How to install Windows XP

Disclaimer about Windows XP

Windows XP is an operating system that is lacking official support from Microsoft since April 8, 2014. IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED TO USE THIS OPERATING SYSTEM ANYMORE. There are multiple known vulnerabilities that exposes your computer to security threads and viruses. You are not only posing yourself to a risk, but also the others, in case your computer is used to attack others.

Alternative OSs to Windows XP

As explained before, it is not recommended anymore to use Windows XP.

The best alternative would be to upgrade to the newest Microsoft OS if possible. Many old computers would not support these heavier versions of the OS, so if this is your case, you should look for up-to-date non-Windows operating system or get a newer computer.

Among the free light Linux distributions, there are many available, like the ones described in this external links. On my own experience, I installed Lubuntu on a 2004 laptop and it run very slowly; however, when installing Windows XP the same laptop it booted and ran smoothly. It means, it was not that easy to find a good alternative to its original OS. Lubuntu, though light, may not be the lightest of all available. If you are looking for an even lighter OS you may try Puppy Linux (based on Slackware), LXLE or TinyCore.

Alternative Support for Windows XP

There are some project to provide unofficial support to existing Windows XP computers.

If you are interested, check MyTDT-Mysoft.

Installation Step-by-step Procedure

1. Download Windows XP image

There are still unofficial webs that have an original Windows XP image available to download.

Remember that you need to have an original Windows XP serial number. You can find information about how to introduce the serial number on this link {Spanish}.

For example, if you are looking for the 32-bit version in Spanish, it is available to download here.

2. Make a bootable USB drive with Windows XP image

You may use Rufus software on a modern Windows computer to create a bootable USB with Windows XP image.

Just download and install the app, select the file and USB drive, and program will create a bootable Windows XP with

3. Set up computer to boot with USB drive

Press the Select Boot Drive button when booting your computer to be able to select your boot drive. It is usually F12.

This option is sometimes disabled by default and needs to be activated from BIOS menu.

4. Select USB with Windows XP as boot drive

When Select Boot Drive menu opens, select USB with Windows XP as boot drive.

5. Install Windows XP

Follow the instructions on the blue-screen to install the operating system. You may need to boot your computer twice.

6. Install drivers

Many drivers may not be automatically installed. As Windows Update is no longer available, you will need to get and install these drivers automatically.

If you are lucky, the manufacturer may still offer to download the original drivers compatible with Windows XP for your computer. If not, you may try to get them from a third party.

When I installed Windows XP in a Latitude D505 laptop, it did not recognise much of the drivers automatically. This included the Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectors. Fortunately, Dell still offers the corresponding Windows XP drivers on this link, so I could download them to a USB stick and install them on the old laptop.

7. Install a supported browser

Most known web browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Edge) no longer receive support for Windows XP. It is advisable to install one of the remaining browsers that receive support for this OS (though, again, it is not recommended to use Windows XP).

When browsing from a Windows XP browser, you will get an error “Connection is not private” (ERR_CERT_INVALID) by default. If browser is Chromium-based (like Chrome, UC Browser, Baidu Spark Browser, etc.) there is a way to ignore this error. Right click the app shortcut on the Desktop, select “Properties” and then add the following suffix at the end of “Destination” field:

Again (and finally), you are assuming risks when browsing from Windows XP.

8. Install antivirus

There are some antivirus still compatible with Windows XP. avast is one example.

External References

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