This is a guide that I have had and have updated for today. The original came from a forum I go to. I would just post a link to that message board but since it requires a membership ID it would do no one any good. So that you make take advantage of this complete user guide I took it and brought it here. The original author is a technician at PC CLub. This is where I do 99% of all my computer parts shopping and where other technicions and myself go when we are stumped. I hope you find this useful. The original author has allowed for this to be passed around and coppies, printed, and shared so that others can hopefuly have a hassle free time installing there Windows OS.

I sometimes spend the better part of a day building various custom systems, and loading some form of Windows on them, whether it be 2000, XP Home or Pro. Ever present on my mind is the knowledge that there is every chance in the world that the second this machine is powered on, it will be connected to the Internet. As broadband, “always on” Internet connections become more widespread, the necessary precautions become more involved.

With that, let’s get started.

Before you begin, you will need a few items. For a “safe” Internet experience, these items are NOT optional.

Windows Knowledge Base Article 823980 contains a patch to ward off the worm known as Blaster.

Windows Knowledge Base article 835732 contains the patch necessary to ward off the Internet worm known as Sasser.

These two worms are of the type that exploit a flaw in the Windows code, and require nothing more than an unpatched machine connected to the Internet in order to infect. No website need be visited, nor attachment opened. If you do not have these patches in place, your machine WILL GET INFECTED.

These two flaws are not the only present in WIndows, only the ones that are exploited. Visit Windows Update for current requirements.

Should you have Windows 2000 sp4, Windows XP Home sp2, or Windows XP Pro sp2 these updates are not required as they are a part of the latest service pack for the Windows operating systems.

A reputable Anti-Virus program: Norton Anti Virus, F-Prot Anti Virus, McAfee AntiVirus, to name a few. Even something free like AVG, but no matter what, you should not be on the Internet, or sending email, without some form of virus protection.

An effective Firewall program: ZoneAlarm is good, as well as free. I prefer Sygate but since it has been taken over by Symantic it is no longer free, or I have yet to discover the free version on their website any more. Other offerings available from all the major AV companies, as well as elsewhere. Just get something!!! NOTE: Broadband router users have the protection of a NAT firewall, and may elect to forgo this step.

Of course, the Windows Update CD doesn’t hurt to have, either.

Drivers/Applications: All the necessary drivers for the hardware present in your machine, i.e., NIC, Video, Chipset, etc. All the necessary software required to complete your internet connection, i.e., AOL, etc.

At no point in this installation, until instructed to do so, should a network, or “Internet” cable be attached to the computer.

I am going to assume at this point that your machine is in good working order, and you are familiar enough with the BIOS of your computer to make the necessary adjustments.


First, Windows 2000 and every subsequent version has booted and installed from the CD, and no floppy is used in the Windows installation process, except to load drivers, if necessary.

Now, if you have a new, unpartitioned hard drive, your boot sequence should be HDD 0, CDROM, Floppy. Windows CD in the drive, save settings and reboot. The machine will bypass the unpartitioned drive and boot to the CD. On the next reboot, it will start from the hard drive, decreasing the boot time. NOTE: If your drive is not blank, set the boot sequence to CDROM, HDD 0, and Floppy. CD in the drive, and reboot. Press a key to boot to CD when prompted.

After Windows has had the time to preload files necessary for installation, you will be presented with a blue screen with yellow text providing you three options: Press ENTER to install Windows, R for the Recovery Console, and F3 to Quit. At this point, press ENTER. The next screen displays the MS End User Lisc(EULA), which you will press F8 to agree to. The third screen will display your computer’s drive partition information. If your drive is blank and you want to use the maximum available size, simply press enter at this step and Windows will automatically create a partition for you. If you wish to specify a custom partition size, be advised that the drive’s capacity is displayed in true megabytes(1024k), not marketing megabytes(1000k). If you need to delete the partition for a fresh install of Windows, simply follow the prompts to do so. The next step is to format the drive. I recommend formatting the drive with the NTFS file system, as it is faster and more reliable than Fat32. If you are installing Windows 2000 to a large drive, this process may take a while, as Windows 2000 has no “Quick” format option, Windows XP does. Relax, take a break! For Windows XP users, if you are confident of the integrity of the drive, opt for the “Quick” format and save yourself some time. PLEASE NOTE If you want to completely clear the contents of the drive, you MUST select a format option. If you select “Leave current file system intact”, you will only be creating a new Windows directory, leaving any possible infections present. A clean install is always best.

At this point, Windows will kind of take over, and you may not be needed for a few minutes. After a reboot(automatic), the Windows shell will load and begin the GUI session of the install. When prompted, enter your product key, and follow any other necessary prompts in order to continue the installation. I always have found it best to accept the default Windows install options…any changes are easier to make post-install.

One more reboot and a few Windows user account setup prompts later, and you will land squarely at your Windows desktop. Now for the fun!

You are going to start with the installation of the necessary drivers for the various components in your system. If you do not have drivers for your particular component, www.driverguide.com is a good place to look. I am not going to get into details about locating drivers other than to say, if you have a specific question, please post it in the appropriate forum category.

The first step is going to be to open the Device Manager. A few ways to it: Start->My Computer<-right click, Properties. This will open the System Properties page. Click on the Hardware tab, and next, the Device Manager button. This should open the DM in a new window. A shortcut: Hold down the Windows Key and press the Pause/Break button, then HW, DM.





The motherboard driver disk provided by the manufacturer should be the first CD in the machine. Install the necessary Chipset drivers, as well as those drivers present on the CD for any integrated motherboard components. This mainly applies for those that have built there own system. Dell, HP, Compaqu, and other prebuilt systems have these drivers packaged with the CD's you got for your system and there is no CD specificaly for the mother board. Following a reboot, back to the DM, and any yellow marks you need to deal with. Other common drivers that need installation are Network Cards (NIC), although WinXP is very good at already covering them, Video and Audio, unless integrated (MB driver disk), and Modems. Your particular installation will vary from others, so it will be impossible for me to walk you through this here, but if you need help, I will answer any questions posted to the forum to the best of my abilities.

The next steps you will be taking will be to streamline the Windows XP experience. If you are using Windows 2000, a few windows will be different, or may not exist at all. If that is the case, then that particular setting does not apply.

Lets open the System Properties and head on over to the Advanced Tab:


Your first stop is to prevent Windows XP from “calling home” or sending an error report to MS every time your machine hiccups. Adjust it so:


When done there, open the Startup and Recovery button:


As you can see, I turned off the “Time to list operating systems” option. This option is only necessary in dual boot scenarios, and can be shut off in the absence of such. The time to display recovery options is best left at default, as seen above. For the next three options, only the first need be checked, “Write an Event”, allowing you to later view what transpired, should you need to. It is important to note that the “Automatically restart” be unchecked, as this will allow time to examine any critical error that arises. If this item is not unchecked, upon a critical error, the machine will simply attempt restart, without allowing any examination of the error, and could begin an indefinite cycle of reboot->error->reboot. Uncheck the box.

The next tab is the Remote Tab:


Disabling remote access is a one step towards preventing unwanted access to your PC.

Your next step will be to install your Anti-Virus software, followed by your Firewall software (if necessary).

Remember the MS Knowledge Base Articles from above? Now is the time. No particular order is necessary, and a restart is not needed in between, but a restart is required when complete, and before proceeding to the next step.

At this point it is time to connect to the Internet. Most ISP’s use the network configuration DHCP, which will allow Windows to automatically configure your broadband connection, only requiring you to open Internet Explorer. If your ISP requires that you specify a Static IP address, or if it is necessary for you to install software to connect to the Internet, do so now.

All set up and online? Good. Update both your Virus Scanner and your Firewall. At this time it is probably a good idea to visit the Windows Update Site and get the items labeled “Critical Updates”, with any others being optional. I would recommend that you skip any of the Windows Update site’s driver updates. I believe that the drivers provided by the manufacturer of my component are preferred. While Microsoft may be somewhat proficient at producing operating systems, their drivers do leave something to be desired!

At this point, it should be safe to venture out to the Internet, check your email, etc. I would recommend that you protect yourself with weekly updates of your virus scanner and firewall software.

For prevention of further problems, a few good pieces of spyware scanning/blocking software are needed. Lets start with the following, which are all freeware:

Ad-Aware: Weekly update and scanning with this piece of software can aid in removing any suspicious spyware/malware components on your machine, reducing such things as popups and browser hijacks.

SpyBot Search and Destroy: When used in conjunction with Ad-Aware, this piece of software can spot specific instances of spyware that Ad-Aware may miss. It also has an active measure against future infection called “Immunization”, which aids in recognizing specific types of spyware code, and not allowing that code to execute.

SpywareBlaster: Another active measure against the infiltration of spyware, SpywareBlaster is effective at blocking malicious code from being resident on your PC. A monthly update and simple click of “Enable All Protection” is all that is needed for this piece if software to work.

Things to be cautious of: Additional searchbars appearing in your Internet Explorer windows, redirected homepages, or links, shortcuts appearing in your Favorites or on your Desktop.

When on the Internet, please be very aware of the window that appears below:

This is an Active X installer applet, and unless you clicked on a link with the express intention of installing the software listed in the applet, you should close this window without clicking on anything except the red X in the corner. These applets will often popup when searching pr0n sites, warez sites, keygen searches, and other such questionable sites.

A certain amount of caution is always necessary when surfing the ‘net, and the old adage rings true: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”