The Windows XP Survival Guide

Keep your XP system running for the long haul

XP Survival Guide

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With no new copies of Windows XP being sold, support for XP will start to decline. Fortunately, XP’s long run has produced a ton of collected wisdom: everything you need to keep your copy going strong and — when ready — to help you move on. If that’s your long-term goal, there are a number of steps you can take now to ensure a finely tuned XP system for months — possibly years — to come.

The Windows Secrets editors have selected the best tips on Windows XP and created this concise guide, covering three major categories:

  • Maintaining Windows XP
  • Troubleshooting XP
  • Win7 and XP: Living in both worlds

You can read the entire 40 page e-book from front to back, but it’s most useful as a quick-reference guide that you keep at hand.

Happy computing!

Table of Contents


  • Windows XP: Looking back, looking forward
  • Microsoft included many keys to XP’s success
  • XP’s many blemishes are well documented
  • XP will get security patches until April 2014

Maintaining Windows XP

  • Preparing Windows XP for the long haul
  • Start with a thorough XP system checkup
  • Review and update your PC’s security system
  • Give your computer a thorough file cleaning
  • Use disk imaging to preserve your new setup
  • Slimmed-down Windows XP delivers benefits
  • Get ready to create your Windows XP boot CD
  • Putting nLite through its install-CD paces
  • Wrapping up the creation of your mini-XP disc
  • Put Windows XP on a bootable flash drive
  • Flash media offer speed and flexibility
  • Put a copy of Windows XP on a flash drive
  • An advanced USB-based rescue system using Linux
  • Build your own XP Service Pack 4
  • Picking through the list of Windows XP hotfixes
  • How to request a hotfix from Microsoft

Troubleshooting XP

  • An update ends in partial hangs
  • A step-by-step guide for improving boot times
  • Waiting, waiting, waiting for system shutdown
  • What to do when Windows refuses to boot
  • Computer on strike? OS fails to show
  • Using Windows’ built-in repair tools
  • Using Linux to restore data and test your PC
  • When you know you have a hardware problem
  • Using the tools on the Windows CD-ROM
  • Your last, desperate move: reinstalling

Win7 and XP: Living in both worlds

  • Using Windows 7s XP Mode — step by step
  • Setting up XP Mode for the first time
  • Important first steps with your new XP Mode
  • Installing and using software in XP Mode
  • Gotchas? Of course there are gotchas!
  • Configuring remote control between Windows OSes
  • Setting up remote control in Windows 7
  • Remote-control setup in XP SP3

More Windows XP Resources

  • Other Windows Secrets XP setup/maintenance articles
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