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Hardware Prerequisites

When preparing for an upgrade or installation you should first make sure that your computer meets the minimal hardware requirements for the operating system. Advances in hardware components have been made at a phenomenal rate during the past few years, along with a reduction in prices. A typical computer running Windows 95 or Windows 98 can get by with 16MB of RAM. However, Windows XP requires much more than that, but fortunately, prices for memory are probably not as high as when you first purchased your computer.

As this table shows, the most important items are the central processing unit (CPU) speed and the amount of random access memory (RAM) installed in your computer. The amount of free disk space depends on a number of factors. For example, if you choose to copy the setup files to your hard drive, either during an installation from the CD or by obtaining the setup files from a network connection, you will need additional space to store these files. A 2GB disk drive is the minimum size required for a Windows XP computer, but this doesn't leave much space for installing applications or data after operating system is installed.


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