Installing Windows OS on a PC can be a bit challenging unless you have the bootable USB drive as the drive will make the process a bit easy and simple. So, knowing how to create the USB drive will come in handy in any situation. USB drives can be created with just simple steps and don’t need any sophisticated downloads or applications.
We will be discussing the features of the Windows XP OS, what exactly USB drive means, why we should choose bootable USB drive to install OSes on PCs, minimum requirements to run the Windows XP OS, how to create the bootable USB drive and save it for later use, and how to create a bootable DVD or Pen drive.
Windows XP is one of the most used desktops operating systems developed and distributed by Microsoft. Windows XP first came into the market in 2001 and the OS was updated and many further releases were made over many years(2001, 2005). The earlier versions of the OS were 32-bit OSes i.e. they were built to run on a 32-bit processor which had a slower processing speed and the later versions like the 2005 version were built to run on a much faster architecture-the 64-bit which had a faster processing power and could run smoothly on the computer.
In early 2000, when Windows XP was released, there was no internet and Microsoft used DVDs to market their OSes as DVDs contained bootable files and could be used to directly install the OS onto a computer. As technology progressed and the use of the internet became popular, the companies started to use it to sell their products and similarly, Microsoft allowed the downloading of the OSes directly from their website and provided the key which was to be purchased to activate the OS.
The Windows XP packed many interesting features (which will be discussed in detail in the latter part of this article), improved the performance and functioning great, and was purchased and used by millions for business, home, and educational purposes. Windows offered many different sets of editions suited to different groups of people. The Windows XP is based on the Windows NT OS and is also called Windows NT 5.1.
All Versions Of Windows XP with the release year
- Windows XP Home (2001).
- Windows XP Professional (2001).
- Windows XP Starter (2001).
- Windows XP Embedded (2001).
- Windows XP 63-Bit Edition (2001).
- Windows Fundamentals For Legacy PCs (2001).
- Windows XP Professional 64-Bit Edition (2005).
Microsoft had officially ended its support and the extended support for the XP OS in the years 2009 and 2014 respectively.
List of Service Packs of the Windows XP OS
Service packs are updated packages that are released to improve the OS and increase the compatibility of the OS.
- Service Pack 1.
- Service Pack 2.
- Service Pack 3.
Microsoft Windows OSes
Windows OSes are software developed by Microsoft to run desktop computers and laptops. The first Windows OS (Windows 1.0) was released in the year 1985 and since then, the OS has undergone many upgrades and changes to suit the current trends and to provide the users with the best user experiences.
What is a bootable USB drive
USB drives have been popularly used by many people for many purposes such as storage and data transfer. At the same time, they can be used for other things that a lot of people don’t know much about. If the USB drive is bootable, you will be able to boot your system from the file system that is present on your flash drive instead of your hard drive. You will have access to instructions on how to execute programs and operating systems on the volume boot record. You must ensure that the USB drive has a volume boot record, master boot record, and a program or operating system that is capable of being executed.
Features of Windows XP
Microsoft adds and removes features in each of their Windows versions in accordance with the customer feedback and market requirements. Windows XP is one of the most used OSes around the world by many to run their desktop computers and laptops.
Improved User Interface (UI)
The windows OSes are pretty famous for their graphic user interface which helps users to use the computer with great ease and it simplifies the use of computers by converting the hard coding into an easily understandable form so non-technical users can use the computers with ease. Microsoft has continuously toiled to provide the best UI to the users to make it easier to work with PCs. Windows XP packed many great features that were not there in the previous versions and one such feature is the enhanced UI; the fonts were upgraded, the icons and buttons became smoother, and the colours were improved, so the overall look of the OS was pretty awesome.
Improved Application Compatibility
Computers are mainly used to ease the workload of humans and applications are the ones that help in achieving it. Microsoft PCs allowed many third party-developers to develop applications to run on their OSes and provided good compatibility features to them. Windows XP was released at a time when the technology industry was booming, hence there were many software industries who developed utility applications to improve the workflow of the users. Providing good compatibility was one of the targets of Microsoft and they achieved it by providing a good compatibility feature to most of the applications.
Fast User Switching
Windows XP supported multiple accounts and hence switching between the accounts was also made easier. The speed of switching back and forth was increased, reducing the time lag to allow the users to work much faster and use different accounts with greater ease.
DirectX 8.1 support
DirectX is an API technology which is developed by Microsoft to improve the multimedia performance on Windows PCs. The support for DirectX 8.1 improved the display quality and later, Microsoft developed DirectX 9 which was also supported by Windows XP for better display performance.
Faster Boot Up
The booting time of the previous versions was very slow and that made a huge backlash on the OS’s identity. Microsoft optimized the booting up process to make it faster and smoother in their Windows XP OS to enhance the user experience, making Windows faster.
Improved Windows Explorer
Windows explorer is an in-built application provided by Microsoft to access the files stored on the hard drive, DVDs, and other storage devices attached to the computer. The Windows XP got a new improved explorer which could display the thumbnail of the images and could display the previews of PDFs and other multimedia files. This made it easier for the users to fetch the stuff that they were searching for.
Network and Internet Features
Networking and internet access is one of the purposes PCs are used for and Microsoft improved its networking by including some key features in its Windows XP OS like Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), Wireless connection facilities, and IPv6technology for faster and more secure transfer of data over the internet.
Both 32-bit and 64-bit support
The Windows XP OS was first released for only 32-bit architecture but Microsoft upgraded the OS and also brought in an edition of Windows XP OS which could work on 64-bit architecture as well. Most of the computers and laptops nowadays use a 64-bit architecture as it is faster and is more stable compared to the 32-bit architecture.
Some of the other features provided in Windows XP
- Clear type feature for making the fonts legible and easy to understand.
- Multiple language support.
- System restoration and automatic system recovery features.
- Improved Windows picture and fax viewer.
- Support for liquid crystal displays.
- Support for USB devices.
Minimum Requirements And Recommended Requirements To Run Windows XP OS
Every software has a set of minimum hardware requirements that have to be followed in order for it to run smoothly and efficiently on a computer. If the minimum requirements are compromised, the software will either not run or will crash often when it is being used. Windows XP OS is a light-weight OS and does not require a powerful hardware setup to run but this doesn’t mean that a very low-end PC can run it. Thus, knowing the minimum requirements before installing any OS is mandatory.
- You will need a processor that runs at a minimum clock speed of 233 MHz. For a 64-bit OS, the processor should have 64-bit architecture.
- The Minimum RAM required to run Windows XP is 64 MB. However, you can have more RAM as higher the RAM storage capacity, the faster the processing.
- The minimum storage space required to install the OS is 1.5 GB.
- You need to have a display which has a resolution of 600 x 800 and VGA support.
- The minimum video RAM (graphics processor GPU) should be 8 MB.
Recommended Hardware setup
- A processor which can run at a minimum clock speed of 300 MHz.
- A RAM which has a minimum capacity of128 GB.
- Audio and microphones can be added to use sound facilities.
How to create a Windows XP bootable USB drive
Creating a bootable USB drive is pretty easy and you will know how it is done if you read the steps that are given here:
- First, you will have to visit the download page for Windows XP SP3 ISO.
- Once you do that, select the language of preference from the drop-down menu and click the Download button that is in front of you.
- You can download a free program that will allow you to convert an ISO file into a USB drive(you can use the program ISOtoUSB) and burn that image to your pen drive. You can use any of the apps that were designed for this purpose.
- Complete the installation of ISOtoUSB and select it once it has been successfully installed.
- Select the Windows XP ISO file that has been downloaded after clicking Browse.
- Get a pen drive that has at least a minimum of 1GB of free space and plug it into your computer. Ensure that you have a backup as the data that is present on the pen drive will end up getting deleted.
- Open the program ISOtoUSB and choose the pen drive.
- Select the checkbox that is present to the word Bootable.
- Once you select Burn, you will now have a bootable Windows XP USB drive.
Advantages of creating a bootable USB drive
There are many advantages to creating a bootable USB drive. One of the main ones is that a USB drive can be used over and over again. You will also be able to change what you boot into each and every time that the drive is used. You will not have to get a blank CD separately in case you may want to attempt another OS. You will also be able to store all the files that you already have with the bootable stuff. When you use a CD, you will not have this advantage as you would have to maintain the data on the CD forever which can be difficult to do.
Rewritable CDs may be used as an alternative but their performance will deteriorate with every rewrite that is performed. It is much faster to read and write to bootable USB drives when compared to CDs. Thus, the time taken for your booting and OS installation will be reduced. It also takes less time to create a bootable USB drive. USB drives can also be easily carried around wherever you may go. Being able to boot into whatever OS that you want using the USB is an amazing advantage that you will have access to. This can be done independently of whatever machine or system you may be working on.
We hope that the article has been useful to you and we encourage you to try creating a Windows XP bootable USB drive on your own and using it. Please share the information that you got from this article with someone else who may benefit from it.