Download (direct link):
7. UNATTEND.BAT. If you missed #6, you probably missed this one too. 'Implementing the scripted setup' contains more info.
8. DLL. See 'Upgrade packs' for more.
9. /CHECKUPGRADEONLY. If you didn't know this one, read 'Prepping for installation' in this chapter.
10. False. Praise be! See 'Installing Upgrade Packs and Service Packs.'
Installing Windows XP Interactively
In this section, I deal with the one-on-one installation scenario: one person sitting in front of one PC installing one copy of Windows XP Professional.
Tip I realize that you may not have a test machine available, but if you do, use it. The fastest way to understand the Windows XP installation process is to run through it two or three times on a test PC.
Minimum hardware requirements
The minimum hardware requirements that Microsoft publishes for its operating systems are always an entertaining subject for debate.
Instant Answer For the exam, know the company line about minimum and recommended hardware requirements:
* CPU: Pentium 233 MHz minimum, Pentium II 300 MHz or higher recommended
* RAM: 64MB minimum, 128MB or more recommended
* Disk: 2GB partition with 650MB free space minimum, 2GB free space recommended
* CD or DVD: Required for CD installations; any speed minimum, 12X or faster recommended
* Display: VGA minimum, SVGA recommended
* Input: Keyboard, mouse, or other pointing device minimum (recommended is the same)
For real life, realize that the minimum practical requirements for CPU, RAM, and disk depend greatly on the particular services and applications you intend to run.
In every situation, Windows XP requires substantially more hardware horsepower than Windows Me and 9x, and moderately more horsepower than Windows NT 4.0 and 2000.
Prepping for installation
Here are a few pre-installation checks that you should perform:
* Verify that you're running the most recent functional BIOS. Windows XP decides which Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) to install partly on the basis of the BIOS type and version that it detects at install time.
* Instant Answer Verify that all hardware is on Microsoft's Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). You can check the HCL.TXT file on the CD in the SUPPORT folder, or consult the Microsoft Web site (www.microsoft.com/ hcl) among other places. In general, hardware that works in NT 4 or Windows 2000 should work with Windows XP but may need new drivers.
* If you're upgrading a Windows NT 4.0, Windows Me, Windows XP (Home Edition), Windows 2000 or Windows 98 machine, you can run WINNT32.EXE with the /CHECKUPGRADEONLY qualifier to see a report of potential upgrade problems (see Figure 4-1).
Figure 4-1: The upgrade check reports on any potential upgrade problems.
Instant Answer You can perform a compatibility check without performing an actual upgrade when running a scripted installation over Windows Me or 98. Include the line ReportOnly=Yes in the [Win9xUpg] section of UNATTEND.TXT. Windows writes the compatibility report as a text file to the root of the system drive by default, but you can change the location with the SaveReportTo option. That's handy if you want to specify a network location where you can collect all the reports for review. Use a parameter such as %computername% in the filename that you specify with SaveReportTo in order to save each file under a different name. See 'Method one: Scripting' later in this chapter.
* Run a virus scanner on your system and correct any reported problems.
If your system has a BIOS-based virus scanner, disable it for the installation, or be prepared to click Continue when the scanner asks you if it's okay to modify the boot record.
* If you're upgrading a Windows XP (Home Edition), Me, or 98 machine, check Device Manager for any conflicts (red X's) or alerts (yellow !'s). Correct these if possible.
* If you're upgrading a Windows NT 4.0 machine, check the System, Application, and Security event logs for errors or warnings. Deal with these before proceeding.
* If you're upgrading a Windows NT 4.0 machine, make sure that you've installed Service Pack 6 (or higher) before you upgrade.
* In an upgrade scenario, record system resource assignments (IRQs, DMA channels, base I/O addresses, upper-memory addresses). You can use a tool such as MSINFO to print or save such data to disk.
You should also figure out some network choices ahead of time.
If a Microsoft network domain (the usual choice in the corporate environment) is the environment, bear in mind the following:
* You must know the domain name, such as corphq.i-sw.com.
* You must provide for a computer account in the domain.
Do so by defining it ahead of time (domain administrators can do this) or by specifying an account at setup time that has administrative rights on the domain and can, therefore, create the computer account as part of the setup process.
* A domain controller and a DNS server should be up and running and connected to the workstation PC during the Windows XP Professional installation. If this condition doesn't apply, then you can specify 'workgroup' at install time and join the domain after running setup; it's just more convenient to get it all done at once.