Back to previous pageReturn to Features index

The complete guide to reinstalling Windows XP
Give Windows XP the ultimate speed boost and cleanup by reinstalling it from scratch with our complete guide
Why reinstall, and how hard is it?
Click here to view

Prepare your PC
Don't reinstall until following these steps
Click here to view

Reinstall Windows
Your plain-English guide to the process
Click here to view

Post-reinstall steps
What to do after you've reinstalled
Click here to view

Keep your PC clean
Maintain your new installation correctly
Click here to view

Fix common reinstall- related problems
Click here to view


elax, reinstalling Windows XP is not as scary as it sounds. The benefits far outweigh the risks, which are minimal if you follow our essential guide revealing what to do and when to do it. We'll step you through everything you need to know, from preparing your system to the big event through reinstalling Windows itself to setting up your PC post-install for a cleaner, more stable future.
   There are lots of excellent reasons for reinstalling Windows XP. Over time your system becomes cluttered with leftover files from past programs - you may even have the remnants of a virus or other piece of malicious software still causing you grief. It also solves problems that have started to cause Windows to hang or - worse still - crash. Think of it as a big broom clearing out all of the cobwebs in your system.

Break it down
Once you've decided to take the plunge, it pays to be well prepared. Over the page we'll look at how you can protect your files and settings by backing them up to another location, whether that's another hard drive or removable media like a flash drive or CD/DVD. Don't have any of these? No problem - we'll reveal how to separate your data from Windows XP by partitioning your hard drive in two, enabling you to isolate your files from the effects of wiping your system clean to reinstall it.
   Once you're done, we'll reveal how the reinstall process works itself, whether you have a proper Windows XP installation disc supplied by Microsoft or a recovery disc supplied by your PC manufacturer.
   What happens after you've reinstalled Windows XP? Don't worry - we've got that covered too, from ensuring your new system is secure and connected to the Internet to reinstalling your programs and restoring your backups and settings. We'll even show you how to recover files and settings from your fail-safe backup if you forget to include them in your main one.
Once Windows XP is up and running, sleeker, more stable and swifter than ever, we'll reveal some essential tips and techniques for keeping it that way, thus ensuring your new Windows installation lasts as long as possible without compromising on performance, security or reliability.
   Most of the tools you need for the job are freely available on the Internet (we'll point you in the right direction, don't worry!). Come on, let's get your PC in the best shape it's been since you first purchased it.

Tools of the trade

All content copyright Support PCs and the original authors