Windows 2000

Upgrading from Windows 95 or Windows98


If you are currently using either the Windows® 95 or the Windows® 98 operating systems, you can upgrade to Windows 2000 Professional.


The procedures below will help you prepare for your upgrade, and then walk you through the steps to do so beginning with starting the setup program. The following procedures discuss doing this either by using the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM or upgrading from a network server. We have also included links directly to some of our resource pages along with those offered by Microsoft, all of which we feel may help you along with the upgrade.

Before you start the Upgrade procedure..

Make sure that Windows 2000 is the correct operating system for you.

Windows 2000 is built on Windows NT® technology, offering business users reliability, manageability, strong Internet support, and support for new hardware devices. For home computer users running Windows 98 or Windows 95, Microsoft suggests that you may want to wait for the next consumer-oriented operating system, the Windows Millennium Edition.

How To Be Sure Windows 2000 Professional is Right for You

The Windows 2000 Professional operating system is designed primarily for business users, while Windows 98 remains the best choice for home users and gamers. If you are still not sure which operating system is best for you, then the following information may help you decide.

For Business

Windows 2000 Professional

For Home

Windows 98 Second Edition

  • Highest reliability to keep your business running

  • Enhanced security to protect your business data
  • Best support for mobile business computing
  • Best platform for next-generation business technology
  • Best platform for multimedia: music, pictures, video

  • Best support for PC gaming
  • Easy home networking and Internet setup
  • Broadest support for consumer hardware and software
  • Make sure your computer can run Windows 2000.

    You may want to check your hardware specifications to see if they meet the minimum system requirements for Windows 2000.
  • Make sure your hardware and software are compatible with Windows 2000.

    Use the Windows 2000 Readiness Analyzer to determine whether or not your hardware and software are compatible with Windows 2000. You can read more about the Readiness Analyzer by following this link: Windows 2000 Readiness Analyzer. To review more about compatibility follow this link: Compatibility. Although Windows 2000 Setup generates a list of n incompatibility issues if present, the tools available in the compatibility area will help you determine if you need BIOS (basic input/output system) or driver updates before upgrading. You may also want to review BIOS issues by following this link: BIOS Compatibility and Windows 2000. We strongly recommend that thoroughly test your hardware and software before performing any upgrades.

  • Read the release notes on the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM.

    Read the release notes in the root directory of the Windows 2000 CD-ROM, the Read1st.txt file, as well as the Readme.doc, which has an "Application Notes" section with information about programs that need to be disabled or removed before running Setup.

  • Additional Windows 95 and Windows 98 Compatibility Issues

  • You should determine which is better for you, either an upgrade or a new installation.

    Certain situations may dictate that, even though you are currently running Windows 95 or Windows 98, you may prefer or even need to do a new installation (or "clean install"), rather than an upgrade. By installing the operating system from scratch, you place the operating system in a known state and avoid migrating any problems, hidden or otherwise, that may have existed in the previous configuration. Since a new installation will require the reformatting of your hard disk, you should always back up your data, such as documents, pictures and the like, and then install Windows 2000, reinstall your applications, and then copy over or restore your data from backup.

    You should upgrade if all of the following are true:

    • You’re already using a previous version of Windows that supports upgrading.

    • You want to replace your previous Windows operating system with Windows 2000.

    • You want to maintain your existing user settings and files.

    You should perform a new installation if any of the following are true:

    • Your hard drive is blank (that is, you have no operating system installed on it).

    • Your current operating system does not support an upgrade to Windows 2000.

    • You have two partitions and want to create a dual-boot configuration with Windows 2000 and your current operating system. (Be sure to install Windows 2000 on a different partition than your current operating system.) Typically, dual-boot configurations are suitable for testing and evaluation; however, they are not recommended for long-term production use.

If you determine that you can and want to do an upgrade, proceed with the remaining steps listed below beginning with obtaining your network information.

If you determine that you need to perform a new installation, please refer to the resources found in Clean Installation of Windows 2000.

  • Obtain your network information.

    If your computer is connected to a network, make sure you have all of your network information (obviously, if you won’t be connecting to a network, skip this step):

    • Determine the network name of your computer (you may need to consult with your administrator about using a computer name that conforms to the naming conventions of your network).

    • Name of your workgroup or domain.

    • TCP/IP address, if your network doesn’t have a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server.

  • Choose a file system.

    Decide, before running setup, which file system you want to use, FAT, FAT 32 or NTFS. During setup, Windows 2000 will give you the choice of using the Windows NT file system (NTFS) or one of the file allocation table file systems (FAT or FAT32). NTFS is the recommended file system for use with Windows 2000, as it offers:

    • Better reliability.
    • Better file security, including the Encrypting File System (EFS) which protects data on your hard drive by encrypting each file with a randomly generated key.

    • Better disk compression.

    • Better support for large hard disks (up to two terabytes).

    The maximum drive size for NTFS is much greater than for FAT, and as drive size increases, performance with NTFS will not degrade as it does with FAT systems.

    The conversion to NTFS is one-way. You will not be able to convert your drive back to FAT if you choose to upgrade your drive. If you decide to switch to NTFS, you can do so during Setup or after Windows 2000 is installed.

  • Know your IP address.

    If you plan to connect to the Internet, you may need to provide an IP address during setup process. An IP address is sometimes assigned by your Internet Service Provider for your e-mail and Internet accounts. If you haven't established an e-mail or Internet account yet, you can easily add your IP address later.

  • Plan ahead for rolling back.

    Windows 2000 Professional does not provide an uninstall feature. You will not be able to return to your previous version of Windows after installing Windows 2000 unless you completely reinstall your older version of Windows and all of your programs. Take a moment and plan accordingly in the event that the upgrade does not proceed successfully.

Prepare your present system
  • Install or incorporate all of the necessary hardware and software updates required to make your computer Windows 2000 ready.

    Review your current system information and make any necessary hardware changes, then obtain hardware and software updates (drivers, BIOS, and so forth) from your hardware or software manufacturer and apply them to your current Windows system. Check the Hardware Compatibility and BIOS Compatibility areas for tools to help you determine if you need updates, Such as the Windows 2000 Readiness Analyzer. It is extremely important to make sure you have the latest BIOS (basic input/output system) available for your motherboard from your computer manufacturer.

  • Back up your files.

    Back up your files to a disk, a tape drive, or if you are connected to a network, back them up to another computer on the network. Do not backup any system from that in any manner relate to your present operating system as they will be of no use to you and you run the risk of polluting Windows 2000 system files. Backup only your document  files, pictures, graphics etcetera.

  • Scan for viruses.

    Use anti-virus software to scan for and eradicate any viruses on your hard disk. Make certain you disable your anti-virus software before starting the upgrade.

  • Uncompress drives all compressed drives.

    Uncompress any DriveSpace or DoubleSpace volumes before upgrading to Windows 2000. Do not upgrade to Windows 2000 on a compressed drive unless the drive was compressed with the Windows NT file system (NTFS) compression feature. If you cannot uncompress the drive and still have the required space for the Windows 2000 files, you will not be able to perform the upgrade.

  • Uninstall power management or disk management tools.

    If you are running any power management or disk management tools provided by your computer manufacturer, you should uninstall these programs before you attempt to upgrade.

  • Stop all running programs except for "Systray" and "Explorer".

    Using your "CTRL", "ALT" and "DEL" keys, "End Task" for all running programs.

  • Uninstall all incompatible software before upgrading.

    Make sure that any software found to be incompatible with Windows 2000, or that cannot be upgraded in order for it to be compatible with Windows 2000 is uninstalled and the files removed before starting the upgrade.

Starting the Upgrade

To start an upgrade from the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM:

  • Start your computer, and from within you present operating system insert the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive.

  • If Windows automatically detects the CD-ROM and asks if you would like to upgrade your computer to Windows 2000 Professional, click Yes.

    Otherwise, click Start, and then click Run. At the prompt, type the following command, replacing D with the letter assigned to your CD-ROM drive: \i386\winnt32.exe.

  • Press ENTER.

  • Follow the instructions that appear.

To start an upgrade from a network connection:

  • Using your current operating system, establish a connection to the shared network folder that contains the Setup files. If you have an MS-DOS or network installation disk that contains network client software, you can use that disk to connect to the shared folder. Your network administrator will be able to provide you with this path.

  • At the command prompt, type the path to the file Winnt32.exe.

  • Press ENTER.

  • When you're asked if you would like to upgrade your computer to Windows 2000 Professional, click Yes.

  • Follow the instructions that appear.

Following the links below will take you to related information provided by Microsoft at their technical information site Technet:

 MS Windows 2000 Professional Getting Started, Chapter 2, Setup

 MS Windows 2000 Professional Getting Started, Chapter 3, Advanced Setup

 Windows 2000 Resource Kit Deployment Planning Guide

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