In general you first have to install the correct driver before inserting the USB device.
Since I don't have a working XP machine at hand at the moment (for obvious reasons), I'm doing this from memory:
- Remove (all) USB devices that create and use COM-ports
- Download and install the latest version of driver for the used UART-USB bridge for Windows XP:
- Now plug in the NodeMCU: you should hear the low-high confirmation tone and if the device wasn't correctly registered yet, it will be now (you'll see a popup hint window)
- Go to the device manager either by navigating through the configuration panel or by opening a command prompt and entering "devmgmt.msc" without the quotes.
- Scroll down, in the tree, to the "Ports *COM & LPT)"-node: the actual COM-port of the NodeMCU should be listed here
(Screenshot of device manager in Windows 7, but it's exactly the same in XP)
- This port should also be listed and selectable in the Arduino IDE
When you're new, don't start with a separate ESP (ESP-01 to ESP-14) module.
Get yourself a proper development board: NodeMCU - WeMos D1 - WeMos (UNO form factor) - Witty Board
ESP power requirements are 3.3V±10%@350mA
The ESP8266 IS NOT 5V tolerant on ANY pin (see item 5.14 on page 25 of the FAQ)