Download (direct link):
Here's what happens in Stage 3:
1. You get a system compatibility report (for example, listing any unsupported device drivers).
2. Windows XP copies some files to your hard drive.
3. The system restarts. In an upgrade scenario, you can press F6 to supply a third-party SCSI or RAID driver.
4. Setup copies a lot of files over to your hard drive.
Stage 4: Installing Windows
Here's what happens during Stage 4:
1. Windows performs hardware detection for both Plug and Play and legacy devices.
2. If you're not upgrading from a previous version of Windows, you must supply
* Language information
* Keyboard layout
* Computer name
If you're upgrading, the setup program asks you for this stuff before Stage 1.
Warning The computer name (also known as NetBIOS name) must contain no more than 15 characters. It must also be unique among other computer names, domain names, and workgroup names! Also note that on a Windows XP network, the computer name appears in Active Directory as an object; unlike Windows 9x, computers in Windows XP and 2000 have their own security accounts.
3. You supply a password for the Administrator account.
4. You specify dialing information (area code, how to get an outside line, tone versus pulse dialing) if your PC has a modem.
5. You set the date and time and time zone.
6. Windows XP tries to autodetect your network card.
7. Windows XP copies a bunch of network-related files to your PC.
8. You must tell Windows XP whether you want typical network settings (defined as: Client for Microsoft Networks + File and Printer Sharing + TCP/IP) or custom settings.
FYI, I always recommend going with the typical settings and customizing things after setup completes.
9. If you're not upgrading, Windows XP asks you to join a workgroup or join a domain. (If you are upgrading, Windows XP uses your existing settings for these options.) You may have to provide a password for an account with domain administration rights in order to create a computer account if one doesn't already exist for you. Also, you see errors if a domain controller and DNS server aren't available at this time.
10. Windows XP configures your network setup amidst much clicking and whirring.
11. Various file copy and installation steps occur, typically including COM+, games, accessories, and Indexing Service, among others.
12. Windows performs Start menu initialization, component registration, saving settings, and removing any temporary files used.
13. The PC restarts.
14. If your computer isn't a member of a domain, your screen supports 800x600 mode, and you didn't set up a computer account, then you'll see the Windows Welcome screen, which prompts you to activate the installation (see 'Product Activation' later in this chapter), optionally register with Microsoft, and run Internet Connection Wizard.
Upgrading from Windows 9x
You'll need to know a few specific points regarding the upgrade process from Windows 98/Me, as follows:
* Windows XP makes a mandatory backup of the Windows 9x system, creating a 300MB file. After a certain amount of time following the upgrade, Windows XP asks the user if she wants to delete the backup.
* A user can uninstall Windows XP and revert to the Windows 9x system if Windows XP isn't working for some reason.
* Users do not get an uninstall option for an upgrade from Windows 2000 Professional. (Don't ask me why.)
The final step of the setup process is a new one: Windows Product Activation, also known as WPA. Microsoft is hoping to deter license abuse by requiring that each copy of Windows XP Professional sold at retail be activated, through an interactive session with Microsoft, within 30 days of installation.
What happens during activation is that Windows XP combines your unique product key with a hardware ID that is derived from your computer's hardware configuration. The result is an installation ID. When you connect to Microsoft, over the Net or by phone, you provide Microsoft with the installation ID. Microsoft checks to make sure that you haven't already used your product key with another computer; if not, then you get a confirmation ID that activates your system. Henceforth, Windows XP checks your installation ID against the installed hardware, and if it detects a difference, you'll have to perform activation again.
Instant Answer WPA will not be required for customers with volume licenses. Only retail customers and small businesses will have to mess with it.
The problem, of course, is that people often upgrade their PC hardware. It remains to be seen how Microsoft will handle legitimate requests to reactivate Windows XP on upgraded machines; all Microsoft is saying on their public Web site at this writing is that 'If the hardware is substantially different, then reactivation is required.' The exam will omit consideration of such potential frustrations, so I won't waste time here explaining all the reasons why WPA is a really bad idea.