Stepping Through the Upgrade Process
If you meet the various requirements stated along the way, upgrading to Windows XP offers the lowest-effort, lowest-hassle way to migrate to Windows XP. This process is explained in detail on the Microsoft website at www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/howtobuy/upgrading, but the basic steps of the process can be summarized as follows:
Check your system requirements to make sure your system is ready to run Windows XP.
Find out if you qualify for an upgrade. Check if your current version of Windows supports a direct upgrade to Windows XP.
Check hardware compatibility for Windows XP, using either the compatibility search tool (use the Search Windows Catalog tool at www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/howtobuy/upgrading/compat.asp) or download and use the Upgrade Advisor to make sure your system makes the grade for XP.
Review Microsoft's "Getting Started" guide for step-by-step information on installing Windows XP.