Now lets install it!

    Step 1:  Build your PC.  Make sure you have a working hard drive and CD-ROM.  Put in a network card, if it needs to be configured (IRQ I/O address) you should do so now.  There need not be an operating system on the hard disk already, it doesn't even have to be formatted.  The main thing to remember is that you should know all the system resources beforehand, if possible.  Make a list to keep track.  This is usually the only hang-up you can encounter during setup.   Sometimes you just have to try a few times to get it right. 

    Step 2: Begin Setup.  Now you are ready to boot NT setup.   Assuming you have the 3 boot disks (click here to find out how to make them if you don't) insert disk 1 in drive a and turn on the PC.  You will see the following:

Setup is examining your system...

The "Text based" portion of setup begins.  It loads NT Executive and many other system drivers that are necessary for installation.  It also loads the file setuptxt.sif that is located on the first disk.  There are some tricks in this file that I will discuss later.  It will prompt you for disk 2.  This disk contains some more drivers, default registry hives and then initializes the kernel.   You will see the magic screen that says something like the following:

Microsoft(R) Windows NT(R) version 4.0 (build 1381)
Multiprocessor Kernel (96) Mb of memory.

Then the setup screen is displayed.  It says basically:

    Find out more about NT
    Install Windows NT
    Repair an installation

We will choose Install, press enter.
It will then ask you for what devices you have.  This is important, but you only have to do it once assuming that the install is successful.   If you press return, it will try all the default drivers.  Many times this works, but not all of them are tried.  If you have a MKEPanasonic CD-ROM, you will have to load it separately.   If you have the disk instead, you can say "other, disk provided by hardware manufacture" and then give it the disk.  Once you have all your disk drive and CD-ROM devices loaded, you can continue.  It will load more drivers.  For example, you may have the following:

   MKEPanasonic CD-ROM

The IDE CD-ROM is actually the IDE hard drive in this case, don't get confused.

Next, it will should display the End User License Agreement (EULA) which is on the CD - remember to put it in the CD-ROM reader!  If at this point it says that the NT CD-ROM could not be found, you will have to try again.  If it is able to load it, you just got yourself past a big milestone.  Just scroll down to the bottom and press F8.   (Bill doesn't expect you to read the whole damn thing!)  It will then perform a disk check, press enter.  If it says it failed to do it, don't worry, it does that sometimes.  It will present you with a list of hard drives and partition information.   If you have no partitions defined, you can make one now.  Follow the directions on the screen.  Another choice you need to make is if you want to use FAT or NTFS.  I would recommend NTFS in any case other than if you need to be able to access the drive booting of a dos boot disk.

I will add in an example of this screen later...

Now NT will go ahead and copy the necessary files to a location that it will determine.   SECRET!: The files are stored in a directory called $WIN_NT.LS$. Once it is done, it will say that it is done, remove all disks from the floppy drive(s) and press enter to restart.  It now restarts, you see the menu but the timeout is set to 0 so you can't change it.  NT boots, and if everything goes right, you will get the GUI.  Notice: if you choose that you wanted NTFS, at this point it will convert the file system when the blue screen comes up, and then restart.   After that, you will get the GUI.  It goes right in and begins to ask you questions.  I will concentrate on the SERVER installation here. 

    It will want to know the following:

It should ask you the following information about this order (may be different)
Your Name / origination
Product Identification Number - located on the back of the CD case
Server or Primary / Backup Domain Controller
License mode, and type
Computer Name
Workgroup or Domain to join
Options - if custom configuration is selected
Printer Configuration
Network Configuration
Copy files
Set security on files (NTFS)
Save configuration - makes initial backup registry

I know that this seems vague, but I plan on adding much more here in the future.  

Now go on to "Now What" which is full of administration and other great post-install stuff.