Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade - Initial Install

By David W. Dawley

I installed Windows XP (WinXP) on my home computer on the evening of 26 Oct 01. Initial impressions are very favorable. The install was done on a 900MHz AMD Athlon PC with 512MB of RAM running Windows Millennium Edition (aka WinME). The primary drive in this system is a 40GB EIDE drive. The drive is partitioned into four 10GB slices: slice 1 is a FAT32 partition and contained WinME; slice 2 is a NTFS partition and contains Windows 2000 Professional (aka Win2K); slice 3 is a NTFS partition and is used as storage area; slice 4 is a NTFS partition and contains Windows XP Professional Release Candidate 2.

The install was almost completely painless and uneventful. From the start of the last setup to the first boot into WinXP took 43 minutes. Adding in the 5 minutes it took to activate and register WinXP">

Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade - Initial Install

By David W. Dawley

I installed Windows XP (WinXP) on my home computer on the evening of 26 Oct 01. Initial impressions are very favorable. The install was done on a 900MHz AMD Athlon PC with 512MB of RAM running Windows Millennium Edition (aka WinME). The primary drive in this system is a 40GB EIDE drive. The drive is partitioned into four 10GB slices: slice 1 is a FAT32 partition and contained WinME; slice 2 is a NTFS partition and contains Windows 2000 Professional (aka Win2K); slice 3 is a NTFS partition and is used as storage area; slice 4 is a NTFS partition and contains Windows XP Professional Release Candidate 2.

The install was almost completely painless and uneventful. From the start of the last setup to the first boot into WinXP took 43 minutes. Adding in the 5 minutes it took to activate and register WinXP, it only took 48 minutes to do this upgrade*.

*- All times are approximate but are pretty close to actual times. As with EPA MPG ratings, your mileage may vary. Price does not include tax, title and dealer prep. Batteries not included. Terms subject to change without notice. Offer not valid in all 50 states.

Installing or upgrading your PC's operating system is not for the faint hearted or the uninitiated. WinXP is the first consumer oriented OS based on the Windows 2000 platform. There are always hardware & software incompatibilities when upgrading your PC's operating system. WinXP is the first consumer oriented OS from Microsoft that is true 32-bit without DOS underpinnings and requires significant changes to software and its hardware abstraction layer often requires significant changes to system drivers for the hardware.

Time line:

I purchased the Windows XP Home Edition upgrade from Best Buy on N. Dale Mabry for $99. The package included instant and mail-in rebate combinations for the following items: 256MB RAM, a DLink cable router, Rio MP3 player and a music CD of my choice at no additional cost.

1700 - began initial install
1715 - XP asked if it could retrieve post-release updates from the internet during the install. For some reason, XP could not see my cable modem internet connection
1720 - XP complained about the CheckPoint Secure Remote VPN software; shut it down; uninstalled it; tried to get XP to continue; it would not
1722 - restarted XP install; no information (user info and product key) was kept; had to retype it all in; estimated time of completion was 1833
1727 - first reboot (minimal hardware initialization?)
1729 - second reboot (full hardware initialization?)
1740 - third reboot - XP installing
1805 - final reboot; first boot into XP; entered data into activation and restoration screens
1810 - XP completely up; ran Windows update; 9 updates (1 device driver update) found and installed; XP complained about not having DVD decoder (driver retrieving portion of XP could not see my cable modem internet connection); most net related programs (IE, Outlook, Outlook Express, MSN Messenger, AOL IM) see the net just fine
1828 - rebooted; XP stopped at an intermediate hardware configuration screen; my guess is that this has to do with the XP Pro RC2 installation in another partition on the system
1935 - Media Player does not see the net; it is not able retrieve album and track information; tried using Remote Assistance option to contact MS to see if I track down the problem
2024 - decided to check on MS support time and accuracy by placing a call; there was no 800 number called a 405 number; estimated time to a human was 4 minutes (actual time was 5 minutes)
2029 - Cindy took the initial call; she was very nice; appeared to take down reasonably detailed description; she personally had 76 calls pending
2035 - case ID SRX011025606596 opened; estimated time to talk to a technician was 8 minutes (actual time was 16 minutes); Cindy told me XP only comes with free support for 2 calls!
2047 - sent an invite to myself for support using Remote Assistance; you have the option to see a password and an expiration date on the invitation; when I got the invitation, I tried to connect to my own machine; I was prompted for the password and it only connected when I provided the correct password; I saw a glimpse of the screen before I was disconnected. I suspect the issue was that I was trying to connect to my PC from my PC. I saw a shot of my desktop that occupied about a quarter of the screen with what appeared to be a couple of panes for chatting. Did not get to see it for more than a second
2051 - Jay took the call; he was friendly and knowledgeable; after a few minutes of searching the database he found something similar but wanted to research it further before having me try anything. Once I got a feel for his expertise level and chattiness, I went into more detail about the multiple partitions and OSs on this system. None of this phased him and he did not try to put me off; Jay said he would call me back in a bit when he something definite
2115 - Jay called back and had me check the Tools...Options...Network...Configure option and make sure 'Use browser proxy settings' was checked it was. We then checked IE's Tools...Internet Options...Connections...LAN Settings and checked the 'Automatically detect settings' option in the 'Automatic Configuration' section of the screen.
2121 - rebooted; Windows Media Player and Remote Assistance options both work now!
2127 - opened a ticket via online support to find out if online support tickets counted against the 2 call limit
2137 - get another DVD decoder error message; this time, it could connect to the net; downloaded drivers
2140 - DVD works! No obvious issues the XP upgrade. Called it a night!

More to follow when I have more time.

This page last updated:  Mon Nov 29 15:58:20 EST 1999 Done!

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