Upgrading, Activating, and Coexisting with Windows XP

By Jim Pile, ITworld |  How-to

Last time, I gave a short and very limited overview of Windows XP.
Several readers had questions and comments about that article though.
First, a question from reader Sean McK.:

"Does WinXP run on FAT32? Is it designed to migrate Win9x to WinXP?
Or how does it coexist?"

You can run Windows XP using either NTFS or FAT32 partitions. As with
Windows 2000, MS recommends that you use NTFS partitions, but Windows
XP will read and write FAT, FAT32, and NTFS disks.

You can upgrade from Windows 98/Me to Windows XP Home without losing
much in the way of drivers; only the USB to serial port adapter drivers
failed to work for me. Upgrading from Windows 2000 to Window XP
Professional resulted in no loss at all. In fact, we gained a SanDisk
USB Compact Flash reader that works in Windows XP without installing
any drivers other than those included in the OS. We have not tried
upgrading Windows 98/Me to Windows XP Professional.

If you have a second partition available, then you can install Windows
XP (either version) to this second partition by running the XP Setup
disc in the existing Windows environment. Windows will provide a dual
boot menu that allows you to select one of the two operating systems on
startup.

Reader Kamalesh T. has some comments and questions:

"Thanks for your WinXP overview relating some of what we can expect
from upgrading. I was wondering, though, if you've noticed any UI
enhancements in XP? You mentioned a new XP UI, while still being
able to revert-back to the Win2000 UI.

After being in the industry for almost ten years now, I've been
disappointed by the lack of any windows management evolution in
the OS. New ideas surrounding minimizing clicks, mouse travel, and
keystrokes to perform everyday tasks haven't materialized with
each new iteration of Windows. My litmus test for a new OS would
be: Can I do anything faster, thus increasing my productivity,
using this new upgrade?

Would you agree?"

Windows XP does offer a modified user interface, which I personally
find easier to work with than the standard UI. My wife, Sue, is now
using Windows XP Home, and she likes the new interface too. However, I
suspect that this new UI, being more of a dressed up Windows interface
than a serious departure from the classic Windows 9x/Me/NT 4/2000
interface, falls short you're expectations. Is it faster? Maybe. It
would only be faster though, if you find it easier to use. Nothing is
really strikingly different about the new UI, except that it looks
better.

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