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A+™ Certification : Operating Systems

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2. Installation, Configuration, and Upgrading

2.2 Identify steps to perform an operating system upgrade from Windows 9.x/ME, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP. Given an upgrade scenario, choose the appropriate next steps.

2.2 Identify steps to perform an operating system upgrade from Windows 9.x/ME, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP. Given an upgrade scenario, choose the appropriate next steps.

Windows XP Upgrade paths available: Windows XP Professional supports upgrading from the following operating systems:

  • Windows 98, OSR2, Second Edition (SE), 

  • Millennium Edition (Me)

  • Windows NT 4.0 Workstation (with Service Packs)

  • Windows 2000 Professional (with Service Packs)

Please note that Windows XP Home edition can be upgraded to Windows XP Professional edition.

If your system is running any OS not not listed above (such as Windows 95, Windows NT Server, Windows 2000 Server, etc), you need to perform a clean install. Remember that after clean install, you have to re-install all applications.

        Usually, Clean Install is the preferred method of installation with most techs. This is because, an upgrade is cumbersome, and chances are that you end up with some applications not working at all. Ensure that you backup all of your data files before initiating any upgrade or clean install.

Winnt32 performs a clean installation or an upgrade to Windows XP. You can run winnt32 at the command prompt on a computer running Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP.

WINNT.EXE and WINNT32.EXE are used to launch the Windows XP installation program from a command line. WINNT is used when booting from DOS or a boot disk. 

These programs are located in the i386 folder located in the root directory of the CD drive of the installation set.

If you are buying a new PC, don't bother about minimum hardware requirements. Usually, all branded PCs (from major suppliers) are compatible with Widows desk top Operating System. But, if you intend to use as Windows server with server OS (such as Windows Server 2003), better check for you requirements more exhaustively)

  • Windows XP Professional OS requirements are given below:

    • PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system); Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended

    • 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

    In addition to the above, if you are connecting to the Internet, you may need a modem (a dial up or broadband). If you are participating in a network, you may also need a network interface care (NIC).

The Windows XP compatibility tool enables you to verify compatibility problems with hardware or software on a computer that is to be upgraded to Windows XP. You can run this compatibility tool from the Windows XP CD-ROM by following these steps:

1. Insert the Windows XP (Home Edition or Professional) CD-ROM.
2. From the Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP screen, choose the Check System Compatibility link.
3. Choose the Check My System Automatically link.

You can also test your computer’s Windows XP compatibility from command prompt or the Run dialog box by typing the command checkupgradeonly. (example: d:\i386\WINNT32 /CHECKUPGRADEONLY, where d: is the drive containing the Windows XP CD-ROM)

Service Packs (short name SP) are the means by which Windows Operating System cumulative updates are distributed. Service packs may contain updates for system reliability, program compatibility, security, feature enhancements etc. All of these updates are conveniently bundled for easy downloading. Microsoft maintains a web page for verifying SP updates at

Windows OS Service Packs are available for the following:

- Windows XP
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows 2000
- Windows 98
- Windows 95
- Windows NT 4.0

Usually, service packs contain all patches, and updates too. Once you have downloaded and installed latest SP, check for any patches or updates. Patches and updates are usually smaller downloads, and bundled in to Services Packs. Always ensure that your OS has the latest SP installed.

You can use the Add or Remove Programs tool to add the Windows XP components that you did not select when you performed the original installation of Windows XP, for example, networking options or Indexing Service files.

Also, the Add or Remove Programs tool helps you to manage programs on your computer. This tool enables you to add a new program, or to change or remove an existing program.

How to Install Windows Components: 

  1. Log on to the computer as an administrator.

  2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  3. In Control Panel, double-click Add or Remove Programs.

  4. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.

The Windows Components Wizard starts and the Windows Components screen appears. The components that are available are:

  • Accessories and Utilities

  • Fax Service

  • Indexing Service

  • Internet Explorer

  • Internet Information Services (IIS) (only XP professional)

  • Management and Monitoring Tools

  • Message Queuing (only XP professional)

  • MSN Explorer

  • Networking Services

  • Other Network File and Print Services

  • Update Root Certificates

  1. You can either click to select or click to clear each check box to add or remove a component.

  2. Follow the instructions in the Windows Components Wizard.

For adding/removing Windows components, you need to log-in with administrative rights.


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