Please, note, as ever, that I'm not a native English speaker, so maybe you can find some mistakes in the language of this tutorial.
Sometimes ago I've made a guide (http://fabuland.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/formattare-un-pc-windows-per-rimettere-a-nuovo-il-software/) to prepare a computer for primary school work. I've decided that it could be useful even for teachers that can't speak Italian, so I try to translate it.
What you will need:
- a computer with minimum requirements for Windows XP (see here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314865/en-us)
- a valid serial number for Windows XP
- CD of the third parts components (but in the most of the cases you should find the drivers on line)
- an Internet connection
Step 1: Recover the Serial Key
Note that you'll need a different type of Windows XP on the base of what you read on the label:
- Windows XP Professional (retail)
- Windows XP Professional OEM
- Windows XP Home (retail)
- Windows XP Home OEM
You have to use the right CD or the key won't work.
Step 2: Format C:/
Put the Windows CD in the drive then reboot the PC.
When the PC starts up with a CD in the drive, at some time it should tell you that if you want to boot from the CD-Rom you should press a key. Do it.
If this doesn't happen, you should enter the BIOS to set it up. You could do this by pressing a key at the bootstrap, generally Del or F2 (read it in the first screen).
Look for a "boot order" in the menus (you'll have to use the keyboard because mouse won't work) and change the setting like this:
- any other device, it doesn't mind
Once you have done this, reboot and start the computer from the CD-Rom.
It will start the installation. Accept the agreement for Windows (F8), then you have access to the screen with installation options. Select the hard disk and tell the program to erase the current partitions (you need to have only unallocated space).
Select the "unallocated space". You are going to create two partitions, one for the operationg system and the other for the back up of it, so you won't need to follow all this long tutorial the next time your pupils will mess up with the PC.
Keep from 5 to 10 GB for the back up and use the others for the operating system. Note that the back up partition should be the second you create, for example:
HD = 80 GB
C: = 70 GB (operating system)
D: = 10 GB (back up)
Select the hard disk and the formatting mode NTFS. This will take some minutes.
Step 3: Installing Windows
Now let the computer alone and go to do whatever you want. This part will take from 20 to 40 minutes, but it' s more or less completely automathic.
You'll have to choose your time zone and time, the name of the computer and of the first user when the installation is almost complete.
Tips for primary school teachers: I've given to the computers of my school names of animals (cat, tiger, panda, frog....), so for the littler kids is more simpler to identify them. I've noticed that this metod work very good for adults too ;D
Step 4: Drivers and Service Packs
If the LAN doesn't work because it has no drivers, you'll have to use another computer to find them.
To find the right drivers, just google the brand and name of your computer. You'll find them on the productor's website.
If the computer has no brand, you'll have to find out what motherboard it has. To do this you can open you computer (very important: disconnect the computer from the elettrical power before open the case!) and read the name directly on the motherboard, or you can use some software, one is AIDA32 - Personal System Information (http://www.majorgeeks.com/download181.html).
When you've finished with all the drivers, you'll have to install the Service Packs. Windows XP has two service pack, 2 and 3, you can download then free on Microsoft website.
Step 5: Back Up the Operating System
Download it from http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm , install it and run it.
You'll have only to choose the location of the back up (remember the partition D: you made before installing Windows? Yes, you use it now!) and wait some minutes.
This back up is useful when you'll have to reistall the system: with the image DXMLI has done, you won't need to follow this totorial step by step, just restore the back up using BartPe or WinPE (look here: http://www.runtime.org/peb.htm ).
Step 6: Software for School
OpenOffice.org: free suite (writing, drawing, ect.) - http://it.openoffice.org/
ClamWin: antivirus - http://it.clamwin.com/
7zip: a zip/unzip utility - http://www.7-zip.org/
Firefox: the best Internet browser - http://www.mozilla-europe.org/it/firefox/
Foxit Reader: a free pdf reader that's very light - http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/
Tutore Dattilo: teach and learn to type - http://www.maurorossi.net/tutoredattilo/pagine/english.htm
Ivana Sacchi: school programs for kids - http://www.ivana.it/j/
VLC: multimedia reader - http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Irfan View: to view images - http://www.irfanview.com/
CDBurnerXP: to burn CDs and DVDs - http://cdburnerxp.se/
Now enjoy your clean PC :)
Please note that you can find this tutorial in Italian on my blog: