A first look to Windows XP

Everyone is talking about Windows XP right now, and now that the release date is getting closer, and the candidate versions are out, you would think the talk would be focusing on the usability, stability, and compatibility of Microsoftís latest operating system. Unfortunately, XP talk is focused on product activation, and most of it is pretty damn negative at that. Well, now I bring you this quick look, which was basically written while I installed Windows XP RC1 on a couple of my systems. What I will be discussing is installation, usage, compatibility, and stability; Also, Iíll toss up a couple of screenshots to get you into the groovy mood.

Test System 1

  • ABIT V6 Motherboard

  • Celeron 366 Processor (@550mhz)

  • 64meg PC100 Ram CASS2

  • Trident 2meg Video

  • Voodoo2 3d Accelerator

  • Montego Beach A3d Soundcard

Test System 2

  • ABIT Be6-2 Motherboard

  • Celeron 566 Processor (@850mhz)

  • 256meg PC133 Ram CASS2

  • Hercules Prophet Geforce2 GTS 64Meg 3d Accelerator

  • Vortex Sound Card

Now, I know what your thinking. The test system is a darn fossil eh? Well, I think itíll be a good way to see how Windows XP operates on an older system, as far as speed and compatibility go. The 2nd system will look like this:

There are a few other items installed on the 2nd system, which I will be discussing a little later in the article.


Let me start off by saying the installation of Windows XP is long. When I say long, I mean REAL long. It took me over an hour to install on either test system! The hard drives on both systems are partitioned, so I opted to go with a dual boot configuration, which was relatively painless. Also, I reformatted to get a nice clean install. Here are a few notes:

System 1: The processor has been running at 550Mhz for a couple of years now, but for some reason Windows XP didnít really like that idea. During install, I had to clock the processor down because the system kept freezing up. I guess weíll see what happens after the installation process. Also, for some reason with 5 minutes left, the time was not going down any further. After 30mins, I shut the system down and rebooted. Windows XP resumed installation, but now with the clock set at 39mins left, so actual install time took over 2hrs. Now, I have installed 95/98/98SE/ME on this system previous with no problems whatsoever. After finishing the installation, I was able to clock the chip back up to 550Mhz without any problems so far.

System 2: I had a little trouble with the install in the beginning, due to the fact that Windows XP needed the ultra DMA drivers for my hard drive. I finally found the driver disk, and things went pretty smooth after that. Installation time was about an hour, which isn't too bad. I do have some items on system 2 that Windows XP found without a glitch. The list includes an Intel video camera, a Visioneer scanner, and a Hewlett-Packard 882 printer.  

After the initial installation, the setup takes you through a little tour, real little if you donít ask any questions. Then, you are prompted to add user names, which allow for different settings per user. I added my entire crew (family of 5) hoping to finally being able to check out this thing they call XP.


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