Bypassing the Windows 2000 Serial Check
If you’re involved in business workstation roll-outs, saving time is important. Any time you can reduce or eliminate personal (yours) or a users intervention during an operating system installation, you save time. Microsoft understood the need to make installations of Windows NT, and the application of Service Packs, easier when they developed Windows 2000, and they promised to do just that. Windows 2000 is a breeze to install, as is Service Pack 1, even with the few glitches that were included. Nothing’s perfect, right?
Windows 2000 is service pack and hot fix aware, and the first Windows 2000 service pack permits slipstreamed or integrated installations. In short, you can apply the service pack files to your installation share or installation point, whether its a server share or secondary hard drive, and then do your installation from this point and do the installation with the service pack already applied. You can read more about that here. This is great, but what about large roll-outs and the need to sit and type in information such as serial numbers etc?
Well, there’s a way to handle that too!
First, read our segment about building a slipstreamed or integrated installation point.
Once you have your installation point completed, try the following:
- Open the I386 directory of the installation point in Windows Explorer.
- Find the setupp.ini file, and then Right click it, and then select Properties.
- Remove (uncheck) the Read-only checkmark.
- Now open the file in Notepad to edit it.
- Your setupp.ini file should read something like this:
[Pid] ExtraData=646E77637A6F6D79626A1D94089595 Pid=51873XXX
- Replace the 3 X’s at the end with “270”.
It should now read something like this:
[Pid] ExtraData=6166656C736263737373B2574A0581 Pid=51873270
Now you can now install Windows 2000 without a serial number!