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How to Format a Laptop and Install Windows XP

Updated April 17, 2017

You can install Windows XP onto your laptop using the Windows XP installation disc and the Windows XP product key. To install Windows XP, you need to format your hard drive. However, formatting the hard drive is a step that is included in the Windows XP installation procedure. To install Windows XP, you need to boot the laptop from the Windows XP disc to run the installation utility.

Insert the Windows XP disc into the laptop's disc drive. Restart the computer.

Press any key to boot from the disc.

Press "Enter" to start the Windows installation. Press "F8" to agree with the license agreement.

Highlight the hard drive (C:). Press "D", and "L" to erase the hard drive. Highlight C:\ again. Press "Enter."

Select the New Technology File System (NTFS) formatting system, but not the fast version. After Windows copies some files to the hard drive, it will prompt you to press "Enter" or wait 15 seconds to reboot the system

Click "Next" on the first screen that pops up. Enter your name and company. Press "Next." You can enter anything into the name and company boxes.

Enter the Windows XP product key for your disc. Press "Next."

Keep the admin name or, if desired, change the name to whatever you want. Enter and confirm an admin password, if desired. Press "Next."

Enter the correct date, time, and time zone information. Press "Next."

Press "Next" on the next two boxes that pop up. Wait until the computer restarts one more time to finish the installation.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP disc
  • Windows XP product key
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About the Author

Dean Lee began writing in 2008, with articles appearing on various websites. Lee is currently a network technician with both Cisco Certified Network Associate and Security+ certifications. Lee graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and later completed a Master of Arts in communication at Regent University.