How To Do A Clean Install And Update Of Windows XP Pro SP3 32-bit



1. Boot from the Windows XP disc and do a clean install.
Make sure to enter a valid 25-character product key, or else the setup process will stop.
Select "Not right now" so Windows Update is not turned on at this time.

2. Install the Service Pack 3 (SP3) upgrade.
Note: This step is needed only if your Windows XP disc does not contain Service Pack 3.

3. Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1

4. Install Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0

5. Install Windows XP Service Pack 4 Unofficial 3.1b
Select "Not right now" so Windows Update is not turned on at this time.
Note: It contains security updates for the post-SP3 period of May 2008 - April 2014.

6. Install the necessary drivers for your computer's primary devices (chipset, graphics, audio, ethernet, wireless, etc.).
Make sure to install the chipset driver (if one is available) first before installing the other drivers.
This allows Windows XP to properly detect and configure your computer's devices.

7. After the above steps have been done, make sure your computer has a working internet connection.

8. Right-click MY COMPUTER, then click Properties – Automatic Updates.
Select “Notify me but don’t automatically download or install them”, then click Apply – OK.
Load Windows Update, then select “Get Microsoft Update today!”
Follow the instructions and allow the ActiveX control to install.
After that is done, close Microsoft Update.

9. Load Microsoft Update again, then do a "custom" scan.
It may take several minutes before the list of updates appears, so be patient.
Select ALL of the high priority and optional updates for:
POSReady 2009
Internet Explorer 8
Microsoft .NET Framework
(all versions)
and then install them.
There will be a large number of updates to install, so this will take 1 - 2 hours to complete.

10. After this initial large number of updates is installed and your computer is restarted, load Microsoft Update again and do another “custom" scan”.
If more high priority and optional updates appear for those 3 entries, select and install them.

11. Repeat this as needed until there are no more high priority and optional updates for those 3 entries.
Note: Windows XP now contains security updates for the period of May 2014 – April 2019.

Closing Comments And Suggestions:

The Internet Explorer 8 browser which is part of Windows XP is extremely outdated and is no longer supported by most websites, so you will need to install a supported up-to-date browser.
Maxthon Cloud Browser and Feodor MyPal are the only 2 browsers that I am aware of that support Windows XP and are kept up-to-date.
The current version of each of these 2 browsers can be obtained here:

Important! This guide applies to and works only with Windows XP Professional.
If you have Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Media Center Edition, it will not work properly.

(This guide was updated and successfully tested on February 16, 2020)