Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Microsoft Windows Desktop

This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

After the First Reboot: Text Mode Setup

After you have started the Setup Wizard, it copies a small number of files to your hard disk and reboots the system. After this first reboot, the display will be in text mode instead of the usual Windows GUI. The Setup Wizard needs to gather some information about how you want to proceed, detect devices installed in your computer, and perform other tasks during this Text Mode Setup part of the process before it can reboot back into a GUI mode.

One of the first things that you will need to accomplish during this Setup phase is to detect the disk drives installed in your system. If you have a standard desktop PC that uses integrated drive electronics (IDE) disk drives, then these will be detected during setup. If, however, you use SCSI disks or have Redundant Array of Independent Disk (RAID) storage systems, you will see, shortly after the reboot, the following line of text displayed at the bottom of the screen:

Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver...

Pressing F6 will start a dialog that allows you to configure and install the drivers for your SCSI or other disk subsystem controllers. This option is usually used on server platforms that use large-capacity, high-speed, fault-tolerant disk subsystems. For most PCs, however, you won't need to use this option.

During the text mode part of the Setup process you will be presented with several text-based menus, which are described in the following sections.

Welcome to XP!

The first text menu that you will see will prompt you to continue setting up Windows XP to recover a previous installation or to exit setup:

Welcome to Setup.
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft(R)
Windows XP to run on your computer.

* To set up Windows XP Professional now, press Enter.
* -To repair a Windows XP Professional installation using Recovery Console, press R.
To quit Setup without installing Windows XP Professional, press F3.

To continue the Setup process, press Enter. At the bottom of the screen you will see text indicating that the Setup Wizard is searching for previous versions of Microsoft Windows.


Although you don't have to use the C: partition to install Windows XP, there will be some changes made to that partition during setup. If you are installing Windows XP on a system that contains Windows 95/98/Me, a BOOT.INI file will be created to record information. This information will be used to allow you to boot between one of those operating systems or Windows XP, if you are choosing to perform a dual-boot. If you are upgrading from one of these operating systems, then the BOOT.INI file will still be created, but you won't have the option to boot the earlier operating systems. If you have already installed any version of Windows NT or later, then this file will already be present on the system and the Setup Wizard will add an entry for the current installation or upgrade you are performing.

Choose Your Partition

If you selected the option to choose the installation partition during the first phase of the Setup process, the next menu will display a list of the disk partitions it finds on your computer. It will list the type of file system (such as FAT, FAT32, or NTFS) for each partition or indicate that the partition has not yet been formatted. You will also see entries for any unpartitioned space present on your disk drives.

Use the up and down arrow keys to select the partition that you want to use for Windows XP.

Once you have selected the partition you want to use to store the Windows XP system files, you are offered several options. The menu items presented to you are as follows:

The following list shows the existing partitions and
Unpartitioned space on this computer.

Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select an item in the list.

* Windows XP Professional on the selected item, press ENTER.
* To create a partition in the unpartitioned space, press C.
To delete the selected partition, press D.

Following this text, you will see a list of partitions, one on each line, with a box drawn around the partition listing.

If you choose to delete a partition, you can then recreate the partition. This is useful if you want to change the size of a partition during the Setup process. Note that if you choose to install a copy of Windows XP on a partition that already has another version of a Windows operating system, you will get the following message:

You chose to install Windows XP Professional on a partition that
contains another operating system. Installing Windows XP Professional
on this partition might cause the other operating system
to function improperly.

Note: Installing multiple operating systems on a single partition
is not recommended. To learn more about installing multiple
operating systems on a single computer see
using Internet Explorer.

* To continue Setup using this partition, press C
* To select a different partition, press ESC

Before we continue, let's discuss disks and partitions.

What Is a Partition?

A single physical disk can be divided into more than one partition. Basically, a partition is just a section of a disk that is assigned its own drive letter. This was originally done because earlier versions of Microsoft operating systems couldn't address the larger disks that were being developed. You can learn more about physical disks and partitions in Chapter 18, "Managing Disks and Partitions." In the old MS-DOS days, you used the FDISK utility to perform this function, and you can still use an updated version of that utility to create and delete partitions. Each partition that you create on a single physical disk will be given its own drive letter so that it will appear that there are more drives installed in the computer than actually exist. Keep in mind that drive letters you see when running any Windows operating system can be a single partition that uses all the space available on a physical disk, or each drive letter can simply represent different partitions on a single disk.

Creating disk partitions is a good method for organizing the applications and files on your computer. For example, you might use a small partition for the drive letter C to store the operating system, and then one or more partitions to store data for different applications. Since each partition will appear to be a separate drive to the operating system, this can make tasks such as performing backups much simpler. For example, you might choose to create a single backup of the C: drive that contains the operating system, and then it would only be necessary to perform backups on the D:, E:, or other drives you create to store application data. Using a large disk (now available in sizes over 60GB) to store everything means you would either have to back up the entire disk or spend time creating a backup job by selecting just the folders and files you want to backup.

The Boot Partition Versus the System Partition

As mentioned earlier, the C drive letter is usually assigned to the first partition you create on a hard drive in your computer. The master boot record (MBR) is created in a special sector on the physical disk and is used by the BIOS when it boots from the hard disk. Thus, this partition is often called the boot partition.

For Windows XP (and earlier versions of Windows NT/2000), several other files are present on the boot partition, such as the BOOT.INI file, which is used to present a menu at boot time, along with other files that serve different purposes. From this menu that BOOT.INI enables, you can select which operating system to boot when you set your computer up for a dual boot scenario.

However, you don't have to store the Windows XP folder that contains all the operating system files on the boot partition. Instead, as described in "Choose Your Partition" earlier, you can select another partition to store the operating system files on. Additionally, as Microsoft suggests, it is a good idea to use a separate partition for each operating system you install.

Creating and Deleting Partitions During Setup

Under "Choose Your Partition," you learned about two useful options you can use during setup to repartition your hard disk drive. You can enter C to the menu choices to create a new partition if there is any unpartitioned space displayed, or you can use the D option to delete a partition and then use the C option to recreate one or more partitions in the newly unpartitioned space.

If you choose to delete the partition you have selected, the following text is displayed:

You asked Setup to delete the partition

G: Partition5 [NTFS] 11727MB (11727 MB free)

On 58644 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]

* To delete this partition, press L.
 CAUTION: All data on this partition will be lost.
* To return to the previous screen without
 Deleting the partition, press ESC.

If you select unpartitioned space on the disk, and use the C option to create a new partition, the following text will be displayed:

You asked Setup to create a new partition on
58644 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]

* To create the new partition, enter a size below  and press ENTER.
* To go back to the previous screen without creating  the partition, press ESC.

The minimum size for the new partition is 8 megabytes (MB).
The maximum size for the new partition is 11719 megabytes (MB).
Create partition of size (in MB): 11719

At this point, you can enter a new size or take the default size and create a partition using all of the unpartitioned space. Enter a value if you want to change the size and when ready, press Enter. The partition will be created, and you will be returned to the text menu that allows you to select the partition on which Windows XP will be installed.

Formatting a Partition During Setup

After you have played around with partitions and have selected the partition on which you want to store Windows XP system files, use your cursor keys (up and down keys) to select the partition and press Enter.

Text Mode Setup will continue and display another page, showing the partition you have chosen. If the partition already has been formatted and contains a file system, then you will see that information displayed also.

For example, you might see a display similar to the following:

D: Partition2 [NTFS] 11727 MB (11727 MB free)
On 58644 MB Disk 0 at ID 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR].

CAUTION: Formatting will delete any files on the partition.

Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select the file system you want,
and then press ENTER to continue. If you want to select
a different partition for Windows XP Professional, press ESC to go back.

Format the partition using the NTFS file system (Quick)
Format the partition using the FAT file system (Quick)
Format the partition using the NTFS file system
Format the partition using the4 FAT file system
Leave the current file system intact (no changes)

Press ENTER to continue

If you have changed your mind about which partition to use, press the Esc key to go back to the previous screen and select another partition. Otherwise, as instructed by Setup, you can choose to format the selected partition using FAT or NTFS. Use the arrow keys to select the file system and press the Enter key. Depending on the size of the partition, it will take a few minutes to complete the formatting process. You don't have to format a partition if it has already been formatted unless you want to either (1) use this as an easy way to delete any existing files on the partition or (2) change the partition's file system. For example, if you chose a partition that is currently formatted using FAT32, and you want to use NTFS, you can use the format option in this text menu to do that now during setup.


What is the difference in a regular format and a quick format? A regular format actually writes certain data out to the disk partition, such as the information needed by the file system (FAT or NTFS) to store directory information. A quick format doesn't go through that lengthy process but merely deletes all the files on the disk. If you are confident that your disk partition is in good shape, with no bad sectors or other things, then a quick format should be the logical choice. If you have time to wait for a full format to run, however, you will be playing it safe.


In Chapter 18, "Managing Disks and Partitions," you will find a lengthy discussion of the differences between FAT and NTFS formatted partitions. It is important to understand that if you want to be able to apply access permissions to files and folders on an individual basis, which can be used to grant or deny access by other users, then you need to use NTFS. The FAT file system does not support the ability to set resource protections on individual files or folders.

A second point to understand is that if you are going to multiboot the computer between any version Windows NT/2000/XP and an earlier operating system such as Windows 95/98/Me, you must leave the partition that contains those operating systems formatted as either FAT or FAT32. Windows 95/98/Me operating systems do not support NTFS. Again, this is another good reason to put each operating system on a separate partition so that you can use NTFS for your Windows NT/2000/XP installations, and FAT for earlier operating systems.

Time for Copy: Copying Files to the Hard Disk

After the partition has been formatted, you will see text displayed at the bottom of the text mode screen indicating that the Setup Wizard is checking your disk. Next, a message will inform you that Setup is preparing a list of files to be copied to your hard disk. Since the Windows XP source CD contains many files for all the different hardware devices it supports, it doesn't need to copy the full CD to your hard disk. Instead, based on the examination it made of your hardware configuration, it builds a list of the files that will be needed.

After this file list is created, another blue screen will be displayed, with a bar graph showing the progress as files are copied to your system's hard drive. Be patient!

When the necessary files have all been copied, the system will again automatically reboot.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020