Section 1: Installing Windows XP Professional
In this section, you will learn about how to perform an attended and unattended install of Windows XP Professional. An attended install is one which a person is physically at a computer running through the setup process and manually providing answers to setup questions. An unattended install can take many forms, but it often involves a process to answer many of the setup questions to speed up the setup process or take the answers out of the hands of the end-user.
Many companies use third party software (such as Ghost or Altiris) or SMS to deploy images of their PCs. The technical details surrounding these individual products is not on the exam, but you should be aware of the basic principles behind imaging, why companies do it, and generally what technologies and process they follow to achieve it.
Before we can setup Windows XP Professional, we need to ensure the computer meets the minimum requirements for Windows XP.
Windows XP System Requirements
Microsoft provides the following recommended minimum requirements for Windows XP Professional:
·233 megahertz (MHz) Pentium or higher microprocessor (or equivalent)
·128 megabytes (MB) recommended (64 MB of RAM minimum; 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM maximum)
·1.5 GB of free space on your hard disk
·Mouse or compatible pointing device
·CD-ROM or DVD drive
You’re probably sitting there thinking, “So what, doesn’t all new machines meet these specs?” The short answer is yes, you would be hard pressed to find a computer manufactured today that doesn’t meet these minimum specifications. However, Microsoft deems it important for you to know the minimum requires of Windows XP – and they will ask you some arcane question on the exam, such as:
Joe would like to upgrade his desktop to Windows XP Professional and his hard drive has 500MB free space. How much free hard drive space is required to install Windows XP Professional?
So memorize these stats and prepare to answer one of the easier questions on the exam.
Hardware Compatibility List
Microsoft has produced an extensive Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) to help users ensure their hardware makes Windows happy. Officially, what used to be called the HCL is now referred to as the Windows Catalog (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=14201).
You can reach the Windows XP HCL by going to this link: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hcl/default.mspx
For the certification exam, you should be aware that users should check for their hardware on the HCL before installing Windows XP Professional.
Now that we have determined that, yes, indeed, our computer meets these minimum requirements, let’s jump into actually installing the beast.