The Windows XP Starter CD that came with your computer purchase can be used as many times as you want to repair or reinstall Windows XP. When you perform a repair installation, documents and files will remain on the computer after the procedure is complete.
Step 1. Insert the Windows XP CD into your computer
If you no longer have a copy of the CD, contact your computer manufacturer to replace it or download an.iso file from the internet that you can burn to a blank CD. Be aware of viruses and keep in mind that you will still need to enter a valid product key to install.
Step 2. Write down your product key
It is useful to have it handy before you start the installation process. This key is a 25 character code that you must enter in order to install Windows. Usually, it can be found in one of the following two locations.
- Attached to the case your Windows XP CD came in, usually on the back.
- With your computer. If it is a desktop computer, it is usually located on the back of the system unit. In the case of a laptop, it is below.
Step 3. Restart your computer
Make sure the Windows XP CD is inserted. Your computer should be configured to boot from the CD drive first. To do this, you will need to access BIOS setup.
- To access the BIOS, press the setup key as soon as the computer manufacturer's logo is displayed. The key is different depending on the manufacturer, but in general it is either F2, F10, F12 or Suppr. The correct key will be displayed on the same screen as the logo.
- Once you are in the BIOS, go to the boot menu. Set the CD player as the 1st boot device. Depending on your BIOS and its configuration, it might also be called the DVD drive, optical drive, or CD / DVD drive.
- Save your changes and exit BIOS. This will cause the computer to restart.
Step 4. Begin the installation
Once the manufacturer screen clears, a message that says “Press any key to boot from CD…” will appear. Press any key on the keyboard to start the installation process. If you do not press a key, the computer will boot from the hard drive as usual.
Step 5. The installation will begin
Windows must load the drivers to start the setup process. This operation may take a few moments. Once it is complete, you will be greeted by the Welcome screen. Press Enter to begin a repair installation. Do not enter the Recovery Console.
Step 6. Read the contract
Once you have gone through the license agreement, press F8 to accept it and to continue. The installation wizard will load a list of your Windows XP installations. Most users will only see one item listed here.
Step 7. Select your previous installation
If you only have one installation, it will be automatically selected. Press the R key to start the repair process. Windows will start copying the files, then automatically restart the computer. It will then begin the repair installation.
You will be asked to confirm the date and time along with a few other basic questions. Most of the time, the default option will work
Step 8. Enter the product key
Towards the end of the installation, you will be asked to enter the product key. Windows will verify that this is a valid key before continuing.
After installation, you will need to validate your copy of Windows online or over the phone. The Product Activation wizard will appear when you connect to your new repaired copy. If you have an internet connection then you should be able to validate your copy with the click of a button
Step 9. Check your programs
Once the installation is complete, you will be taken to your repaired version of Windows. Because some system files have been replaced, some of your installed programs may not work and you may need to reinstall them.
- Some of your devices may need to reinstall their drivers. To see which devices are not installed correctly open the Start Menu and right-click Computer. Select the Hardware tab, then click Device Manager. If any devices have a yellow exclamation mark, they may need to have their drivers reinstalled.
- Your personal data and documents should be intact after a repair installation. Check that everything is in its place.