Upgrading from Windows NT Workstation
(Versions 3.51 0r 4.0)
To Windows 2000 Professional

If you are currently using Windows® NT Workstation, either version 3.51 or version 4.0, you can upgrade to Windows 2000 Professional.

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The Windows® 2000 Professional operating system builds on the traditional strengths of Windows NT Workstation 3.51 and 4.0, providing improved reliability with fewer reboots, an easier-to-use desktop and user interface, plus increased performance and manageability. It also supports extended Plug and Play and new interfaces, such as Universal Serial Bus (USB) and the 1394 serial interface.

Below you will find the steps necessary to help you to prepare a solid foundation for your upgrade as well as how to get the Setup program underway. Whether you are using the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM or upgrading from a network server, the information below will smooth the process for you. Additional resources direct from Microsoft are listed at the end of this document.

Before you start the upgrade:
  • Make sure your computer can run Windows 2000.
    Check your hardware specifications to see if they meet the system requirements for Windows 2000.

  • Make sure your hardware and software are compatible with Windows 2000.
    Visit the compatibility area of this site to find out if your hardware and software are compatible with Windows 2000. While the setup process will generate a list of incompatible software and hardware, the tools available in the compatibility area, such as the Readiness Analyzer, will help you to determine ahead of time if you need updates. Microsoft also recommends that you test your configurations and applications prior to upgrading production systems.

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

  • Determine whether you need to do an upgrade or a new installation.
    In certain situations, even though you are currently running Windows NT Workstation 3.51 or 4.0, you may prefer to do a new installation (or "clean install"), rather than an upgrade to Windows 2000. By installing the operating system from scratch, you place the operating system in a known state and avoid migrating any problems that may have existed in the previous configuration. However, a new installation requires reformatting your hard disk, so you must back up your data, install Windows 2000, reinstall your applications, and then reload just your data from backup, not the former operating system.

    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 do not have an 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.

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

  • Obtain your network information.
    If your computer is connected to a network, make sure you know your network information (if you won’t be connected to a network, skip this step):

    • Name of your computer.
    • Name of your workgroup or domain.
    • TCP/IP address, if your network doesn’t have a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server.

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  • Choose a file system.
    During Setup, Windows 2000 gives 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. 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).

    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.

    If you are already using NTFS, note that with Windows 2000 Professional, the file system is automatically upgraded to NTFS version 5.

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  • Know your IP address.
    If you plan to connect to the Internet, you may need to provide an IP address during Setup. An IP address is 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.

Prepare your computer for the upgrade:

  • Install hardware and software updates that are necessary.
    Review your current system information and obtain hardware and software updates (drivers, BIOS, and so forth) from your hardware or software manufacturer. Check the compatibility area for tools to help you determine if you need updates. It is particularly important to make sure you have the latest BIOS (basic input/output system) available from your computer manufacturer.

  • Back up your files.
    Back up your files to a disk, a tape drive, or another computer on your network. Be sure to back up your registry and create an emergency repair disk. This will enable you to revert to your former operating system should it be necessary.

  • Backup just your data files.
    Backup just the data files you need, such as documents, pictures, sound files etcetera. If the upgrade is successful, you will not want to risk polluting your new operating installation with former OS files.

  • Scan for viruses.
    Use anti-virus software to scan for and eradicate any viruses on your hard disk.

  • Uncompress 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.

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


Starting the Upgrade Process:

To start an upgrade of Windows NT 3.51 using the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM:

  • Start your computer by running your current operating system, and then insert the Windows 2000 Professional CD into your CD-ROM drive.

  • In Program Manager, click File, and then click Run. At the prompt, type the following command, replacing D with the letter of your CD-ROM drive: \i386\winnt32.exe

  • Press ENTER.

  • Follow the instructions that appear.

To start an upgrade of Windows NT 4.0 using the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM:

  • Start your computer by running your current operating system, and then insert the Windows 2000 Professional CD into your CD-ROM drive.

  • If Windows automatically detects the CD 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 of Windows NT 3.51 or 4.0 using 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.

Links to related information at Microsoft:

 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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