Friday - May 07, 2021

How to Remove and Replace Windows XP With a New Version of Windows


Windows XP took the world of computing by a storm when it was released in 2001 (it’s been more than a decade of XP dominance). It is the second most popular Windows version after Windows 7 and still runs in millions of computers today. Unfortunately, this good run may not continue for long. Microsoft has been extending the deadline of support to Windows XP, till April 2014 when they officially stopped. On 8th April 2014, Microsoft stopped supporting XP. 

What it means for XP to lose Microsoft support

As from 8th April 2014, the XP on your computer (if you still have it) will no longer receive automatic updates that help you guard your private information. You may have the best anti-virus but you will be helpless against hackers and malicious online programs. And again, you will not have any access to free antivirus and other applications.

If you persist with window XP, your computer will work perfectly normal but your security is at its lowest. Software and hardware manufacturers are warming up for the new Windows versions, so your computer will reach a point where you will not be able to use printers, cameras and other modern applications for the simple reason that they will no longer work in XP environment.

Here now is the simplest way to remove XP from your computer and replace it with the latest versions of Windows. For purposes of this procedure, we are going to use Windows 8 for demonstration but the concept remains more or less the same.

Since there is no option that allows you to automatically upgrade from XP to Windows 8 or even 7 in a way that retains all your data as it is in its current form, the best and fastest way is to perform a clean installation that will completely overwrite Windows XP in the hard drive and replace it with Windows 8. So by the end of this procedure, your Windows XP will be no more and in its place you will have Windows 8.

Step 1: Back up

The common practice is to back up what you think is important. But the best practice is to back up everything; some things may not be important today but one day you may need them.  Get an external storage drive like DVDs and make copies of every little piece of information that is stored in the PC's hard drive.  You can also decide to use cloud storage facilities such as Dropbox.

Step 2: Check compatibility

Windows 8 provides an upgrade assistant that helps you to check for compatibility with your computer. Once you click on the Download Pro link on Microsoft's website, you get the option to download a small installer file of 5MB in size. This installer will run the compatibility check to tell if your computer can actually take Windows 8.  At the end of the check (if successful), you will be required to review and choose what to keep. It is recommended that you start Windows 8 experience anew without files from the current operating system. The upgrade assistant will also recommend the suitable version of Windows 8 for your PC.

Step 3: Buy

Yes, you will need to give some money to Microsoft at this point. Fill your billing details, choose your preferred payment method and wait for the product key once payment is complete. The key will be sent to your inbox as well. Download begins as soon as your order is complete.

Step 4: Burn

During the process of downloading and preparing to install, you will be prompted to decide how you want to install, whether automatically or later. You have the option to choose either between “install Windows 8 ” or “Install later by creating Media ”. We advise that you choose the latter option. Next you will be asked to choose the media to use. Select “ISO file ” (you will burn it later to the DVD). Save the file to begin the ISO download. Once it is downloaded, insert a recordable DVD and find the location where you saved the file. Right click on the file you see appearing as .iso then click “Burn disc image”. Check the “Verify disc after burning” check box, then click “Burn” to proceed. This may take some couple of minutes, so don't worry!

Step 5: Installing

Insert the disc containing the Windows 8 image in the the computer drive. Enter the product key and in the screen that comes next, select “get updates” just to ensure you are installing the latest version of Windows 8. You will be required to provide the product key again. Enter and click Next to continue. Read the terms and click “I accept” then “Next”. Most of us love to simply accept and move on without reading the terms, but it is important to try and get a clue of what those terms mean even though you have no right to use the product without accepting the terms first:)

Now is the time to decide what to keep and what to leave out. Choose wisely according to your needs then click “Install”. This will also take some bit of time. Go for some coffee!

Once installation is done, the PC will reboot automatically.

Step 6: Personalizing

Start by customizing the Start Screen. Which color do you want? What name shall your PC be called? If you don’t want to do all this, you can choose the express settings alternative and move on. You can always do the rest later when you have time.

At this point the system will prompt you to sign in using Microsoft Live ID. If you already have the account, you simply need to enter your email address to link it. 

Once all the settings are finalized, you will be good to go. You can now start using your Windows 8. It's installed and XP is gone. Well done.

Still not convinced why you need to replace your Windows XP like now? Here are further reasons to hopefully show you the clear picture;

  • Secure your private information- Microsoft is no longer giving you technical and security help if you are running XP. Your personal information is not safe at all. You are very vulnerable to hackers and viruses. Your photos, files and anything you term private is now very insecure. You are better replacing XP with newer Windows versions. If your PC is not compatible with the newer versions, then you need a new Windows PC. It is also possible to transfer your old information from XP to the newer Windows PCs. You will not lose anything by migrating to newer Windows.
  • Access the latest programs and devices- Windows 7 and 8 are built to run the latest software and devices. XP is a bit old version and it is not compatible with modern printers, cameras, editing and graphic applications.
  • Bar Trojan horses and other security threats- every time you go online with your PC running on XP, you are exposing your unprotected system to millions of Trojan horses and other viruses. If you are the administrator, Trojan can easily format your disk, delete information and create new user accounts. You will never be in control of your PC. This is when hackers find it easy to break into your system and do their dirty stuff.
  • RAM limitations- the 64-bit version of XP is very rare and most computers run the 32-bit edition. This means that your computer can never go beyond 3.5 GB of RAM despite any big upgrade to your RAM. You will not be able to use a variety of programs like Photoshop and lots of modern computer games.
  • XP is not for touch screens- with the invasions of tablets that are designed with touch screens, XP is losing the grip. It was created when no one thought about touch screens.

Look at it this way: Microsoft is ditching the once dear XP. Software and hardware developers are also taking a walk away from XP and you will be left in isolation soon. There are lots of options out there that will optimize your computer's capabilities. This is the time to embrace change.