You can install Windows XP using three types of installation. The type of installation you choose greatly affects the decisions you will make during installation. The three types of installations that are available in Microsoft windows XP are the following:
- Clean installation A clean installation is one in which there is no existing operating system on the computer or one in which you do not want to preserve the existing installation. You will always perform a clean installation on a computer that does not have an operating system installed already. The biggest advantage of performing a clean installation is that you can be certain that nothing is carried over from a previous installation, which usually results in somewhat better performance and stability. The only real disadvantage of performing a clean installation over an upgrade is that you will have to reinstall all of your applications and reconfigure your Windows settings. However, even that disadvantage presents you with the opportunity to “clean house,” as it were.
- Upgrade An upgrade installation is one in which Windows XP is installed over an existing installation of a previous version of Microsoft Windows. The advantage of an upgrade over a clean installation is that you can retain application installations and user settings. Following a successful upgrade, you should be able to log on to Windows XP and start working again right away. The disadvantage of an upgrade is really the same as the advantage: XP retains all settings and applications, and these are often settings and applications that users could do without. Although performing a clean install takes more time, it ensures that the user has a more stable and less cluttered system.
- Multiple boot installation A multiple boot installation is one in which multiple operating systems are installed on a computer, and the user can select which operating system to use during system startup. If you install XP as an additional operating system on a computer, you still have to reinstall any applications you want to use when running XP. The advantage of using a multiple boot installation over an upgrade or clean installation is that you can retain the previous operating system and installed applications. This is useful if you want to test or experiment with XP or if you have important applications that you know will not run on Windows XP.