can use User Accounts in the system
Control Panel to assign these users with passwords and system permission
limits. It is also where additional users can be created, in lieu of doing
here or in addition to entering some here.
At least one name needs to
This first user becomes a
local administrator by default.
Well, that's the soup to
nuts of an attended installation of Windows XP Professional.
In the next installment I
will briefly go over some of the other installation methods of Windows XP
Professional such as over the network installations, RIS installations, and
automating installations using Windows Setup Manager.
Until then, best of luck in
your studies and please feel free to contact me with any questions on my
column and remember,
"If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it may not be
your computer anymore"