Verify the system requirements
Your computer must meet the following hardware requirements:
- Minimum 233 megahertz (MHz) or higher processor clock speed required, 300 MHz recommended
- Intel Pentium and Celeron family, AMD K6, Athlon, Duron family, or compatible processor recommended
Note Windows XP Professional supports both single-CPU and dual-CPU computers, but Windows XP Home Edition only supports single-CPU computers.
- 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported, may limit performance and some features)
- 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space
- Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor
- CD-ROM or DVD drive
- Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
To determine if your computer is compatible with Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional, visit one of the following Web sites:back to the top
Verify program compatibility
For information about program compatibility and about migrating from Windows Millennium Edition or Windows 98, visit the following Microsoft Web site: back to the top
Verify hardware compatibility
For information about compatible hardware for Windows XP, view the Windows Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). This list is a compilation of computers and computer hardware that have been extensively tested with Windows for stability and compatibility. Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) uses the HCL to determine if a computer is supported for use with Windows. To view the latest HCL, visit the following Microsoft Web site: back to the top
Run the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor
You can use the Microsoft Windows XP Upgrade Advisor tool to audit the current status of your computer and to receive a report of known hardware and software compatibility issues (based on Microsoft testing before release). If you are concerned about the results of the report, do not upgrade until these concerns are resolved. Contact your hardware or software manufacturer for updates that make the products run correctly on Windows XP.
If you are considering an upgrade to Windows XP Home Edition or to Windows XP Professional, and you do not have a Windows XP CD-ROM, you can download the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor. To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site, and then click Download the Upgrade Advisor
If you start the Windows XP Setup program to start the upgrade while you are running another operating system, Windows XP automatically runs the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor. However, in this case the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor generates a limited report that only describes the blocking issues, not the whole report. If you want to create the full report (that is saved as the Upgrade.txt file) without upgrading, run the winnt32 /checkupgradeonly
command from the I386 folder on the Windows XP CD-ROM.Note
If you select Dynamic Update
when you run the winnt32 /checkupgradeonly
command, the appropriate drivers and fixes are downloaded. Therefore, when you run the upgrade and select Dynamic Update (recommended)
, you do not have to download the drivers again.
To run the winnt32 /checkupgradeonly
- Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
- Type CD-ROM drive letter:, and then press ENTER.
CD-ROM drive letter is the drive letter of the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive where the Windows XP CD-ROM is inserted.
- Type cd i386, and then press ENTER.
- Type winnt32 /checkupgradeonly, and then press ENTER.
The Windows XP Upgrade Advisor report that you generate may help you decide whether to upgrade the computer to Windows XP. After you read the report, make sure that any devices that are listed as unsupported have Windows XP drivers available from the manufacturer (unless you do not require that hardware to work in Windows XP). This is especially important for network adapter and modem drivers so that you will have connectivity after you upgrade the operating system. After you have connectivity, you can download any subsequent applicable device drivers. As always, make sure that you use drivers that are designed for use with Windows XP.
To look for software upgrades that may be available, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Also, contact your software manufacturers for any upgrade packs that may be available. If a program requires an upgrade pack to run with Windows XP, you must have the upgrade pack during the upgrade. If it is not available, you may have to reinstall the program after you upgrade to Windows XP.For additional information about upgrade packs, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Specifying additional upgrade packs when upgrading from Windows 95/98 to Windows 2000
Look in the software listing for software that may have to be reinstalled after the upgrade or for software that requires an upgrade before it can work with Windows XP. You may want to determine if there are any updates or service packs that are available for the software before you start the upgrade. If you have these updates available during the upgrade, the software may work correctly with Windows XP. Additionally, if you are not sure about the compatibility of particular software, we recommend that you remove the software before you upgrade the operating system because you may not be able to correctly remove it after you upgrade to Windows XP. Note
If your computer has one or more compressed drives or one or more programs or services are running, the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor or a Windows XP upgrade may not work.back to the top
The Dynamic Update feature
Windows XP Setup includes the Dynamic Update feature. Dynamic Update downloads and uses critical content to enhance the Windows XP Setup program. If the computer can connect to the Internet while the Windows XP Setup program is running, Dynamic Update prompts you to download critical content. You can skip Dynamic Update, but we strongly recommend that you do not skip it.For additional information about Dynamic Update, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Description of the Dynamic Update feature in Windows XP Setup
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List of fixes that are included in the Windows XP Dynamic Update 1.2 package
Quit any programs that are running
To remove potential problems with services and programs that are running, use of one of the following options:
- Quit any programs that are running. To see a list of all running programs, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to view the Close Program dialog box. When you limit the number of running programs, additional resources are available for the Windows XP Setup program, and you help prevent issues between the Setup program and the running programs.
- In Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition:
For additional information about Msconfig.exe and this procedure, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
- Click Start, click Run, type msconfig, and then click
- Click Selective Startup.
- Clear all the check boxes, and then click OK.
- Restart the computer, and then try to run the Windows XP Setup program or Windows XP Upgrade Advisor again.
How to perform clean-boot troubleshooting for Windows 98
- Start your computer in safe mode, and then run the
winnt32.exe command to run the upgrade, or run the winnt32.exe /checkupgradeonly to run the Upgrade Advisor. Safe mode uses only a minimal set of drivers, services, and programs. Safe mode can help simplify the installation and remove items that may interfere with the upgrade. However, safe mode does not affect the upgrade. Items that are not loaded are still examined and may be included in the report.
Typically, your CD-ROM drive is not accessible in safe mode.For additional information about how to access your CD-ROM drive in safe mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
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How to make your CD-ROM drive accessible in safe mode
Back up your computerWarning
Windows XP has a removal option. However, you cannot remove Windows XP after the upgrade if you upgraded from Windows 2000 Professional, or if the file system was changed to the NTFS file system.
Back up your computer contents, including all your data, before you start the upgrade. With this backup, you can easily restore your data files if you decide to reinstall your previous operating system.For additional information about how to make a backup of your Windows 98-based or Windows Millennium Edition-based computer, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to back up to removable media device using Microsoft Backup
Microsoft Backup system requirements for Windows 98
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How to restore Windows 98 from a full system backup
Upgrade the computer BIOS
Before you start the upgrade, obtain and install the latest basic input output system (BIOS) upgrade for your computer from the computer manufacturer. If you update the BIOS after you upgrade the computer, you may have to reinstall Windows XP to take advantage of features such as Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) support in the BIOS. Update the firmware in all devices before you start the upgrade if you can.Warning
If you upgrade or flash the BIOS with an incorrect version for your specific motherboard, you can severely damage the motherboard. Therefore, do not work with the BIOS of your computer unless you are very familiar with how to do this, or you have obtained thorough instructions about how to safely do so.
For information about hardware and BIOS updates, visit the following third-party Web site: Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.
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Turn off power management
Make sure that power management is turned off in Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition in the Power tool in Control Panel. To turn off Power Management:
- Click Start, point to
Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Power Management.
- Click the Power Scheme tab.
- Set Turn off monitor to
- Set Turn off hard disks to
- Set System standby to
If you can turn on the ACPI (Advanced Configuration Power Interface), turn off Advanced Power Management (APM) in the computer's BIOS. If there is a power interruption while the Windows XP Setup program, an upgrade, or Windows XP Upgrade Advisor is running, you may experience unexpected results. If you restart the computer, the Windows XP Setup program continues from where it stopped. However, results are sometimes irregular if the computer resumes from various power-latency states. Therefore, it is useful to turn off power management.back to the top
Remove or disable antivirus software
Remove or disable any antivirus software that is running before you start the upgrade. Also turn off any hardware antivirus features that are running. For example, the BIOS in some computers contains antivirus functionality.
In some cases, Windows XP Setup turns off antivirus software during the upgrade, but in other cases, you must turn off the software first. Most antivirus software must be updated to work correctly with Windows XP. For more information about how to disable your antivirus software, see the documentation or online help. back to the top
Uncompress any compressed drives
Windows XP works only with the compression that is included with NTFS. You must first uncompress any drives that are compressed with DoubleSpace, DriveSpace, or any other drive compression software. If you do not uncompress a drive, the data on the drive is not available in Windows XP. The data on the drive is still intact, but it is not available in Windows XP. To be able to use the data on the compressed drive, you must dual-boot with the operating system that supports the compression method. If drive C is compressed, you cannot install Windows XP. If you try to run the upgrade or the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor report, you may receive the following error message:
Windows is installed on a Drivespace, Doublespace, or other compressed drive. XP does not support compressed drives. You must uncompress before upgrade. For additional information about how to uncompress compressed drives, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
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How to remove DoubleSpace and preserve your files
Run the Scandisk.exe tool on all your drives before you start the upgrade. Scandisk helps prevent disk errors or file-copy errors while the Setup program is running and helps prevent extra computer restarts during the upgrade that may cause the Setup program to take longer to complete. Include a surface scan to make sure that there is not a bad sector that prevents the correct reading of a part of the drive. Because a large number of files are being read from the disk, problems with file or folder damage or bad portions on the drive can cause issues while the upgrade or the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor is running.For additional information about using the Scandisk tool, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
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Description of ScanDisk for Windows (Scandskw.exe) in Windows 98/Me
Run Scanreg.exe in Windows 98 to examine the registry for errors. Although the registry is scanned for errors automatically every time that Windows 98 starts, Scanreg may help clean up some registry damage that may have occurred. The Windows XP Setup program examines the registry during the upgrade. Therefore, damaged entries can cause problems.For additional information about Scanreg.exe, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
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Description of the Windows Registry Checker tool (Scanreg.exe)
Remove temporary files
You do not have to remove your temporary files. However, it may be helpful to do this. To remove your temporary files:
- Click Start, point to
Programs, point to Accessories, point to
System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.
- Select the Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin, and Temporary Files check boxes.
- Click OK.
These files are all scanned when the Readiness Analyzer runs. Removing them reduces the number of files that must be scanned. Windows XP preserves as many of these files as it can, but very large folders may cause problems with the Windows XP Setup program. If the Setup program encounters these problems, the Setup program may have to delete the temporary Internet files. Removing these files before you start the upgrade can quicken and simplify the upgrade.back to the top
This article refers to an old version of Windows. If you need help about how to install, reinstall, or uninstall Windows, visit the following Microsoft Web site:back to the top