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Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: Upgrading to Windows XP Professional / Installing Windows XP Professional via Remote Installation Services

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted May 9, 2002


by Jason Zandri
www.2000trainers.com

Welcome to this week's installment of Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 minutes a week, the fourth in this series. This article covers how to setup a RIS server in order to deploy Windows XP Professional via RIS as well upgrading from older operating systems to Windows XP Professional.

Jason Zandri's latest article in the Learning Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week series covers how to setup a Remote Installation Services (RIS) server in order to deploy Windows XP Professional via RIS as well upgrading from older operating systems to Windows XP Professional.

Upgrading to Windows XP Professional

Before we get started with a direct upgrade to Windows XP Professional we need to know which operating systems support a direct upgrade.

Windows XP Supported Upgrade Paths

The following direct upgrade paths are supported by Microsoft and are considered viable for both the Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home operating systems.

Microsoft Windows 98

Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition

Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition

Windows XP Home Edition Retail (Full) Version
Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade Version
Windows XP Professional Retail (Full) Version
Windows XP Professional Upgrade Version

Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Workstation

Windows XP Professional Retail (Full) Version
Windows XP Professional Upgrade Version

Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional

Windows XP Professional Retail (Full) Version
Windows XP Professional Upgrade Version

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

Windows XP Professional Retail (Full) Version
Windows XP Professional Upgrade Version

All Versions of Windows NT 4.0 require Service Pack 5 to be installed prior to upgrading to Windows XP.

Currently, there are no supported direct upgrade paths for the following Microsoft operating systems:

Microsoft Windows 3. x

Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 Workstation

Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 Server

Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 Server with Citrix

Microsoft Windows 95

Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server

Having this information available or knowing where to look it up is important before you get started.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - I often get the question, "how do you know all of this stuff", when I am working with desktop or system admins. The truth is, I often do not know the information off the top of my head. Sometimes I do, and it is often due to the fact that many people throughout the course of the year come to ask me different questions, and because many of them are repetitive, I often have immediate recall of them. Many times, (more often than not) I don't remember the answer, but I have a vague idea of where I looked it up when I was asked it before and I head right back to the source to get the information again. Half of the "battle" is knowing where to look up the information when you need it. If you can do that, you're ahead of the game and ahead of most other people you might work with.

Once you are certain that the operating system you're currently using can be directly upgraded to Windows XP Professional, you then need to be sure that the installed system hardware meets the minimum Windows XP Professional hardware requirements by verifying all of the hardware is on the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) at the Microsoft website.

Windows XP Professional supports only the devices listed in the HCL. If your hardware isn't listed, contact the hardware manufacturer and request a Windows XP Professional driver.

Support means that while the operating system may load and run on unsupported hardware and software, any issues that come up with the system will not be covered (i.e. supported) by Microsoft Technical Support if you should need to engage them.

You can test the computer for compatibility by using the Windows XP Professional Compatibility tool. During a system upgrade you will see the option for this on the introductory screen. (You can also run the tool from the command line by typing <CDROM DRIVE>:\i386\winnt32 /checkupgradeonly. You can perform just the check and then exit the tool without installing the operating system, if you wish.)

If you have AUTORUN enabled on your system the Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP setup screen will appear, as shown below:



The Windows XP Professional Compatibility tool can be run by selecting Check system compatibility and then "Check my system automatically".





If any issues are found they will be reported in the Microsoft Windows Upgrade Advisor Compatibility window.

During an OS upgrade on a system with pre-installed software, you can use upgrade packs to make the existing software compatible with Windows XP Professional. Upgrade packs are usually available from the appropriate software manufacturers. You can also get updated setup files from Microsoft during the upgrade installation if you are connected to the internet.



As time passes from the point of original software distribution, (many vendors often call the first official release of a software platform as a GOLD distribution) many files may be updated before a second edition of the software (such as Windows 98 Second Edition) or a service release (Office XP Professional SR1, for example) is distributed. Dynamic update allows you to do this as you start your installation. You can also elect to not perform it during the installation if you wish to run it a later time.

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