Insert your Windows XP Setup CD and you are taken to this welcome screen:
Three choices are available. Install Windows XP, Perform additional tasks, and Check system compatibility. Let's look at these for a moment...
- Install Windows XP
Since this is why we are here, that is what I will choose in a minute. But first, lets take a look at the other two choices.
- Perform Additional Tasks
I'm not too sure what this does, so let's click on it and find out.
The first option is Set up a Remote Desktop Connection. What this allows you to do is control one computer from another, as if you were sitting on its keyboard and mouse. Much cheaper than buying a KVM (Keyboard, video, mouse) switch. I use Netmeeting to control my WINS server on my home network from my main computer.
The next option is to Set up a home or small office network. Clicking this will start another setup program that will help you configure your network for ease of use by setting up various network services and protocols. I didn't choose to do this as I have my network set up already, but I imagine it would help out with viewing other computers in Network Neighborhood and transferring files to and from. This can be a problem if you don't have all your machines set up just right!
Moving right along we come to a really neat tool labeled Transfer files and settings. This will allow you to copy your configuration and saved files from one computer to another. For instance, if you do what a few of my friends do and build a whole new machine every so often, and hand down their current one to their kids. Now say you have your old computer set up just how you like it, and want it to be the same way on your new system. This will allow you to copy your settings and documents to the new computer via the network or a direct cable connection. This is similar to copying your profile from one NT based machine to another. Of course, if you are like me and actually enjoy doing the personalizing, then you would just skip this step and do it by hand (Kinda turns your computer into your own little masterpiece).
Another common option if you have installed MS products before is Browse this CD. Pretty straightforward, it just brings up Windows Explorer to let you look around on the disk. This was put on originally due to the great autorun file. Many users were used to double-clicking on the drive and have it open up files, but instead it pulls up the Welcome screen. You can either right-click and go to open, or just click on the browse option and go that way.
Microsoft stuck to tradition once again by including the View release notes option. This is a great way to find out what problems XP has with certain hardware and software at the time of release. I have yet to get anything useful from this file, but hey, you never know. There might be that one person out there who gets some good info from it.
Since we are done looking at these options, click "Back" to return to the main screen.
- Check system compatibility
This is a new feature that (given it actually works) will check your hardware and software to make sure you can install and run XP successfully. Microsoft has a list for people installing NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 called the Hardware Compatibility List. You can view this list on their web page, but again, I have yet to find any useful information there as the list is rather dated and doesn't have much as far as mainstream hardware. It mostly deals with low-performing new user hardware. Oh well, such is life right? I went ahead and ran the test, and it found something wrong with my sound card drivers, so I said to myself "Self, make sure you update those after you're done installing!"
Now the moment you've all been waiting for; the guts of the setup process!