Choose Your Product
No Product SelectedSelect Product
Windows XP clean installation - ThinkPad General

This is the set of general install instructions for a Microsoft Windows XP Professional fresh install onto a blank hard drive. These instructions are valid for those ThinkPad systems listed in the Windows XP Setup Guide for ThinkPads The operating system will take approximately one hour for the base operating system to install and approximately one hour to finalize the install. The final hour of install depends upon the total number of applications that need to be installed. There are specific ThinkPad utilities that are required for proper operation of the ThinkPad computer. These utilities vary from one machine model to another. Please download and have available the specific device drivers and utilities required for the specific model of ThinkPad that Windows XP is being installed on. Please visit the ThinkPad device driver matrix for those specific drivers and utilities. Please note that some Windows XP screens may appear different from these instructions. The detection of a network interface card (NIC) and a valid Internet connection will determine the sequence of setup screens presented.

Special considerations for Non-SSCD Systems
There are several ThinkPad computers that did not ship with a Software Selections CD (SSCD). These models include but are not limited to:

  • A21e
  • A22m, A22p
  • X20, X21
  • 1161, 1171
  • T23

During the Windows XP upgrade or fresh install process, numerous device drivers and applications will need to be installed or upgraded. Since these machines did not ship with a SSCD special measures must be taken for these machines. These device drivers and applications are kept in the IBMTOOLS folder. This folder must be made available after the Windows XP install. There are several methods of backing up this necessary folder, including coping the folder contents to a CD-R or CD-RW, or copying the information to shared network drive. After the Windows XP install, various device drivers and applications will need to be updated to function under Windows XP. The drivers and applications that are posted on the IBM public Web site are upgrade versions and as such need an installed version to upgrade. These installed versions are located in the IBMTOOLS subdirectory and must be installed prior to upgrading to the most currently available versions. Check the Windows XP Setup Guide for ThinkPads for instructions on which applications need to be updated.

  1. Before you install or upgrade your system to Windows XP, you must update the BIOS of your ThinkPad If you do not update the BIOS before installing Windows XP, you may encounter problems during the installation of Windows XP and Windows XP may not operate properly. The BIOS versions that have been tested with Windows XP are noted in the additional information section of each BIOS document. Please also note that some systems (T23, X20, X21) require updating both BIOS and the embedded controller firmware separately. Visit the ThinkPad device drive matrix to download and update the BIOS to the most current available. After the update, initialize the BIOS. Check to ensure that the CD-ROM is the first bootable device.
  2. Power on the ThinkPad and insert the Windows XP CD-ROM. Make sure the ThinkPad boots to the CD. There is a warning to "press any key to boot the CD" that must be observed.
  3. Press the Enter key at the Welcome to Setup screen.
  4. Read and if you choose to, agree with the End User License Agreement (EULA). It is very important to understand the EULA. Press F8 to accept.
  5. Select the partition to install Windows XP on. Use this screen to create and delete partitions as desired.
  6. Choose FAT or NTFS file system if the partition is unformatted.
  7. If the FAT file system is chosen and is larger then 2048 MB, it will be formatted FAT32. If the hard drive partition is over 32 gig, then FAT32 will not be an option. Press the Enter key to continue.

Setup will now begin the file copy process, during which the ThinkPad system will reboot. After the system boots again, the Installing Windows screen will appear, allow the install to continue. During this process the you will see an Installing Devices bar and the Setup Timer will begin. The LCD may blank during the installing devices process.

  1. Select the appropriate Regional and Language options.
  2. Enter the name and organization at the Personalize your Software screen.
  3. Enter the Product Key (located on the back of the CD case).
  4. Create a Computer name and enter then confirm the Administrator password.
  5. Set the date and time, and time zone to match your geographic location.
  6. If a network adapter is detected, it will now be installed.
  7. Select the Typical settings option unless you need to manually configure the network settings.
  8. Press No at the Workgroup or Domain screen, unless you know the Domain that the machine will participate in. Enter the Workgroup name if you know it, otherwise leave workgroup as WORKGROUP.

Additional file copy and various installation tasks are completed. Setup finishes and system reboots.

  1. Click Next at the Welcome to Microsoft Windows Screen.

Note: The following screens will depend upon the user choices exercised. Since these choices are machine and user dependent, these instructions will follow the most common choices.

  1. Checking for Internet Connectivity screen will appear, followed by a list of choices that will vary depending on the network interface detected. If an ethernet or token ring card is detected, the choices for DSL, Cable modem, or LAN will be displayed. Select the appropriate choice.
  2. The username and password screen will appear. Make the appropriate choice or skip this step.
  3. The Activate Windows screen will appear. Choose the appropriate choice to Activate now or later. The activation must occur within the specified time frame of 15 to 30 days. The Windows Activation is mandatory for continued use of XP past the 15 or 30 days.
  4. At the Register with Microsoft Screen, make the appropriate choice and click Next to continue. Choosing to register will require various information from you. Registrations is a voluntary process.
  5. Create user accounts as desired and continue. At least one account must be created.
  6. Click Finish to finalize XP install.

This concludes the Windows XP base operating system install. There are specific ThinkPad utilities that are required for proper operation of the ThinkPad computer. Below is a list of the utilities that should be installed. Most of these utilities are designed for use on multiple Windows based operating systems.

  • ThinkPad Configuration Utility for Microsoft Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows 2000 (ThinkPad 570, 600, and 770 Series models)
  • Utility for Windows 2000 (ThinkPad 390 Series models)
  • Utility for Windows 98/2000 (ThinkPad model 240)
  • Utility for Windows 98/2000 (ThinkPad A, T, X series models)
  • Notebook Manager for Windows 2000 (ThinkPad i Series models)
  • ThinkPad ESS AudioRack32 (ThinkPad 2621 model only)

Refer to the Windows XP Setup and Technical Guide for ThinkPad Notebooks for the specific utility versions and installation instructions.

Special Notes for ThinkPad 240 computers
Since the 240 computer does not have a native CD-ROM drive, these instructions are based upon the use of a Portable Drive Bay (PDB), Portable Drive Bay 2000 (PDB2000), or the IBM USB CD-ROM drive. The PDB and PDB2000 are not bootable devices via PCMCIA in the 240 family. The USB CD-ROM drive and Portable Drive Bay's will require additional device drivers. The USB CD-ROM installation method will require the 240 preload recovery diskette, and the external floppy drive that came standard with the 240 ThinkPad system. Please see note at bottom of this page for external CD-ROM instructions. Please note that there different recovery diskettes for the USB CD-ROM and the Portable Drive Bay. Please select the appropriate one.

For the USB CD-ROM drive
Attach the external floppy drive and the external USB CD-ROM drive. Power on the computer with the ThinkPad 240 recovery floppy disk in the diskette drive. Pick the USB CD-ROM drive as the recovery device during the boot process. Insert the Windows XP CD into the USB CD-ROM drive. The floppy boot will end with several syntax error messages and stop at a command prompt. The USB CD-ROM drive will be loaded as drive X. Run WINNT from the i386 subdirectory on the Windows XP CD. Once the file copy finishes, remove the floppy diskette and press the enter key to reboot, this install will begin at step 3 from above.

For Portable Drive Bay devices
Attach the external floppy drive and the external Portable Drive Bay. Boot the machine with the ThinkPad 240 recovery floppy in the diskette drive. Insert the Windows XP CD into the CD-ROM drive. Choose English as the setup instructions, select Load CD-ROM drivers, and exit to DOS. Select the IBM Portable CD-ROM drive 20x and the boot process will complete and the machine should boot to a D:\ command prompt. The USB CD-ROM drive will be loaded as drive Z. Run WINNT from the i386 subdirectory on the Windows XP CD. Once the file copy finishes, remove the floppy diskette and press the enter key to reboot, this install will begin at step 3 from above.

If you are unable to find what you are looking for, please do try the following options:
1. Lenovo Assisted Search
2. Product usage and general troubleshooting tips
3. Lenovo Support Forum
4. Technical Support Call Centre

Document ID : HT036086
Legacy Document ID : MIGR-40068
Last Updated :
Copyright © Lenovo 2013, all rights reserved
Was this page helpful to you?YesNo

Select Task
Drivers & Software  
Guides & Manuals  
Diagnose & Fix  
Warranty & Services  

Driver Matrix
KnowledgeBase Featured Articles
Community KnowledgeBase
Community Forums
Lenovo EMC
Windows 8 Support