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General Considerations

So much for the hype about Windows XP, all its new features, and some of the details of its design and architecture you learned about in Chapter 1, “Introducing Windows XP Professional.” So, the question at this point is, “Are you really going to install it?” If you are, you should go ahead and read this chapter and the next one. In this chapter, I’ll coach you on preparing for the installation and checking your hardware and software requirements; then I’ll discuss some compatibility issues that might affect your product-purchasing decisions. The next chapter covers more specific installation issues, such as choosing disk formats, upgrading versus installing fresh, and dual-booting. I’ll also walk you through the setup procedure.

Of course, if Windows XP Professional is already installed on your PC, you can probably skip Chapter 3, “Installing Windows XP Professional.” You should at least, however, take a brief look at this one because it includes some discussion that might affect software and hardware installation decisions you might make when using Windows XP Professional in the future. Understanding what you can do with, and shouldn’t expect from, an operating system is always good background material when you use as complex a tool as a computer on a regular basis. Pay particular attention to the section about RAM and hard disk upgrades, how to access the online Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), and how to find the Windows XP-approved applications list at Microsoft.com.


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