The Windows XP startup disk allows computers without a bootable CD-ROM to perform a new installation of the operating system. The Windows XP startup disk will automatically load the correct drivers to gain access to the CD-ROM drive and start a new installation of Setup. You cannot upgrade from a Windows XP startup disk. Windows XP Home Edition startup disks will not work for Windows XP Professional installations and vice-versa.
Windows XP Setup boot disks are available only by download from Microsoft. The Setup boot disks are available so that you can run Setup on computers that do not support a bootable CD-ROM. If your computer does support booting from a CD-ROM, or if network-based installation is available, Microsoft recommends that you use those installations methods instead. Future products will no longer support installation via the setup boot disks. This version is the first release on CNET Download.com.