XP Installation Guide
- Click on the Messenger icon in the system tray. Cancel
out of the Passport sign-up registration. Click on: Tools > Options
> Preferences tab. Remove check from box labeled Run this Program
when Windows Starts.
If you prefer to DISABLE Windows Messenger from running on your Windows XP Professional machine, see HERE (thx anadarko). If you prefer to REMOVE it entirely, be see
- 2. From its/their location on the hard drive, install the Service Pack(s).
When it asks if you want to create a back-up, I suggest answering
"No". It will just waste space and take more time.
Joshua suggests that you answer "Yes" and *do* have the
Service pack make a back-up. If there is an error, the installer is
SUPPOSED to revert to the back-up data. His way is safer. So, you've
gotta ask yourself a question: Do
I feel lucky? Well, do ya?
In the future, after your system is up and running for a while, and Microsoft releases a new service pack, you should always ask around before installing new service packs, and always create a Ghost image before doing so.
This way you can always go back if you encounter problems. Service
packs are major upgrades, and some of them have been problematic in
the past. You don't want to be the first on your block with a new
Info about installing the latest critical updates before going online is contained in this thread
- I disable System Restore here because I periodically
create back-up Ghost images.
It's one less thing that can interfere and cause problems. If you
don't use Norton Ghost, or some other imaging utility, you would want
to leave SR enabled. Right-click on My Computer and click
on the System Restore tab. There is a box labeled Turn
off System Restore on all drives. Do as you see fit.
- Reboot and do nothing but update your chipset drivers.
(Open no other programs first.)
• Joshua's comment: Chipset drivers
can be tricky. Often chipset drivers are released by both the chipset
manufacturer (such as Intel,
Via and nVidia)
and the motherboard manufacturer (such as Asus
the motherboard manufacturer are usually better.
They are tested
on that particular configuration. But drivers from the chipset
manufacturer may offer new features and better compatibility.
I recommend chipset drivers from
the motherboard manufacturer over those from the chipset manufacturer.
• Rad's comment: I always use chipset drivers from
Intel, and never had a problem. I figure they know the most about
the chipset, since they designed it. But Joshua has a good point.
Motherboard manufacturers take "reference" drivers from
the chipset manufacturer and modify them to suite their particular
- After rebooting, go into your device manager and click on your Universal
Serial Bus Controller. Double-click on the controller to get into
the Properties, and select the Driver tab. Click on the button labeled
Update Driver with radio button in Install Software
- Install DirectX drivers.
• Joshua's comment: I usually install DirectX
after other critical updates and after the video card drivers. I read
somewhere a long time ago that it was better to install DirectX after
the video card drivers were installed. I think it’s an old wives
tale, but I have never had a DirectX issue doing them in this order.
• Rad's comment: I have read some of the instructions
that come with video card drivers and they sometimes (not always)
specify a particular DirectX version/upgrade PRIOR to installing.
Note: If you want to install the Intel
Application Accelerator, this is the place to do it. See here
for Intel's guidance. Many people report wonderful results with this
accelerator, while others report problems. I use it without any problems,
but recommend you pass, unless you are computer-savvy. You can always
uninstall it if you have problems.
- Install drivers for your network card/adapter. If your motherboard
has an onboard network adapter, you should find these drivers on the
CD that came with your motherboard. Install only the drivers. Nothing
else. No special LAN utilities.
There is a chance (small chance) that you can be hacked
while setting up your system, before you install your firewall and
anti-viral software. If you don't connect your network cable, no one
can connect to you.
For this reason, some people recommend installing your firewall immediately
after you install the drivers for your network adapter (here). For
more along these lines, see the guide titled: Windows
XP: Surviving the First Day (1.2-MB PDF).
- Plug in the network cable and open Internet Explorer. If you *can't*
connect, close everything, reboot, and re-open IE. It should work.
If it doesn't, you have some trouble-shooting to do. Make sure you
see no yellow exclamation points for your Network adapter in your
- Now we're cooking with plutonium. Go to Windows
Update and download all critical updates first.
Then update everything you deem necessary. Reboot as necessary. Some
of the big updates make you select only that one. This will take a
Note: some people prefer to install their firewall
before downloading these updates. They worry about being hacked
while they're online without protection.
This is certainly a valid concern, although I am not that paranoid.
I don't install my firewall until a few more steps, because i don't
want anything to interfere with these critical updates. Installing
your firewall first (here) would not be wrong. Merely personal preference.
- Update your video card drivers and set the resolution
to your liking. For my 19-inch monitor, I prefer
1280x1024 with 32-bit color. Check out Digital
Blasphemy for cool desktop wallpaper. How about those glowing
blue mushrooms? They look great if you change the color of your
desktop to black. Or how about the Majesty?
- Shut down your computer and install your sound card. Install drivers
upon subsequent reboot.
- Update Messenger and re-configure it so that it
doesn't run when Windows starts (refer to step #1 above).
- Activate Windows.
- Download and install a firewall of your choice.
I prefer Zone
Alarm, but Sygate
also makes a good one. Both companies offer freeware
versions. You can test the effectiveness of your firewall at sites
such as Shields
Up, or Hacker Whacker,
which are specifically designed for this purpose.
- Install your anti-virus of choice. I prefer NOD32,
but Norton and
others are also good.
- Install your defragger of choice. I prefer Perfect Disk,
but others are also good.
- Install Norton
Ghost and reboot.
- Install and configure Motherboard
Monitor (compliments of Alex Van Kaam, from the Netherlands).
I configure my copy to display the following items in my system tray:
CPU usage (reading 100)
• CPU temperature (reading 122)
• Motherboard/Case temperature (82)
If you have a Hyper-Threaded
Pentium 4 CPU, you should see *two* instances of the CPU-usage indicator
in your system tray. If you have trouble with its configuration, click
the little "?" (question mark) in the upper
right-hand corner for a comprehensive Help file.
Alternately, for more specific question, Alex's forums
- Defrag your Windows partition and reboot.
- Do nothing but create a Ghost
image. (Open no other programs first.) This is your initial_install
Ghost image. You should never delete it and never defrag it.
- Some people suggest you use a registry cleaner
at this point. I've tried several different brands and never had a
problem. Currently I use Norton WinDoctor, from the
boyz at Symantec. It comes as an integral part of Norton Utilities,
which comes with Norton
For info on how to test the stability of your system,
see here:> PC
THE END. If all went well, have a beer and celebrate.
Joshua's note: I think future revisions should include configuring IIS
for Remote Desktop (one of WXP's best features).