This article describes how to start the Windows XP Setup program at a command prompt.
Preparing to run the Setup programBefore you install Windows XP, follow these steps:
- Verify that your computer hardware is compatible with Windows XP. For the latest compatibility information and to download and install drivers for the listed hardware, visit the following Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Labs Web site: For more information about the system requirements for Windows XP operating systems, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:314865 System requirements for Windows XP operating systems
- Read the following documents on the Windows XP CD-ROM (where Drive is the drive that contains the Windows XP CD-ROM). These documents contain information to help you prepare for the installation.
- Drive:\Docs\Read1st.txt: This document contains critical last-minute information that was not included in the documentation or in any other .txt file on the CD-ROM.
- Drive:\Docs\RelNotes.htm: This document contains the Windows XP release notes.
- Drive:\Readme.htm: This document contains late-breaking or other information that supplements the Windows XP documentation.
- Create a partition on the hard disk and format it with the FAT or FAT32 file system.For more information about creating a partition, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:255867 How to use the Fdisk tool and the Format tool to partition or repartition a hard diskNote The Windows XP Setup program requires at least 383 megabytes (MB) of free disk space to copy installation files.
- Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM in the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.
- Start the computer to an Command Prompt with CD-ROM support. If your computer does not have MS-DOS already installed, or you otherwise cannot start to an Command Prompt in the Boot menu, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:187632 How to create a Windows 98 startup disk that supports FAT32
- Start SMARTDrive if it is not already started. To do this, change to the folder that contains the Smartdrv.exe file, type smartdrv, and then press ENTER. If you do not use SMARTDrive, the Windows XP Setup program may copy files to the hard disk slowly.
- At the command prompt, type drive:, and then press ENTER (where drive is the drive that contains the Windows XP CD-ROM).
- Type cd i386, and then press ENTER.
- Type winnt, and then press ENTER. The Windows XP Setup program starts.
- Type the path of the Windows XP installation files, and then press ENTER. For example, type d:\i386.
The Windows Setup program copies files to the hard disk. When the files are copied, you receive the following message:
- Remove any floppy disks from the computer, and then press ENTER. The computer restarts, and the Windows XP Setup program resumes. Press ENTER to continue.
- Follow the steps to select and format a partition where you want to install Windows XP. If your hard disk contains only one partition, do not delete it from the list of existing partitions. The Windows XP Setup program has copied the installation files to this partition.
You can convert a FAT32-formatted partition to the NTFS file system later.
Setup copies the files that the Windows XP Setup program requires, and then the computer restarts. If you chose to format the drive by using the NTFS file system, Windows checks the drive for errors, and then it restarts. Windows XP Setup resumes in Graphical User Interface (GUI) mode.
- Follow the steps in the Windows Setup Wizard to complete the installation of Windows XP.
Article ID: 307848 - Last Review: May 22, 2013 - Revision: 1