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Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Overview

Initially installed Windows XP Professional Full Version 2002 with Windows XP Service Pack 1Windows XP Service Pack 2 was installed in December 2004.

Installation Utilities CD

This installation guide recommends to create a CD-R with the following contents needed for Windows XP installation prior to enabling an Internet connection:

Bootable Installation CD with Integrated XP Service Pack 2

Windows XP without service pack only recognizes 137 GB of the hard disk and a larger disk cannot be formatted completely. Therefore, a slipstreamed, bootable CD of Windows XP including the latest service pack was created using the Autostreamer method.

Product Keys and CD types cannot be mixed & matched. For example, you cannot use an OEM product key with a full version Windows XP CD, and vice versa.

Automated Service Pack Integration

Create slipstreamed CD with Autostreamer and then burn ISO image to CD‑R using Stomp RecordNow Max software (or any other CD-R writing software.)

Manual Service Pack Integration

Instead of the automated method, a bootable Windows XP CD with integrated Service Pack 2 can be created using these slipstreaming instructions. The CD creation process is a little easier when using a Windows XP Service Pack 2 CD (available free from Microsoft) instead of the downloaded SP2 file.

With Stomp RecordNow Max you cannot specify the correct options for a bootable Data disc (disc type “no emulation”, load segment 0x7c0, sector count 4), and therefore the created disc is not bootable (error code 4.) Some other CD-R writing software, e.g. Nero Burning ROM must be used.

Windows XP Installation

Because USB devices may not always be recognized during the installation, a PS/2 keyboard and mouse were temporarily connected during OS installation.

The installation guide for Windows XP and drivers was followed.

Caution regarding extra hard disks, ZIP drives: “When you install Windows, make sure that all hard drives and ZIP drives are disconnected apart from the one you're trying to install to. This is because the installation program automatically assigns drive letters to all the partitions that it finds, but at that stage you can't choose which letter it gives to which partition. If it happens to call the one you're trying to install "D" then you're stuck with it and that partition will always think that it's "D". Trying to change it to "C" after the installation is asking for trouble.”

Boot from the Windows XP with SP2 CD. In the “Welcome to Setup” menu press Enter to continue with a new installation. I created a single partition[1] for the hard disk and formatted it for NTFS – Quick Format was not used. Formatting of the 180 GB drive took 70 minutes.

Windows XP Configuration

  • In the Device Manager, verify and change if necessary the I/O modes for the primary and secondary IDE channel to “DMA if available”.
  • Followed the installation guide regarding other configuration settings.
  • Adjusted start menu, task bar, and folder view options.
  • Customize the information that is displayed in “System Properties”. Use a text editor for file C:\WINDOWS\system32\Oeminfo.ini:


     

  • Use your favorite bitmap file to be displayed in “System Properties” as C:\WINDOWS\system32\Oemlogo.bmp (118 x 118 pixels).

The standby and hibernate features in the control panel power options are only available after the video driver has been installed.

Chipset Software

After the installation of Windows XP the following steps were performed using the installation utilities CD.

  1. Ran the Intel Chipset Identification Utility.

  1. Installed the Intel Chipset software. After reboot, Device Manager now lists the E7205 chipset under System Devices.
    (6/24/05 – Update) installed Intel Chipset Software version 6.3.0.1007
  2. (Optional) Install the Intel Application Accelerator (IAA). You can use the Application Accelerator to enable the hard disk’s acoustic management.[2]

After uninstalling IAA open the Device Manager and check that all devices connected to the two IDE channels are set to “DMA if available”.

USB 2.0 Support

The USB2.0 driver update steps recommended by ASUS were not performed. The latest Intel chipset software configures the USB2.0 controllers to use the correct Intel USB drivers.

DirectX 9

Install DirectX from the installation utilities CD. This is optional, if the installed Windows XP Service Pack already contains the latest DirectX version. Windows XP SP2 includes DirectX9.0c.

Test the DirectX installation: Run dxdiag

LAN Drivers and WAN connection

Installed the Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet Software for the BCM5702 NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet Adapter from the installation utilities CD:

  1. In Device Manager select Other Devices: Ethernet Controller.
  2. Use Have Disk to select INF file b57xp32.inf from the installation utilities CD in the 5702 root folder.

If there is no network router, create a DSL broadband connection using built-in XP PPPoE[3] drivers. With a network router in place, PPPoE can run in the router and there is no need to define a "broadband connection" in XP. The default local area connection will suffice to connect to the network router.

Tweak and test your DSL connection at http://www.dslreports.com/:

  1. Tweak test – for “routerpppoe” it recommended to increase RWIN and MTU. Downloaded DrTCP to set RWIN to 20000 and MTU to 1454.
  2. Speed test – use the closest test server to your location – for me this is the test server at Megapath Networks in San Francisco.  

Windows Update

Prior to XP SP2, critical updates needed to be downloaded from the Windows Update site.

With XP SP2, just enable Automatic Updates and wait for the necessary updates to be offered for downloading and installation.

Video Drivers

(12/26/05 - Update) Installed ATi video drivers Catalyst 5.13.

Various sources recommend turning off the Fast Writes option of the ATi SmartGard tab in the advanced display adapter settings. Turning Fast Writes on may cause a driver crash. There is no adverse effect to performance if Fast Writes are turned off.

The standby and hibernate features are now displayed in the control panel power options.

Optional ATi Software

In my opinion the only useful components of the ATI Multimedia Center are the DVD decoder and the TV application. The Windows Media Player is superior to the other components of the ATI Multimedia Center.

Sound Drivers

Realtek On-board Sound

(Optional) The drivers for the on-board sound chip were installed from the Installation Utilities CD. First install the WDM audio driver and then install the Media Player.

Configure the speakers. Afterwards, there are no more problem devices in the Device Manager.

Audigy 2 Sound Card

The on-board sound chip was disabled before the Audigy 2 sound card was installed. The drivers for the on-board sound chip were uninstalled.

The drivers from the product CD need to be installed first. I chose to skip the installation of MiniDisc Center, Audio Stream Recorder, Getting Started Demo, MediaSource.

Enabled Auto Update at the Creative website and installed all recommended updates for the WDM drivers.

The Speaker Settings software was updated manually.

After Windows XP Installation

  • Installed Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse drivers.
  • Installed GigaBit LAN Adapter Control Suite from the Installation Utilities CD.
  • Installed HP Deskjet 990cxi printer driver software.

The latest driver for the 990c from HP does not work with the LPR print server[4] of my SMC network router. The earlier 990c printer driver version that comes with Windows XP functions adequately. However, that driver version does not reliably support double-sided printing.

Windows XP Activation

Activation can be delayed up to 30 days. Later activation is recommended if system devices are still changing. Reactivation is not problematic as long as major hardware components have not changed.

Wake On LAN

Wake On LAN[5] (a.k.a. Remote Wake Up) is a standard that allows you to turn on a computer from another location over a network connection. The power supply, main board, and integrated network adapter used for this PC are able to support Wake On LAN.

The following configuration steps were performed to enable Wake On LAN from all power states:

  • BIOS "Power" section
    • Set "Power Up On PCI Device" to <Enabled>
  • In the Windows XP Device Manager open the Properties of network adapter "Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet"
    • "Advanced" tab
      • Set property "Wake Up Capabilities" to "Both"
      • Set property "WOL Speed" to "Auto"
    • "Power Management" tab

      • Check all three boxes
      • The last option turns on the computer only if a WOL magic packet is received. Without this option checked, any traffic sent to the network adapter will turn on the PC.
  • The BIOS user password needs to be disabled to allow the computer to boot into Windows XP.
  • If the BIOS Hardware Monitor detects a problem during POST (e.g. due to slow-spinning fans) set "Halt On" to [No Error] in the BIOS section "Main".

Resources:


Notes

[1] There are various benefits and disadvantages of single and multiple partitions on the same physical disk drive. In my opinion the advantages do not justify the extra work to establish and maintain several partitions, at least for NTFS.

[2] It is unclear what the benefits of IAA really are. Without it, hibernating the system takes only ½ to ⅓ the time. IAA is no longer installed after the upgrade to Windows XP SP2.

[3] Point-to-Point Protocol Over Ethernet (RFC 2516). The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) provides a standard method for transporting multi-protocol datagrams over point-to-point links. PPPoE describes how to build PPP sessions and encapsulate PPP packets over Ethernet.

[4] With Windows 2000 and XP, there are two varieties of "LPR" ports:
1. "Standard TCP/IP" port type configured for LPR
2. the LPR Port type that is installed with the Print Services for UNIX
The default for the "Standard TCP/IP" port type is "RAW" which is actually the "Port 9100" protocol that HP first built into its Jet Direct devices. LPR/LPD gives additional flexibility in that not all printers (or print servers) will necessarily support the "Port 9100" protocol. Thus, remote printer configuration options are:
1. Standard TCP/IP Port configured for "RAW"
2. Standard TCP/IP Port configured for LPR
3. (Print Services for UNIX) LPR Port

[5] Wake On LAN explanation

     

Last modified: 09/23/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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