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Upgrading to Windows XP Professional

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Upgrading your PC to a new version of Windows can be a daunting task. This chapter will make the process smooth as silk as you learn about the requirements for upgrading previous versions and the tasks that you should perform before you upgrade a computer.
This chapter is from the book


This chapter helps you to prepare for the exam by covering the following Microsoft-specified objectives for the Installing Windows XP Professional section of the Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional exam:

Upgrade from a previous version of Windows to Windows XP Professional.

  • Prepare a computer to meet upgrade requirements.

  • Migrate existing user environments to a new installation.

  • Microsoft provides several upgrade paths for computers running recent versions of Windows. This objective is included to ensure that you know how and when to upgrade these versions of Windows to Windows XP Professional.

Perform post-installation updates and product activation.

  • After you have installed Windows XP Professional, you need to know how to activate the product with the Microsoft Clearing House. This objective also ensures that you know how to perform various types of updates to Windows XP, including Service Pack 2.


  • Introduction  112

  • Upgrading from a Previous Version of Windows to Windows XP Professional  112

    • Preparing a Computer to Meet Upgrade Requirements  112

      • Testing System Compatibility  113

      • Additional Preparatory Tasks  114

      • Upgrading the Computer to Windows XP Professional  115

      • Uninstalling Windows XP Professional  117

    • Migrating Existing User Environments to a New Installation  120

      • User State Migration Tool  120

      • Files and Settings Transfer Wizard  123

  • Deploying Service Pack 2 (SP2)  125

    • Preparation for Installing SP2  125

    • Slipstreaming SP2 Pre-Installation  126

    • Using Group Policy to Deploy SP2 Post-Installation  128

    • Applying Service Packs and Updates Manually  130

    • Using Software Update Services (SUS)  131

  • Performing Post-Installation Updates and Product Activation  132

    • Installing Updates and Hotfixes  133

      • Managing Automatic Updates  133
  • Chapter Summary  136

  • Apply Your Knowledge  136

Study Strategies

When studying the contents of this chapter, pay attention to the various methods of upgrading older Windows computers to Windows XP, and of upgrading Windows XP to include software updates, such as Service Pack 2, patches, and hotfixes. You should practice the various procedures several times, including updates from various older Windows operating systems and different means of installing Service Pack 2. Be sure you know when you can upgrade directly to Windows XP and when you can install the various post-installation upgrades.


As Microsoft introduces new versions of its Windows operating system, many users around the world want to take advantage of the features included in the new version without purchasing new computers. Consequently, Microsoft has made available upgrade paths that enable users to upgrade older versions of Windows. By upgrading earlier versions of Windows to Windows XP Professional, you can retain registry settings and account information contained in the older operating system.

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