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How To Do a Full Install of the Windows XP Upgrade on a New Hard Drive

October 27th, 2008

windows-xp-logo.jpgThis latest computer tutorial article by Barry Davidson explains how to install the Windows XP operating system on a new hard drive if you only have the upgrade CD. Although I have never had to do this myself, it appears to be a way of getting around the usual requirement of purchasing the full version. According to the article, this technique does require you to have a disc with an older version of Windows on it, however.


How many of you out there find yourself in a position where you have to install your operating system on a new hard drive, but only have the Windows XP Upgrade CD? Anyone who has bought an upgrade CD for their computer knows that during the installation process, the program will ask for a previous version of the operating system. Below are instructions on how to get around that.

First, you’ll need to locate an older version of Windows lying around your house. That Windows 98 or Millennium Upgrade CD will work just fine. If you don’t have any old Windows CDs see if you can borrow one from a friend. You don’t even need the license key.

Second, you’ll need to start the computer. In the boot menu, you’re looking for the instructions to enter the BIOS setup. With some computers it’s hitting the F8 key, while for others you just need to hold down the Delete key.

Once in the setup menu find the configuration menu. If there are two, check both as options are different for each type of computer. Usually you’ll see a list, and in that list look for the 1st Boot Device or equivalent. Set that to your CD drive. Set the 2nd Boot Device to your primary hard drive. Save and exit this menu.

Next insert the Windows XP Upgrade CD and reboot the computer. The computer will prompt you, “To boot from CD press any key.”

Follow the directions given by the installation menu. When it says that it didn’t detect a previous version of Windows on the system, place that old CD into the drive when prompted. It will search the old CD and then prompt you to put the Windows XP CD back into the drive. From there, just follow the directions to finish the installation.

Remember that the computer will have to reboot itself. When it does, be sure you don’t hit any keys when it displays, “To boot from CD press any key.”

Before or after installation is complete, as you choose, remember to go back into the BIOS configuration menu and reset the boot devices. You will want the primary boot device to be the hard drive, and the CD to be the secondary.

After that, just be sure to install your device drivers.



One Response to “How To Do a Full Install of the Windows XP Upgrade on a New Hard Drive”

  1. comment number 1 by: tominator

    What if you have lost or misplaced your old version? Any workaround? I can’t find my version of 98 to re-install cleanly my ex.

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