Copyright Michael Karbo, Denmark, Europe.

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    Chapter 6. After the installation

    When the installation has run to its end, the computer restarts and everything hopefully works. But the job isn't nearly finished yet. The operating system is installed and in working order but the computer has to be processed with security software, drivers and user programs, and it has to be optimized.

    Check the hardware

    To get your computer fully operational Windows XP is installed with a number of standard drivers, which control the different hardware devices. These standard drivers work very well but they don't always take advantage of the full potential in the computer's hardware. This is why the real drivers have to be installed; the ones that come with the CD or those you have downloaded from the Internet. These are typically the important drivers for the motherboard's controllers (incl. the earlier mentioned RAID controller), for graphic and net cards, for scanners, printers and so on.

    When the drivers are put in a folder on the D-drive as shown in Figure 29 on page 22, then it is very easy to install them. You take them one after the other and the computer doesn't have to be restarted after each installation.

    Figure 37. In most cases the installation of the drivers is finished with a request to restart the computer. You can wait until several drivers have been installed.

    When all the drivers are installed, then you have to restart the computer. After this you install a service pack or other updates from Windows Update. Then the installation of Windows is finished; the computer is functional now with relation to all the hardware devices and other accessories such as printers and scanners.

    Disorder in the drive letters

    Windows automatically gives letters to all of the drives. This can give some unexpected results, particularly if you have a hard disk, a CD and a DVD drive plus card readers. It is a good idea to control the order they are in before using the computer a lot.

    As minimum you ought to have two hard disks in a computer and they should, of course, be called C and D, as in Figure 38.

    Figure 38. A drive sequence, which Windows XP has created during the installation.

    Many card readers have drives for four or several types of RAM cards and each one of them becomes a new drive. In this way the card reader below is installed as the drives E, F, G and H. Finally, Windows like to place optic drives (CD and DVD) at the end of the sequence. In my example as I and J drives.

    Figure 39. This card reader becomes four drives in Windows. Unfortunately it is very slow ...

    If there, for some reason or another, is disorder in the drive sequence then it should be corrected. Open the Control panel and find the category Administration:

    Then click on the shortcut Computer administration. This will open a little administrations program, where you have to click on Disk management in the bottommost left window:

    Now you can see all the drives with their own bars in the right window and you have several options like partitioning the hard disk, etc. (see page 84).

    If you right click on one of the bars, you can change the drive letter by selecting the menu Change drive letter and path:

    If one of the CD drives has wedged itself in between two hard disk drives, then you have to first remove the drive letter for this. Here is an example where a CD drive is called D, which is to be altered. First the drive letter is removed:

    Then you can give the hard disk number 2 the letter D. Finally you can, for example, give the letter H to the CD drive:

    Figure 40. It is easy to alter drive letters.


    It is usually a good idea to restart your computer, after you have changed the drive sequence.

    Installing programs

    When the computer is ready and all the hardware is correctly installed in Windows, it is time to install the user programs. The most important are the firewall and the antivirus program. These are absolutely the first two I would install. Read about them later on in the booklet.

    As said earlier, the easiest way of doing this is to make a copy of the installation file on the D drive. Big program packs like Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite are installed in just a few minutes, when it is done from hard disk to hard disk.

    But this applies to all user programs, big and small; when the installation files are placed on the hard disk it doesn't take much time to reinstall them. You can also have the programs serial numbers in small text files, so that they can be copied directly into the installation program.

    Figure 41. When both installation files and licence numbers are in the same folder on the hard disk then the programs can be reinstalled very quickly.

    This also applies to the small help programs (utilities), which I have in my folder Tools, as shown in Figure 30 on page 23. They all have to be reinstalled if you have reinstalled Windows XP.

    If you use the method described in these chapters, then Windows XP with all its drivers, firewall and antivirus, utilities as well as user programs can be installed in under two hours. That's all it takes!

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