Windows 2000 Professional

Advanced Setup Options

Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Professional can be set up without using any of the advanced Setup options, however the following should help you decide if you want to modify the way setup makes the installation. This In addition to other important considerations, the following will also help you with dual-boot configurations, managing disk partitions, installing Windows 2000 on multiple computers, and even the use of alternate file systems.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Advanced Setup Options Available in Windows 2000

File System Considerations
Hard Disk Partitions Considerations
Configuring Partitions
Disk Partition Size Considerations
Converting as opposed to Reformatting Existing Partitions
Should You Convert to the NTFS File System
Dual-Boot Considerations
Dual Booting with Windows 95/98 - Cautions
Dual Booting with Windows NT
Customizing Windows 2000 Advanced Setup
Using Command Line Parameters and Switches (General)
Using Command Line Parameters and Switches (Upgrading MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups)
Using Command Line Parameters and Switches (Upgrading Windows 95/98/NT)
Running Setup in Unattended Setup Mode
Creating a set of Setup Startup Disks

Advanced Setup Options

File System Considerations: [Top]

If you haven't partitioned and formatted your hard drive just yet, don't! At least not before reading through this information. Before partitioning and formatting your drive and starting the installation of Windows 2000, you should first consider which file system you should use. Hopefully you have already made this decision before arriving here, but if you haven't, we'll try and help you with your decision.

The file system is the method you will use, or how you have formatted the hard drive, in order to store information on a hard disk. Windows 2000 supports the NTFS file system, which is proprietary to NT, as well the file allocation table FAT type file systems, FAT or FAT32. You can learn more about the file allocation table systems by visiting this link: How fat is FAT. The following information will provide you with all you need to make an informed decision as to which file system best suits your installation needs.

The NTFS file system: [Top]

The NTFS file system is the recommended file system for use with Windows 2000 as it has all of the basic capabilities of FAT as well as having the following advantages:

The only pitfall in using NTFS is if you intend upon installing a dual-boot configuration, as an example Windows 2000 and Windows 98, as you will not be able to gain access to files on NTFS partitions from the other operating system. For this reason, you should probably use FAT or FAT32 if you want a dual-boot configuration. We discuss the issue of Dual-Booting a little more below.

Fat and Fat 32 File Systems: [Top]

The FAT32 file system is an enhanced version of the original FAT (or FAT 16) file system that can be used on drives from 512 megabytes (MB) to 2 TB in size, and offers compatibility with operating systems other than Windows 2000. If you're setting up a dual-boot configuration, you should use FAT or FAT32.

If you're dual booting Windows 2000 and another operating system, you may want to choose the file system based on the "other operating system", and use the following criteria to choose which to use:

Hard Drive Partition Choices: [Top]

Partitioning is a method by which you divide your hard disk so that each section or division functions as a separate section unit. You can create partitions to organize information, to back up data for example, or to dual boot with another operating system. When you create partitions on a hard disk, you are dividing the disk into one or more areas that can be formatted for use by a file system, such as FAT or NTFS.

For more information regarding Partitioning and Formatting, follow these links and then return here: Partitioning for Windows 2000 and Formatting for Windows 2000.

Caution: If you are performing a new installation, Windows 2000 Setup will automatically select an appropriate disk partition for you unless you click select Advanced Options during the setup process and specify otherwise. A hard disk can contain up to four partitions.

Configuring your Disk Partitions: [Top]

Your existing hard disk configuration will determine, in most cases, the options available to you during setup:

NOTE: If you're setting up a dual-boot configuration of Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 must be on its own partition. Installing Windows 2000 on the same partition along with another operating system will result in the setup procedure overwriting files installed by the other operating system.

Disk Partition Size Considerations: [Top]

Although Windows 2000 requires a minimum of 500 MB of free disk space for installation (650 MB for the actual installation process), using a large installation partition provides flexibility for adding future updates, operating system tools, or other software packages and files.

During setup, you should create and size only the partition on which you want to install Windows 2000. After Windows 2000 is installed, you can use Disk Management to manipulate, change or create new partitions on your hard disk.

Converting as opposed to Reformatting Existing Partitions: [Top]

Before you running setup you should decide whether you want to keep, convert, or reformat an existing partition. The default option during setup for an existing partition is to keep the existing file system intact, thus preserving all files on that partition. If you decide to convert or reformat, you need to select an appropriate file system (NTFS, FAT, or FAT32). The following guidelines should help you decide.

Reminder: Before you change file systems on a partition, you should back up the information on the partition because reformatting the partition will delete all of the existing data.

Should I convert to NTFS? [Top]

You can convert an existing partition to NTFS during the setup process in order to make use of Windows 2000 security, and you can also convert file systems from FAT to NTFS at any time after Setup by using Convert.exe from the command prompt. While this option preserves your existing files, this only occurs if Windows 2000 has access to files on that partition.

Use this option if:

Should you always use NTFS file system? [Top]

While NTFS is the recommended file system for Windows 2000, there are specific reasons that you might want to use another file system. If you format partition with NTFS, only Windows 2000 can access those files that are subsequently created on that partition. If you will need to access files from any other operating systems (including MS-DOS), you should choose to install a FAT file system.

What happens when you reformat your existing partition: [Top]

Reformatting a partition will erase all existing files on that partition, therefore make certain that you back up your files before you reformat any partition!

The Procedure:

To convert an NTFS partition to FAT, you must:

You can't restore an NTFS partition created in Windows NT after you convert it to the version of NTFS used in Windows 2000!

To convert a FAT partition to FAT32, you must:

Dual-Boot Considerations [Top]

You can set up a multiple boot configurations using Windows 2000 with more than two other operating systems on one computer. If you use a dual-boot configuration on your computer, you can choose between operating systems or between versions of the same operating system each time you start your computer.

Windows 2000 supports Dual and Multi-booting with the following operating systems:

To set up a dual-boot configuration, you must use a separate partition for each operating system. During the Windows 2000 setup process, you can use the Advanced Setup option to select a folder on an unused partition for your files.

We strongly recommend that if you are seriously considering dual-booting your computer with Windows 2000 and other operating systems, that you obtain a copy of the Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit from Microsoft.

We also recommend that you create your Emergency Repair Disks before you install another operating system on your computer. To learn more about potential problems that you may have with either the installation of Windows 2000 Professional and Dual-Booting that you follow this link: Troubleshooting Windows 2000 Professional or review our Dual and Multi-boot Guidelines.

If you want to set up a dual-boot configuration, you may want to review these precautions. [Top]

If you want to dual-boot Windows 2000 Professional and another operating system, such as MS-DOS or Windows 98, first review the following precautions:

If you plan on Dual-Booting with Windows NT 4.0: [Top]

If you are planning to install a dual-boot configuration with Windows NT and Windows 2000, you may want to review the following:

As mentioned earlier, in order to set up a dual-boot configuration, you must use a separate partition for each operating system. During Windows 2000 Setup, you can use the Advanced Setup option to select a folder on an unused partition.

Customizing Advanced Setup [Top]

You can customize all or most of your installation of Windows 2000. You can also use the unattended Setup mode and supply answers to Setup prompts so you don't have to manually enter information during the setup process. We also recommend, as we have above, that you obtain a copy of the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit for more detailed information about customizing Setup.

Using Command Line Parameters and Switches

You can modify a Windows 2000 installation by changing how Winnt.exe and Winnt32.exe run the setup procedure. The following information describes the parameters and switches that you can use to customize your use of setup.

The Winnt.exe Command Syntax [Top]

"MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, or Windows for Workgroups 3.11"

By running Winnt.exe it will install Windows 2000. You can run the Winnt command at the command prompt for MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, or Windows for Workgroups 3.11.

The syntax of the Winnt command is as follows:

winnt [/s:sourcepath] [/t:tempdrive]
[/u:answer file][/udf:id [,UDF_file]]


The Winnt32.exe Command Syntax [Top]

"Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT"

By running Winnt32.exe installs or upgrades Windows 2000. You can run the Winnt32 command at a Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT command prompt.

The syntax of the Winnt32 command is as follows:

winnt32 [/s:sourcepath] [/tempdrive:drive_letter]
[/unattend[num]:[answer_file]] [/copydir:folder_name]
[/copysource:folder_name] [/cmd:command_line]
[/debug[level]:[filename]] [/udf:id[,UDF_file]]
[/syspart:drive_letter] [/checkupgradeonly]
[/cmdcons] [/m:folder_name] [makelocalsource]


Running Setup in Unattended Setup Mode

By using an answer file, network administrators and experienced users can perform a new installation in an unattended Setup mode. In an unattended Setup mode, no user intervention is required during setup as the answer file contains all of the information that setup requires, including acceptance of the license agreement, computer name, and network adapter. Answer files can also help you quickly install Windows 2000 on multiple computers when doing larger operating system roll-outs.

Microsoft includes a sample answer file, Unattend.txt, in the I386 folder on the Windows 2000 Professional CD. Using that file as a template, you can create your own answer file to customize Setup.

To run unattended Setup in Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 3.51, or Windows NT 4.0, start Winnt32.exe by using either the:

/unattend[num]:[answer_file] option

or the

/unattend option.

Creating Setup Startup Disks

If you don't have the Setup startup disks, you can create them. The startup disks are used to start Setup if you can't start Setup from your hard drive. Note: The setup startup disks contain different information than the Emergency Repair Disk, so be careful!

To create Setup startup disks

  1. Insert a blank, formatted disk into the floppy disk drive, and insert the Windows 2000 Professional CD into the CD-ROM drive.

    You will need four blank, 1.44 MB formatted 3.5-inch disks. Label them "Setup Disk 1," "Setup Disk 2," and so on.

  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. At the prompt, type the following command, replacing d with the letter of your CD-ROM drive and a with the letter of your floppy disk drive.

    d:\bootdisk\Makeboot.exe a:

  4. Follow each of the instructions that appear.

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