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A Pratical Guide for Upgrading to Windows XP Posted October 28, 2001 EST 11:47PM by Agitator!!

To some, Windows XP was finally the answer consumers were craving - the stability of Windows 2000 with the ease and compatability of Windows ME. Finally there was a unified codebase. But to others, it was just another attempt at "extortion" by Microsoft. I've been running XP since Beta 2 and fall into the first group. I really like Windows XP. There have been many articles discussing the relative merits of Windows XP. I din't want to travel that road. Instead, I put together a short article focusing on the experience of upgrading from Windows ME to XP by looking at the preparation, installation and aftermath. The article will also include a few simple precautions. Click here for all the details.

Name: MMS X
Date: July 22, 2003 EDT 8:16PM
Comment: I want to install visal basic 6. free ware


Name: ricky chap
Date: June 23, 2003 EDT 8:08AM
Comment: i have a problem with xp pro,and have a need to return to xp home ed can i use boot disk for xp home to format h/d .(xp home is a pre-install)does this make a difference...thankx

Name: Barb
Date: March 2, 2003 EST 3:34PM
Comment: My compliments for a well-written article on the subject. Just a couple of things I would like to add:
Your comments about the dangers of regedit are well done, but you missed another failsafe action to protect the user from bad regedit consequences-- using the backup feature in regedit to create a backup of the registry BEFORE you do a regedit. Restoring the registry via backup is much less intrusive than gambling that the system restore utility will cure all the ills caused by a bad regedit. This information applies previous versions of windows as well. Another thing users should do with any pc is create an emergency bootup disk, BEFORE they wish they had one. This one step can be the difference between recovering from a serious problem on your own or instead, enriching the pockets of your local friendly computer tech when you can't get your out of warranty pc to boot up and don't want to deal with phone support.

Name: Katy Allen
Date: February 19, 2003 EST 9:26AM
Comment: Does anyone know where to download the driver for a Packard Bell DSC-3 digital camera for Windows XP? Let me know, Thanx

Name: Lot Saucedo
Date: December 15, 2002 EST 11:41PM
Comment: My computer runs on Windows ME. I'm considering to move to XP Home edition mainly because of the crashes and unstablity of ME, but I'm just not sure if it is better to sell my current equipment and buy a new one with software XP preinstalled. Any suggestion ? Thanks !

Name: jeff
Date: November 7, 2002 EST 4:14PM
Comment: I found your whole article about UPGRADING ridiculas... Most of your problems were created by your approach... Nothing that you encountered that was negative is asurprise given your own description of what you did... Sadly others even less compitent then you are reading your web page... It just goes to show a little knowledge is dangerous a little more is potentially devistating... you fall into the latter...

Name: Agi
Date: September 1, 2002 EDT 2:10PM
Comment: To answer Ed way back from November, the Knowledge base article you give doesn't mention anything about copying the systray.exe file. Am I missing something?

Name: Scouse Jimbo
Date: August 21, 2002 EDT 6:47AM
Comment: My digital camera Packard Bell,DSC-3 driver was OK for WIN ME but not WIN XP.Unable to find update driver at Packard Bell or other sites.

Can anyone help ?

Name: Agi
Date: June 16, 2002 EDT 1:40PM
Comment: Thanks for the info firemachine69 :-)

For those having problems with refresh rates in WinXP, check out our article at

Name: firemachine69
Date: June 5, 2002 EDT 11:18PM
Comment: Well, let me warn everyone that, although Norton's 2002 Systemworks is great, it doesn't seem to get along with Win XP AT ALL after a Windows system restore. I learned the hard way, finally reformatted me entire hard drive (it was actually faster to reformat my hard drive then to install the OS!) First thing to install: Roxio's GoBack 3.0.

I can't tell you how many times it has saved me. Just one little bug: If you restore it to a point where there WAS a virus on your HD, then you're in for little surprise (although the Norton's Anti-virus files remain unchanged, so it should detect the virus or worm rather quickly).

Then the scanner. Oh boy, make sure you get one from Hewlett-Packard (mine's a ScanJet SC 2200). I am aware of some incompatibility issues with some of their models, especially the older ones, but all that I needed was windows auto-detect-and-install drivers!
[If you have some system that isn't XP based, take heart! Hewlett-Packard uses the method I like the most: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid :) )
On my old ME setup, I originally tried to install an Epson. Of course it didn't work. Back to the store, buy HP Scanjet, go home, plug everything in, drop CD in drive, and away you go!]

Windows XP installed the drivers for the scanner, but the utilities, from HP, were being dumb and wouldn't work!
So off to the website, where I found the gizmos, after a BIT (notice the emphasis) of searching, and, you guessed it, it worked least for the first utility...
The first utility is a very basic scanning interface. Quick and simple, that's the way I like to scan my photos.
The second one is a cheapo "photo-editing" software, which didn't detect my scanner's output. It didn't bother me, however, because I use image editor and/or photoshop :)

Windows XP still has some major issues. First and foremost, Microsoft should have never told the manufacturers about the universal drivers. I believe that, at the hearing of this news, some makers "slacked-off" on their drivers, assuming Win XP would fix everything for them.

BTW, get ZoneAlarm, way better in WinXP. Only problem I found so far is that all your ports that Internet Explorer 6.0 opens are all individually listed (e.g. your "ping", Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer...) , whereas IE 5.0 listed them all in one group.

BTW, that auto-activation is a bunch of B.S. It didn't work for me, Windows wouldn't accept my serial number, even though it came from the original OEM sticker.

Name: Alan Coates
Date: May 22, 2002 EDT 6:54AM
Comment: Installed XP Upgrade on a 'clean' hard drive. All went exceedingly well including automatic registration through my CM. The main problems I have are no optimal refresh rate option for my Geforce 3 which is a pain running games in a different resolution to my desktop (50hz flickering!). Also, even though I have downloaded the XP driver for my SBlive! soundcard this constantly causes static sounding noises while playing older games e.g. Grand Prix Legends (the default XP driver for this card was horrendous! I am though, generally pleased with XP.

Name: Dean
Date: April 16, 2002 EDT 5:21AM
Comment: You mentioned you had to remove Norton Antivirus 2001 from your system ( no fun ). I too installed 2001 on an XP system, and can't delete it. I have removed all mention of the Symantec folders and shortcuts and the NavNt folder. I have 2002 but it won't install until 2001 is removed, and it still says 2001 is on the system. Can you tell me which stuff to manually remove? Much appreciation for the effort if you can.

Name: A. Marte
Date: April 4, 2002 EST 11:48AM
Comment: Wrote months ago about unsuccessful XP installation. Turns out that the problem was flaky "brand X" RAM! Switched to some cool Mushkin - no more problems! Considering the agony gone through before figuring it out, I'll tell everyone I know that quality (Corsair/Mushkin etc.) RAM matters!

Name: Shane
Date: April 3, 2002 EST 11:45PM
Comment: Preparing to upgrade from Me to Xp Pro. Anybody know if I will i have problems with Visual Studio = Visal Basic, Visual C++ ??

Name: Philip
Date: April 3, 2002 EST 4:00AM
Comment: I have sorted the Outlook .pst file issue.
Solution: rename one of the .pst files. Start the Outlook whose .pst file you've renamed. It will ask where the file is. Enter the address of your other .pst file. Only thing to watch out for is if you have changed the old .pst file but Outlook can help there.

Name: Philip
Date: April 1, 2002 EST 10:26PM
Comment: I have Win 98 and XP on duel boot. XP has created a new MS Outlook .pst file. Outlook 'XP' has a slightly different interface to Outlook 'Win 98'. The result is that changes in Outlook when using 98 are not reflected in Outlook under XP. Can I harmonize the two Outlooks by pointing them to the same .pst file?



Name: Josep
Date: March 30, 2002 EST 12:25PM
Comment: Hi, I have read all the web. I want to tell u that i have a very bad problem. I used win Me, and all worked well. Then, i decided to upgrade to win XP.And all works well except the nvidia. I have the nvidia GeForce 2 Mx 400 64 Mb , and it is crashing every moment. I have used all the detonator drivers, and whql, but i don't get it to work. The only drivers which work are which come with windows XP , but, they are very bad. I can't play anygame since they don't support open gl mode. Can anyone please help me telling me others drivers or telling me how to fiX that bugs ?? please i ask it for my life, write to my e-mail with any solution

Name: Gary
Date: February 22, 2002 EST 1:57PM
Comment: I will start first with a discription of my home network:
333MHZ PII 128 Megs Ram Win2000 server set as NAT
P41.6 512Megs Ram 4 cdroms (includes 1 DVD and 1 scsi-CDR) 73 gigs diskspace. XP Pro
P4 1.6 512 Megs Ram DvD & CDR 33.4 gigs diskspace XP Pro
800 Mhz Celeron 512 Megs Ram 40 gigs XP Home
733 PIII 655 megs 40 gigs ME used for games
Cat5 with 1 Intel and 1 Linksys hub 100mb with nics
Since this is my SOHO (small office/home office) set up I was very careful about how it was upgraded to XP. The first thing is to follow the cardinal rules
that after 20 years fooling with computers is etched into my brain:
1. Back up EVERYTHING!
2. Make sure you have all the drivers for your hardware.
3. In the computer world nothing lasts forever (it not like classic cars) if its old be ready to replace it!
4. Since the computer industry rewrites itself every 18 months BE Prepared TO Change!!!!
5. If setting up networks were easy I would not have a job so get over it.
6. Do your homework ie; Newsgroups, techbulletins, user groups ETC.
7. Did I mention BACKUP EVERYTHING!!!!
Now that I have said that I have to say that I found that with XP there are some hard and fast rules. The programs that you have may not work and that is that. Always run the system scan and print or copy down everything it says and if it says something probably doesn't work it probably won't. I did not adhere to this on the first one and payed the price in wasted time. The other thing is that if ROXIO doesnt get its act together it won't be around long as there program at present sucks!!!!I tried to install it ocording to ROXIO and with a new install folowed every step as if my life depended on it and the program brought a very fast P4 system to its knees. Finally I reran the XP migration file over the top of what they said to do and it started working but for how long? ICQ is another program that has been problematic over the years and has had problems in about every version of Windows I have incountered.
I did not use the network wizard and am not running ICS as they are in my opinion not ready for prime time. I used the NAT server with two nics and used the 192.168.x.x setup and the network has functioned with out a hitch for almost a year and XP seems to behave with 98, 98se ME and 2000 without any glitches. With Zone Alarm Pro on the server and CA's intrusion detection it seems to have warded off attempts to gain access. I caution those that are prepared to so easily through rocks at Microsoft, XP has proven to our office to be a very fast and powerful operating system and in this instance HARDWARE REALY COUNTS! I use 7200 rpm hard drives ata100 of corse and lots of ram and the fastest processors the budget allows and only Intel (was here at the start and know better than to use anything else). Anyway the point is, you can ask a friend what to do but if you want to be realy sure do your homework and everything should go fine.

Name: David Cervantes
Date: January 8, 2002 EST 12:47AM
Comment: I am running XP and Windows 98 on a duel boot setup. I have Windows 98 on one drive and XP on the other. I use XP for my desktop publishing work, and I use 98 for games and CD burning. I won't even try to make xp do some of the things that were mentioned in the previous post anymore (lessons learned the hard way). I tried setting it up as an upgrade, but I think that a duel boot setup is much better. I have Windows 98 on drive C:(I was glad that xp didn't mess up during the install) and I have xp on drive D: as a clean install. So far everything that I loaded on it is working fine: Epson Perfection 1650 scanner, Logtech Qickcam 3000, SoundBlaster Live gamer version, ATI video card so far no problems. I also have Microsoft Office and Adobe elements and Front page 2002. I've been reading the message boards, so I know what to stay away from. If you have a question about the xp duel boot send me an e-mail. david

Name: David Cervantes
Date: January 8, 2002 EST 12:46AM
Comment: I am running XP and Windows 98 on a duel boot setup. I have Windows 98 on one drive and XP on the other. I use XP for my desktop publishing work, and I use 98 for games and CD burning. I won't even try to make xp do some of the things that were mentioned in the previous post anymore (lessons learned the hard way). I tried setting it up as an upgrade, but I think that a duel boot setup is much better. I have Windows 98 on drive C:(I was glad that xp didn't mess up during the install) and I have xp on drive D: as a clean install. So far everything that I loaded on it is working fine: Epson Perfection 1650 scanner, Logtech Qickcam 3000, SoundBlaster Live gamer version, ATI video card so far no problems. I also have Microsoft Office and Adobe elements and Front page 2002. I've been reading the message boards, so I know what to stay away from. If you have a question about the xp duel boot send me an e-mail. david

Name: Ed Bindler
Date: November 28, 2001 EST 11:31PM
Comment: A partial solution to the Missing Tray Icons in XP:
Copy the systray.exe file from the I386 folder to the startup folder for all users. This solved my problem with the missing sound, power, and swap drive (I have a laptop). Found this on Microsoft's Knowlege Base: Windows System Tray Icons (Q310578)

Name: Agi
Date: November 8, 2001 EST 4:57PM
Comment: Just a few remarks for a few of the comments below. I upgraded instead of fresh install because I'm too lazy and too short of time to reinstall all my apps (and there are a lot). XP was stable before I threw DirectCD at it. XP has been stable since I uninstalled DirectCD and reinstalled the OS.

I agree that most of the problems are with the hardware manufacturers, not for the hardware per se, but rather the drivers.

My own benchmarks as well as those on the net seem to agree that XP is only a light bit slower than 98, but hardly noticable.

Yes, Chris, all the coasters that EZCD Creator creates makes AOL look puny.

As for the networking issue, mine ran slowly until I ran the small network setup program. Did you also run it on each machine on the network?

Finally, I'm always open to the exchange of ideas...even if they rip me ;-) Keep 'em coming.

Name: Nex
Date: November 7, 2001 EST 4:19PM
Comment: In reply to one or 2 posts, I must state I've changed to Nero, and it's great. One flaw was it didn't recognide my burner, but a minor modification to the .cfg list soon sorted that out.
XP IS stable, but has crashed on me a number of times: Once it failed to boot, 3 times it hasn't got past the 'saving your settings' screen on shutdown, and it totally locked up in a game demo.
As well as crashing on 2 occasions before loading Max Payne demo...
Maybe it's not so stable.
As for the excuse about poor hardware, I'm running an excellent motherboard, branded memory, branded video card etc etc. Nothing is 'johnny no-name' brand.
But yes, ECDC does appear to be a good tool for collecting coasters.
Incidentally, it was a fresh install. Sort of...
One final point - in terms of gaming, 9x IS faster. Sort of...

Name: codemonkey
Date: November 7, 2001 EST 1:43PM
Comment: Just a few things after reading the article on XP, and many of the comments posted by others:

First, half of the problems mentioned here are caused by upgrading from older OS's to Windows XP. Sure, it's supposed to work, and sure, Microsoft says it will work, but as far as I'm concerned, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO? With a brand new OS like this, I don't see any reason not to format and reinstall. With hard drives as cheap as they are, there isn't really any reason not to have a second one to backup data on, or even take this opportunity to upgrade to a larger drive.

Second, the other half of the problems here are caused not by Microsoft, but by hardware and software problems from other companies. I personally haven't had any compatibility problems, nor have any of my immeadiate friends, however we all have quality hardware from manufacturers known for producing drivers that work in a timely fashion.

In regards to some of the specific problems mentioned here, use Nero for CD-Burning. It's much better than Easy CD Creator anyway, and doesn't have any of it's problems. I've heard people jokingly say that there should be a warning on Easy CD's box warning that coaster collecting can be an addictive hobby and that this product may contribute to such an addiction.

As far as people that would PREFER win98se (a 3 year old OS) to Windows 2000/XP... I really feel for you. I would NEVER trade the stability of WinXP for the constant lock-ups, and bluescreens of win9x/me.

Name: Don
Date: November 7, 2001 EST 12:08PM
Comment: Duel boot XP Home and win98se ?

Since XP won’t hardly work with anything right, and ms tech support only gives you minimally simplistic answers I would like to go back to win98se copy it to my d: drive partition then clean install xp on my c: drive ( for the future ?). And then use then in a dual boot setup so I can use my computer, while we all try to fix XP. Has anyone tried this or have more info on it.

It seems to me like everyone should install xp like this?

XP problems : Windows XP media player stops playing a song after about 20 seconds and seems to quit or lock up and or starts playing again on music files on the hard drive or on the cd player . Real jukebox works fine, and win amp plays the song. Any idea's the old media player worked fine

Suddenly Slow XP Network with win98 computers

My small home network 4 three other computers based on win98se and ne2000 hardware work fine before. I used the wizard to set it up and it seems to setup right except it is now extremely and unacceptably slow moving files or running programs across the network. ICS seems to work fine except It is hard to tell which computer is dialing and I will probable have to disable it unless I can control that better

Last night I tried to use my windows messenger to have a voice or and video call with my sister and it said something about this would be supported it the future. This worked fine pre XP.

My Hitachi DVD cd player no longer will play DVDs

My hp 9350i cd recorder is only recognized as a cd player and won’t work

Name: Chris
Date: November 7, 2001 EST 11:23AM
Comment: I had just done a windows update for XP just before I read your article and there were fixes for some of the problems you mentioned. UPS, CDBurner problems, many application fixes to name a few. I was just wondering if you done a windows update to get the fixes or not.

Name: Nex
Date: November 6, 2001 EST 3:02PM
Comment: I can't deny there are a number of 'teething' issues with XP. The burning issue stumped me until I abandoned Easy CD Creator for NTi CD MAker and Nero
The resident burning actually fails for me - it burns, but the disc cannot be read by anything - a blank effort appears.
In saying that, XP is quick for gaming except some notable exceptions (*cough* UT *cough*), and IE6 is wonderful to me. Explorer also is VERY stable, and any issues seem to be rather well explained by any error messages, which instruct how to resolve the problem, and what caused it in the first place.
As for the SB Live! issue, well, the sound is fine for me, but the problem of icons not appearing in the systray (It was systray wasn't it?) is spot on as volume control just WON'T stay there when I reboot. I suspect it's windows update assigned SB drivers, as I recall no issue with the original rudimentary ones.
Overall, a major step forward, but certainly issues remain.
(FAKK2's windows on the buildings are missing!)

Name: beatsieboy
Date: October 30, 2001 EST 3:06PM
Comment: To convert your drive to NTFS, open a commmand prompt, type Convert C: /FS:NTFS (C:---use the drive letter XP is installed on) When the PC now are using NTFS, But remember you can not go back to fat32 without reformatting!!! HAve Fun

Name: Agi
Date: October 30, 2001 EST 12:20AM
Comment: Thanks, Mike! I thought I had the latest version of Black Ice which I got a couple of weeks ago. However, version 2.9cai now works under XP. Thanks again.

Yes, Merikiito, I know I'm using FAT32. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of a FAT32 to NTFS converter. Readers?

Name: Merikiito
Date: October 29, 2001 EST 5:27PM
Comment: Did u know that u still have fat32 file system instead of NTFS which is much better.Do u know of a way of upgrading without having to re format?
Good article by the way.

Name: Mike Gray
Date: October 29, 2001 EST 12:05PM
Comment: I support what you say but personally, previous upgrades have been fairly painless for me although I've only moved from 95-98 then 98SE! but this one! traumatic. As for Creative, bunch of amateurs on this occasion. I, admittedly, had not done all the appropriate prep. so maybe I asked for it.

Name: Mike Hollinger
Date: October 29, 2001 EST 11:15AM
Comment: Re: BlackICE

Blackice does work under XP. You need to download their latest version, however.

Name: Adam Downer
Date: October 29, 2001 EST 7:57AM
Comment: Great article with some very sound advice. How many times have we all been sat there staring at the screen as it asks for drivers, the one's we forgot to get.
I had a similar driver problem with ME involving my HP scanjet 3300C. Much like Creative you can't find a driver without looking in two or three readme's. I am yet to get my scanjet to work on ME. Maybe XP would sort this out for me. I still have reservations about upgrading to XP, generally because of the product activation stuff. One of my friends has been running XP for a while and he say's it is the most stable windows platform yet. My constant tweaking and tinkering side would benefit but I just don't want all the other hassle.

Name: Agi
Date: October 28, 2001 EST 11:50PM
Comment: I hope this article is helpful. Feel free to let me know if I borked something ;-)

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