3.2 Installing Microsoft Windows

One can use the Windows fdisk and format tools for partitioning a new unformatted hard disk. I have assumed that the reader has a new unformatted hard disk which he/she wishes to partition and then format for installing a copy of Microsoft WindowsXP. If you wish to upgrade from previous versions of Windows, only 98, 98SE and ME users can upgrade directly to WinXP Home whereas users of 98, 98SE, ME, NT and 2000 Professional can upgrade themselves to WinXP Professional. 

Please note that I have assumed that you own a computer system which runs without glitches and that you have access to a bootable Microsoft WinXP CD/DVD installation media. If you do run into problems booting from the CD/DVD-ROM or using Start-up disks, please consult your hardware manufacturer to obtain the CD/DVD-ROM device driver(s).


Step1: I fire up my PC and when it is booting up, I press the <DEL> key on the keyboard to access my PC's American Megatrends, Inc. CMOS Setup Utility. I then change: 1st Boot Device : MOSER BAER DH-20A6S so as to access and boot from WinXP bootable installation media directly. If you are not sure about the specific key sequence on your keyboard, you can find your BIOS manufacturer and the desired key sequence here: http://michaelstevenstech.com/bios_manufacturer.htm 

Step2: After the change, press F10 to save and exit. 

Step3: The system restarts, and before it does, make sure you insert the bootable WinXP CD/DVD in your CD/DVD-ROM drive. After a few seconds, the screen will clear and you will see a 'press any key to boot from CD' prompt. Press <ENTER> to start the install.

Step4: The installer program will begin copying files from the installation media.

Step5: Press F8 to accept WinXP Licensing Agreement.

Step6: The partition editor is then displayed on your screen. If any prior partition(s) exists, delete prior partition(s) using D = Delete Partition. 

Step7: After all partition(s) have been deleted, it shows unpartitioned space on your screen. Press C to create a new partition. Enter partition size in MB: 30000 (in my case) which means, 30GB space reserved for WinXP. Keep in mind that 1000MB = 1 GB.

Step8: This takes you back to the partition editor which now displays: C: Partition1 [New (Raw)] and corresponding size in MB. Select this partition and press <ENTER>.

Step9: You will be prompted to format the partition with one of four filesystems: NTFS quick, FAT quick, NTFS, or FAT. Since FAT filesystems work the best owing to compatibility reasons, especially whilst handling data access/read/write/transfer functionality when multi-booting systems with Linux/FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD/OpenSolaris, I select the fourth option: Format the partition using the FAT file system. Press <ENTER> to continue.

Step10: The system now formats the partition. After formatting, the system copies the necessary files to install a graphical user interface (GUI) with mouse support which handles the rest of the OS installation. The system reboots and one proceeds with the GUI mode of the installation after this. 

The steps following this are self-explanatory and am sure the reader does not need much assistance and guidance and can manage themselves without any effort. 

After creating this Primary Partition (30GB), we do not (I repeat: do not) need to create any more partitions using Microsoft fdisk utility. E.g. I have a 150GB ATA HDD. I create a primary partition of 30GB during WinXP installation. The obvious question from the reader is: What about the rest? What happens to it? Well the answer is simple. I leave it untouched because I would be dividing this available space into 2 halves for installing OpenSolaris 2008.11 and CentOS 5.2. So, no need to worry absolutely and just take the ride with me. By the time you are done reading this guide, not a single MB on your HDD would be wasted.

Thus, before we finally move on to the next section where we install and configure OpenSolaris 2008.11, I wish to round-off this chapter with a "Partition check". I have the following partition table on my computer after this step (as observed from Microsoft fdisk):

Display Partition Information















That is all for this section; take a break, have some coffee and proceed to the next chapter, Installing OpenSolaris.

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