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Update on Windows XP Professional Installs in the Real World

📄 Contents

  1. Installing Whistler on a Laptop - Today It's Better than on a Workstation!
  2. Comparing Differences in Multiple Monitor Support
  3. Power Management on a Windows XP Professional Laptop
  4. Summary
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Having installed Windows XP Professional Release Candidate 1 or RC1 on multiprocessor workstations, desktops, and IBM ThinkPad laptops, it's clear that Microsoft has made the installation process behave well with regard to the previous preferences defined in Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 Professional, and even Windows98. There are still problems, however, with video device drivers, device driver rollback, and even the Network Install Wizard. This article by Louis Columbus gives you the latest updates.

Having installed Windows XP Professional Release Candidate 1 or RC1 on multiprocessor workstations, desktops, and IBM ThinkPad laptops, it's clear that Microsoft needs to resolve video driver, network installation, and advanced networking issues in the initial releases of Windows XP Professional for it to be ready for prime time.

Installing Whistler on a Laptop—Today It's Better than on a Workstation!

The installation process starts and progresses just as the Windows NT and Windows 2000 betas did: with the predictable series of screens about choosing a different partition than the primary boot partition; defining the location for loading the operating system; and in the latter steps, defining configuration options. Of all installs completed, the IBM ThinkPad took the longest at just over 35 minutes; the shortest was on a multiprocessor Dell workstation, which took just fifteen minutes. The workstation does have SCSI-based disk drives and twin Pentium Xeon processors.

Microsoft has become very vocal that Whistler could corrupt the one and only primary boot partition of a system—that means you need to back up all application and system-level data on a laptop before beginning the Windows XP Install. As the October 2001 launch of Windows XP Professional and Home approaches, many system manufacturers are readying their platforms to make sure they can run both Whistler and associated applications.

If you're considering using Windows XP Professional on a laptop, be sure to first consult the Web site http://www.microsoft.com/hcl to see if your laptop is already on the list. If it isn't, get in touch with the laptop's manufacturer to see when they will have accomplished Windows XP Professional certification.

One of the nicer features that Microsoft has included in the Windows XP Professional installation routine is autoconfiguration for screen resolutions. There is a significant difference in video support and performance between laptops and workstations with the current Windows XP Professional release. Clearly, Windows XP Professional's video performance is superior on laptops right now. Trying to get a 3D Labs Permedia driver to work with Windows XP Professional did not yield results, which lead to looking at a 21[dp] screen at 640[ts]480 screen making even the simplest of tasks difficult. With the IBM ThinkPad running the S3 SavageIX graphics chipset, it's very clear that Microsoft has built support for that chipset into the very early releases of Windows XP Professional and Home. The results between the systems I tested when it came to video resolution and speed was significant. Even the Oxygen high-performance video adapter from 3Dlabs does not autoconfigure to Windows XP Professional, yet the S3 SavageIX chipset does.

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