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Are there new features of Windows 2000 Pro I need?

Windows 2000 Pro is packed with new features. A few of the more commonly cited reasons for upgrading include better stability, reliability, security, and support for mobile users. These features translate into better ease of use.

Click here to see Microsoft's feature list.

Why not Windows 98?

Microsoft has indicated it will consolidate its OS environments into a single consumer version of Windows (based on Windows 9x) and an enterprise version (based on Windows 2000). Eventually, a consumer edition of Windows 2000 will replace Windows 9x. In the meantime, Windows 9x is still the right choice if you require gaming DirectX, enhanced multimedia, 16 bit application support and don't need the added security and networking features of Windows 2000 Pro. You may opt for 98 or NT if you don't have the hardware necessary to run Windows 2000 Pro or your application software isn’t compatible with 2000 yet. (See system requirements section).

From Microsoft:


Windows(r) 2000 Professional is the upcoming Microsoft operating system best for business users. And Windows 98 Second Edition is the best system for home use. If you're not sure which one is best suited for your needs, check out the top ten reasons to upgrade to each one right here:

Does my computer meet the Windows 2000 Pro hardware requirements?

Windows 2000 Pro has the following hardware requirements:

  • 133 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible CPU. Supports both single and dual CPU systems.
  • 64 MB of RAM.
  • 2 GB of hard disk with a minimum of 650 MB of available space.

Is my system Windows 2000 compatible?

Your computer, hardware and software components should be checked against Microsoft's compatibility lists. Components that run on Windows NT or 9.x will not necessarily be compatible with Windows 2000.

Click here for compatibility lists.

In addition, Microsoft has a compatibility checker:


The Windows 2000 Readiness Analyzer tool checks out your system and reports on what hardware devices and software applications might not be compatible with Windows 2000. This check is also run during Windows 2000 Setup. Download and run the tool before installing Windows 2000 to learn if your installation will succeed.

Should I upgrade to Windows 2000 now?

Eventually, a consumer edition of Windows 2000 will replace Windows 9x. Therefore, for current Windows users, the upgrade to some flavor of Windows based on 2000 is likely. However, waiting to upgrade is prudent. It is unlikely that your system will pass compatibility checks 100%. Vendors and technical support staff need time to identify and resolve hardware and software compatibility issues. Purchase of a new computer with the hardware and software to support Windows 2000 reliably is an attractive path to Windows 2000. Unless there's a feature you don't want to wait for (like laptop support), come back in a few months and reassess your situation.

If you’re still not sure whether to upgrade or not, consider discussing your needs with DoIT Showroom staff at 265-SHOW.

So you've decided to upgrade....

You've reviewed your hardware and software components and while not perfect, you want to go ahead with the upgrade to Windows 2000. Here are a few resources to help:

How do I backup my current system?

As with any major operating system change, a complete system backup should be done before the upgrade. If you don't have a current method to do this, contact DoIT for assistance.

Should I do a clean install or an in-place upgrade?

Clean installs are likely to be less problematic in the long run, but most folk’s cringe at the thought of reinstalling all their applications. Here's an article examining why clean installs are a good idea:


While "clean" install procedures may seem time consuming at first, they will prevent much of the need for routine fix work in the future. This process will ultimately increase your firm's resource availability and decrease your clients' technology budgets, so your staff can add value at a much higher level and with substantially higher service margins.

How can I be sure things go relatively smoothly?

There are many "how to" articles and books for successful Windows 2000 deployment. Here's a fairly concise one:


Whether you're performing an upgrade or a clean installation, your customers depend on you for a smooth deployment with as little downtime as possible. Help ensure that you provide a timely and hassle-free migration with these four Windows 2000 deployment steps.

Microsoft has a more extensive deployment guide for IT professionals as they plan for a Windows 2000 transition.

Click here for the guide.

I’ve completed the upgrade but have some questions.
Who can I talk to?

Contact the DoIT HeLP desk (4-HELP) if you have questions about Windows 2000 Professional.






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