Print | Rate this content

HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Upgrading to Windows XP

This document pertains to HP and Compaq desktop PCs.

Important information about software not provided by HP

The warranty on an HP desktop PC does not apply to software not provided by HP, and it does not apply to defects or errors with hardware resulting from the use of software not provided by HP with that PC. Please review the PC documentation to identify the supported operating system before adding new software. Hewlett-Packard assumes no liability for loss of programs, data, or any other critical information when performing an upgrade to the Windows XP operating system. Contact Microsoft or HP support for any issues that arise during or after the upgrade that are not addressed in this document; fees may apply.


Setting up printers, scanners, and other external devices to work in Windows XP

All PCs sold with or upgraded to the Microsoft Windows XP Operating System come with built-in drivers that allow most HP products to work with Windows XP. These drivers are included in the Windows XP Operating System and allow the use of, at minimum, the basic features for the device without the use of additional software. The steps outlined below should be used after upgrading your system to Windows XP.

Setting up device software in Windows XP

CAUTION: The following steps are general steps that work with most devices. Some devices, like all-in-one products, may require the device be connected during the installation of the software. Make sure that you read the installation instruction for the device before installing it in Windows XP.
  1. Disconnect the cable for the device.

  2. Turn off the PC.

  3. Reconnect the cable.

  4. Turn on the device.

  5. Turn on the PC (The driver will automatically install)

    NOTE: Older products may not be compatible with Windows XP.


Important Virus Protection Software Information

After upgrading to Windows XP your PC may not be protected by anti-virus software. Check the antivirus vendor website for compatability and upgrades.


Preparing to install Windows XP

These instructions guide you through the steps for upgrading your HP or Compaq home PC to Windows XP. It is important that you read through all of the instructions and then follow them in the order that they appear to avoid problems during the upgrade procedure. Upgrading the PC to Windows XP does not erase data on the hard disk but may require some software programs to be uninstalled and a Windows XP-compatible version to be reinstalled. The upgrade procedure takes about one hour to complete.

NOTE: Important: Please print these instructions before beginning the upgrade.

Registering an HP PC in Windows Me

HP strongly recommends registering the PC before upgrading, if you have not already done so. Registering the PC can be done only from the original version of Windows that came with the PC. Registration is not necessary to upgrade the PC, but when registering with HP you can receive product and software upgrade offers and faster HP technical support.

Check system configuration requirements

HP recommends that the PC meets the following Windows XP system requirements before attempting to upgrade. If the PC does not meet the minimum system requirements, upgrade the hardware to meet the requirements before attempting an upgrade to Windows XP.

  • Computer with 300 megahertz (MHz) or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233-MHz minimum required; Intel (R) Pentium (R) / Celeron (TM) family, AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended

  • 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)

  • 1.5 gigabyte (GB) of available hard disk space

  • Super VGA (800×600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor

  • CD-ROM or DVD drive

  • Keyboard and Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device

Backing up important data

When performing an upgrade to Windows XP, a copy of the Windows Me operating system and all hard drive data is automatically made. Even though the Windows XP upgrade procedure does not erase all the hard drive and operating system files, it is safest to back up your important software files on the PC.

To back up the Windows Me data, copy all your important data files on the hard drive to removable media such as compact discs. Files copied with Easy CD Creator can be accessed after the upgrade. Use CD-R rather than CD-RW media when backing up important data files. Remove the backup CD or disk before beginning the Windows XP upgrade.

NOTE: Write down passwords, login identifications, and Internet/network communication settings. Some of this information may be needed after upgrading to Windows XP.
NOTE: Do not use Adaptec Direct CD or drag-and-drop CD recording to record important data files. Windows XP may not be able to access the data from CDs created in some versions of Adaptec Direct CD.

Additional Adaptec Direct CD information

Versions of Easy CD Creator previous to version 5 are not compatible with Windows XP and should be replaced with CD creation software that is compatible with Windows XP.

Updating the BIOS

Prior to upgrading, update the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) if a BIOS update is available for your PC. BIOS updates are available on the HP Web site in the software and drivers section of your product suport page. For more information about how to update the BIOS, refer to the HP support document Updating the BIOS .

Incompatible software

The software programs listed below will not work after upgrading to Windows XP. It is best to uninstall them before beginning the installation of Windows XP. Install compatible versions of the software (if available) after upgrading to Windows XP. After upgrading, if you do not remove the invcompatible software, you may not be able to uninstall these programs properly in Windows XP.

Programs to uninstall before upgrading

NOTE: Not all HP models have all of the programs listed.
  • Adaptec Easy CD Creator (Version 5.0 or earlier)

  • Adaptec Direct CD (Version 5.0 or earlier)

    NOTE: CDs created using some versions of Adaptec Direct CD are not compatible with Windows XP. This makes the data recorded with this software inaccessible after upgrading to Windows XP. If this problem arises, purchasing an upgrade from Adaptec will be needed. Find more information about this upgrade Non-HP site . If you do not want to obtain an Adaptec upgrade and if you have CDs in a Direct CD format (for example, Windows Explorer drag-and-drop), you can copy the data from these CDs to the hard disk drive. If you want them back on a CD, you can do so prior to upgrading using Easy CD Creator - Create a Data disc utility.
  • McAfee ActiveShield

  • MusicMatch Jukebox (Version 6.0 or earlier)

  • One-touch Multimedia keyboard

  • QuickLink III (fax software)

To uninstall software programs:

  1. Click Start .

  2. Choose Settings .

  3. Click Control Panel .

  4. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon.

  5. Select the program to be removed.

  6. Click Add/Remove .

Internet Service Provider (ISP) Software

Some ISP software may not work with Windows XP. Installing a Windows XP-compatible version may be needed. Please contact your ISP to see if they have a Windows XP-compatible version. Before upgrading to Windows XP, you should download the Windows XP-compatible version to the hard drive.

Other software issues

  • Studio DV will need to be reinstalled after upgrading to Windows XP. You can reinstall this program from the Studio DV CD that came with the HP .

  • Windows Me Microsoft Backup will not function after upgrading to Windows XP. Any backup media you have created using Windows Me Microsoft Backup will not be able to be read in Windows XP. You may want to restore these data files using Microsoft Backup before upgrading.

  • The zip file of the My Photo Center program needs to be extracted before upgrading to Windows XP. To extract the files, you simply need to open the program. Double-click the My Photo Center icon on the desktop or open the program through the Start menu and follow onscreen instructions to unzip the program files. Then, close the program before upgrading.

  • The SoundBlaster Live program needs to be activated before upgrading to Windows XP. To activate this program, click Start , select Programs , and select the SoundBlaster program. Then close the program before upgrading.

  • The Wake on Ring feature in the QuickLink III fax software is not supported under Windows XP. After upgrading to Windows XP, refer to the Help and Support window from the Start menu for more information about the Windows XP Fax program which replaces the QuickLink III software.


Installing Windows XP

Follow the steps outlined in the documentation supplied with the Windows XP Upgrade package.

CAUTION: Please complete the steps in the “Preparing to Install Windows XP” section before beginning to install Windows XP on the system.


Activating Windows XP Operating System

If you have not activated Windows XP at the end of the installation process, you need to activate

the Windows XP operating system with Microsoft within 30 days, or you will not be able to use your computer. Windows XP reminds you periodically to do this. You can activate your operating system over the Internet, if you have a modem connection, or on the telephone. When you activate your copy of Windows XP, it assures your product is a legal copy.

To activate Windows XP

  1. Click Start .

  2. Choose All Programs .

  3. Choose Accessories .

  4. Choose System Tools .

  5. Click Activate Windows .

    CAUTION: Certain Microsoft software products may use technological measures for copy protection

    In such event, you will not be able to use the product if you do not fully comply with the product activation procedures.

    Product activation procedures and Microsoft’s privacy policy will be detailed during initial launch of the product or upon certain reinstallations of the software product(s) or reconfigurations of this computer, and may be completed by Internet or telephone (toll charges may apply).


Reinstalling software programs and drivers

Installing software programs

For software not originally supplied by HP, you may be able to get a Windows XP-compatible version directly from the software manufacturer.

Reinstalling ISP software

Your original ISP software may not work properly with Windows XP. You may need to install a Windows XP-compatible version.

Installing drivers

The HP Web site may have other drivers needed to run the peripheral devices in Windows XP. Access the HP Web site to check for availability of these peripheral drivers for Windows XP. When the HP Web site is displayed, select Drivers and follow the onscreen instructions.


Additional information

Software compatibility

  • Most programs are not affected by the upgrade and will function properly after the Windows XP upgrade. Some incompatible applications can be run in Compatibility mode. Right-click an executable file, select Properties , select Compatibility mode , and select Win98/Win Me .

  • Some programs, such as Easy Internet Sign-up and HP Tour Guide, are not replaced because they were specifically designed for Windows Me operating system and not designed for Windows XP operating system. To remove any shortcuts from the desktop, right-click the icon and select Delete .

  • Versions of some programs that you have purchased and installed yourself, and any software not mentioned in this document may require a Windows XP-compatible version. These updated versions may be obtained from the software manufacturer (if available).


Uninstalling Windows XP

During the upgrade process, setup automatically backs up the existing version of Windows Me. If deciding that you do not want to run Windows XP for a specific reason, you can restore the computer safely even if some new programs remain. To restore the original operating system, uninstall Windows XP using Add or Remove Programs as outlined below. This process works if you want to temporarily uninstall Windows XP to use Windows Me software or backup files.

NOTE: Important: If you uninstall Windows XP using Add or Remove Programs, you may experience error messages when restarting the restored Windows Me operating system, but it will still function. If you want to permanently uninstall Windows XP, HP recommends restoring the operating system with the System Recovery CD that originally came with the HP PC.

To uninstall Windows XP

  1. Click Start .

  2. Click Control Panel .

  3. Click Add or Remove Programs .

  4. Select Windows XP .

  5. Click Change/Remove .

  6. Click Uninstall Windows XP .

  7. Click Continue . Follow the instructions on your screen.


Restoring the operating system

If you choose to restore your operating system using the Windows Me System Recovery CD provided with the HP , all Windows XP files on the computer will be erased. Make sure that you back up your important data before restoring the operating system. If you installed or uninstalled programs after upgrading to Windows XP, you may need to reinstall them if you restore your operating system to Windows Me. If you restore your operating system to Windows Me, these programs will not be restored. If new documents were created in Windows XP, they will remain on the hard disk after the previous version of Windows is restored. Some of these documents may be moved to a folder Windows XP creates.


NTFS and system recovery

If you chose the NTFS (Windows NT File System) option during a Windows XP New Installation, you will need to delete the non-DOS partition of the hard drive before starting a system recovery using the System Recovery CD. Otherwise, you will not be able to use the System Recovery CD that came with the HP later if wanting to reinstall Windows Me.

If after upgrading to Windows XP, you select to convert your file system to NTFS, you can no longer revert to Windows Me without losing all your data. You also will need to repartition your hard disk drive using the FDISK utility on your hard drive for the System Recovery CD to work.


Other issues and limitations

  • The HP Application Recovery CD for Windows Me does not function after upgrading to Windows XP.

  • If there is no sound coming through the headphone jack on the master CD-ROM unit, you can enable this device with the following procedure:

    1. Click Start , My Computer , right-click the CD-ROM icon.

    2. Click Properties , select the Hardware tab, select the CD/DVD drive .

    3. Click the Properties button, and then click the Properties tab.

    4. Uncheck Enable digital CD audio for this device .

  • The NetMeeting and Phone dialer features do not support a 1394 digital camcorder as a video capture device.

  • The 1394 network connection shows a connection when no connection is present. Contact Microsoft for more information.

  • If adjusting the font sizes in the Display Properties window to the smallest or largest sizes, fonts may be too small to see or too large. You may also have a problem returning to the default settings. To access the font settings:

    1. Click Start , Control Panel , Appearance and Themes , then Display .

    2. Click the Appearance tab.

  • The CD-ROM drive letter changes after upgrading to Windows XP. These letters can be changed. Refer to Help and Support in the Start menu for more information about changing these letters.

  • When launching the Guided Tour of the Trellix Web program, it generates two error messages, but the tour functions properly.

  • Windows XP does not support NetBEUI as a LAN protocol.

  • When the system is connected to an ISP, and if the system goes into standby mode, the ISP is disconnected without a warning message.

  • Windows XP is unable to look for other computers using the Computer near me feature, because the Computer Browser Service is not started automatically. To activate the Computer Browser Service:

    1. Click, Start Control Panel , Performance and Maintenance , then Administrative Tools .

    2. Double-click the Services icon.

    3. Right-click Computer Browser .

    4. Select Properties , then select Automatic from Startup Type .

  • If you receive the message Will not fit when recording an audio CD, and you know that you have enough space on your CD, then you can ignore this message. Contact Microsoft for more information.

  • If the Microsoft Office document shortcuts in the Start menu prompt you to insert the Microsoft Word 2000 CD, double-click the document or open the document in the Microsoft Word program.

  • The BIOS Boot Device Priority will be different with BIOS rev. 3.xx. The order will be removable devices drive, hard drive, and then the ATAPI CD-ROM drive. If you want to use your system recovery CD, this order needs to be changed in the BIOS settings; otherwise the CD will be unable to boot. To do this, restart the computer. When the blue screen with the HP Invent logo appears, press and hold down the F1 key on the keyboard until Entering SETUP is displayed. Select the Boot menu, select Boot Device Priorit y, then press the ENTER key. Select ATAP I CD- ROM and press the + (plus) key.


Technical support

Upgrade provided by HP

If the Windows XP Upgrade was supplied by HP, and you have any problems with the Windows XP upgrade, please contact HP Customer Care. Refer to the Warranty and License Information and the Support card that was included with the HP PC, for contact information.

Upgrade provided by Microsoft

If the Windows XP Upgrade software was purchased from a source other than HP, and you have any problems with your Windows XP upgrade, please contact Microsoft technical support. Refer to the packaging included with the Microsoft Windows XP Upgrade CD for more information.


Related support

The following links will provide additional resource information on Windows XP:

NOTE: One or more of the links in this document are not part of the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside of the HP Web site.


Provide feedback

Please rate the information on this page to help us improve our content. Thank you!