How to Perform a Fresh Install of Windows XP

What can I say about Windows XP? That it’s one of the best-operating systems I have ever had the privilege to use. And I don’t think I’m the first to say that or the last. This guide will show you how to do a fresh install of Windows XP. Even though Windows XP isn’t supported anymore by Microsoft, and some software developers. It still has a place in the hearts of technology junkies, as its design and performance were superb.

Install a Fresh Version of Windows XP

Windows XP barely had any bugs and was getting updates from Microsoft on a regularly basis, right up until they stopped supporting it. To be honest, I still use Windows XP today, not on my primary pc, but on an old desktop which I like messing around with. I also use it on a virtual machine with VMware Workstation 12, just to do little experiments now and then.

Learn how to install Windows 7 on VMware Workstation here.

I’m guessing the reason you’ve come to this post is exactly what the title says, right? Let’s crack on, and perform a clean installation of Windows XP!

Depending on why, you want to perform a fresh install of Windows XP, we need to make sure we’ve got the tools we need to get the job done.

Checklist before we get started:

  • A Copy of Windows XP installation Media.
  • You’re Windows XP Serial Number. (If Pre-installed, the serial should be on a sticker somewhere on your case, if not, don’t panic, we can’t track it down assuming your existing Windows XP installation is working, find out how here.)
  • Drivers. (Install Drivers with Driver Pack Solution here).
  • And a little bit of patients.

All checked? Moving on…….

Clean Installation of Windows XP.

Insert your Windows XP installation media into your computer and boot it up and head straight into bios, (Not sure how to get into bios? find out here). First thing we need to do, is to check that our Windows XP installation media is first priority on the boot menu. You should find the settings under Boot –> Boot Priorities or similar, if you don’t do this, you will find that even with the Windows XP installation media inserted into your computer, the Windows XP or any other operating system you had previously installed, will continue to boot up. Once you’ve configured your bios settings, exit and save changes to restart the computer.

On boot up this time, you should see a black screen with white text, asking you to ”Press Any Key To Continue……….”, Do exactly what it says, press any key, to start the installation process.

Begin The Fresh Install of Windows XP

Windows XP will start to load the necessary files to run the installation process. After a few minutes you should be welcomed with the screen below. If you are reinstalling Windows XP, you will see a partitioned space where XP was installed. Highlight the selected partition you want to remove by using the arrow keys and pressing ”D”, confirm the deletion. Do this for as many partitions as you need to.

Fresh Install of Windows XP

Next we need to create a new partition for Windows XP to install the system files too. Do this by selecting the un-partitioned space and hitting ”C”. It will ask you to confirm the size of the partition, go ahead and press enter (you can edit this to whatever you like, I recommend at least 20GB for a Windows XP system).

Fresh Install of Windows XP 2

Now our newly created partition is ready to perform a clean installation of Windows XP on. Hit ”Enter” again while highlighting the c: drive.


Windows XP will ask how you would like to format the hard drives partition. The quickest method is the first option, and this tricks Windows into thinking everything has been wiped from the partition, The third option will actually wipe the whole partition, completely destroying all the content, which you can never get back, but this is a lengthy process and can takes hours to complete, while the ”Quick” method will only take a few minutes. I would also suggest NTFS file system, as you might come into trouble with larger hard drives using FAT. Go ahead and hit ‘Enter” again to format the partition using the NTFS file system <Quick>. Once the format is complete, the installation will begin.


Configure Windows XP

After you perform a clean installation of Windows XP and your system boots up, you will need to configure Windows XP before getting to the desktop. Enter a name and organisation for your new XP machine and click ”Next”.


Enter a Computer name and Admin password (if required) and hit ”Next”,


Select your date & time plus Time Zone and continue.


Windows XP will continue with the installation and after a few more minutes and one last reboot, you will receive a message about adjusting your resolution, hit ”OK” and then ”Yes” to confirm.


Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP! Click ”Next”,


Depending on what version you have of Windows XP, either SP1, SP2 or SP3, you can either decide to turn on automatic updates now, or not. For this guide, I will select ”Not right now” and hit ”Next”.

Note – you can always update later from the Windows Update shortcut on the start menu.


Last step! Enter a user account name for your new Windows XP machine and hit ”next”’.


Congratulations, you’re ready to go!


After hitting ”Finish”, you will be welcomed with a Windows XP intro video and then the desktop.

Don’t forget to install your drivers before anything else.

Install your drivers with ease, using Driver Pack Solution.

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