How to Install 64-Bit Windows XP

By Jack Gerard

The 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows XP Professional offers a number of advantages over the standard retail version (which is a 32-bit version of the operating system). Using 64-bit XP allows the computer to handle a much larger amount of RAM, while enabling more advanced security features to keep your computer safe. To install a 64-bit version of Windows XP, you will have to first get the installer for it. The installer was available in .iso format from Microsoft and was also made available on DVDs that Microsoft would mail to customers, though with the introduction of Windows Vista and Windows 7, many of the support pages for Windows XP 64 were taken down. Once you have a copy of the 64-bit version of Windows XP, however, installation is relatively straightforward.

Things You'll Need

  • Copy of Windows XP 64-bit edition (either the downloaded ISO or a copy on DVD supplied by Microsoft)

Step 1

Download a copy of the Windows XP 64-bit .iso file or contact Microsoft for a DVD containing the installer. Burn the .iso file onto a bootable DVD and place this DVD into your computer's DVD drive (if you received a DVD from Microsoft, simply put that disc into your drive.) Shut down and reboot your computer, pressing a key when prompted so that your computer will boot from the DVD instead of booting your existing operating system normally. If you do not receive a prompt to boot from the DVD, reboot the computer again and press the "F12" key on your BIOS screen to access the boot menu and choose the drive that your installation DVD is in.

Step 2

Press "Enter" on the "Welcome to Setup" screen to begin installing 64-bit Windows XP on your computer. You will then be shown the Windows XP licensing agreement, which you should accept by pressing the "F8" key. Once the licensing agreement has been accepted, setup and installation of 64-bit Windows XP system files can begin.

Step 3

Select the partition that you wish to format and install Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition on. The formatting process may take some time, depending on the size of the partition and the hardware of your computer. Installing an operating system on a freshly formatted hard drive can greatly reduce the chance of OS errors, however.

Step 4

Allow Windows XP to install drivers and other system components after the formatting has completed. This can take between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on your computer's hardware. Once the drivers and system components have been installed, your computer will reboot so that it can launch the 64-bit Windows XP operating environment and complete the OS installation.

Step 5

Wait while additional Windows XP components are installed. This may take up to 20 minutes or longer, during which time facts about Windows XP will be displayed on your screen to help familiarize you with the operating system.

Step 6

Choose your preferred language when prompted to do so and click the "Next" button. You will also be asked to select other regional preferences and settings, and will set the date, time and time zone. Click "Next" after each setting choice to continue through the setup wizard.

Step 7

Enter your 25-digit Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition product key when prompted to do so. Allow Windows to activate the key online unless you don't have an Internet connection, in which case you will be given a phone number and activation code that can be used to activate the operating system over the phone (you will be given a generated activation number to enter into the appropriate prompt, confirming the activation for the operating system). Click "Next" once your product key has been accepted and your copy of 64-bit Windows XP has been activated.

Step 8

Set up your workstation and networking information. Choose the appropriate options from those presented to you or enter in your own information; then click "Next" to continue to account setup.

Step 9

Create an administrator account for your copy of 64-bit Windows XP, as well as any additional accounts that you want to have set up on the XP computer. Once the user accounts have been set up, continue advancing through the setup wizard until it completes.

Step 10

Install drivers and any other software that is necessary to finish setting up Windows XP 64 the way you want it. Reboot your computer once you have finished setup and driver installation so that your operating system can boot up with all of its components functioning.

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact Microsoft if you have difficulty finding a copy of Windows XP 64 to install; they will be able to inform you of the most up-to-date options for locating the operating system.
  • Make sure that you have a valid Windows XP 64-bit product key; the key issued for a 32-bit version of the operating system will not work