Knowledge Center – Microsoft Windows 2000

Microsoft® Windows 2000 Knowledge Center

Features and Tools similar to Windows 95/98

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You may call them tools, or features, or anything you like for that matter, but they do enhance the usability of Windows 2000. They may not be what the computer geek in you is looking for, but they are certainly worth a look for the average user. As you can probably tell after reviewing our Web site, we feel that Windows 2000 is for the causal user too! With this in mind, we will try and convince you that upgrading to Windows 2000 is easy.

Unlike the truly basic tools like the venerable Notepad, Paint, and WordPad, Windows 2000 comes with some impressive options beyond the normal array of command-line utilities normally found in the NT based Windows versions. These utilities provide a level of functionality almost identical to that of the Windows 95/98 versions. In this segment, we’ll cover ten of most used utilities and show you how they are similar but yet different from those found in Windows 95/98.

Disk Cleanup

Windows 2000 uses considerably more temporary files than any prior version of Windows. Temporary files slowly consume available space on your hard drive. Drive Cleanup lets you display and remove temporary files, Internet cache files, and unused program files, helping you recover lost space. You’ll find this utility under Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Cleanup. You can read more about this useful utility here.

Disk Defragmenter

Regularly defragmenting your systems’ hard drives is vitally important to your systems’ performance. The Windows 2000 toolkit includes a Lite version of Executive Software’s Diskeeper. You’ll find the utility under Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter. This disk defragmenter is completely different from the one included with Windows 95/98, so you may want to read an in-depth segment here.

Backup

Microsoft has completely revamped this version of NT Backup. Unlike its predecessors, the Windows 2000 Backup utility is considerably more flexible, more powerful, and allot easier to use. In addition to backing up the registry, create Emergency Repair Disks (ERDs) and backup files, this new utility lets you back up to a variety of media types, including external disk s such as Zip Disks etc. You’ll find this utility under Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Backup. You can read more about this useful utility here.

Windows Media Player

As online seminars and video-based training become commonplace, Windows Media Player has evolved from a simple entertainment item to a staple of the Windows 2000 toolbox. This Windows Media Player can play .avi, .wav, .wma, and .mp3 files, and is a bit more refined than the Windows 9x versions. You’ll find this utility under Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, Windows Media Player.

NetMeeting

NetMeeting is one of the best-kept secrets in Windows 2000. This utility is more than just an easily overlooked videoconferencing tool. It’s Remote Desktop Sharing feature lets you perform the kind of remote control management functions that typically require a third-party tool. You can also use NetMeeting to share remote applications, perform file transfers, and host multi-user chat sessions. You’ll find this utility under Programs, Accessories, Communications, NetMeeting.

Imaging

Windows 2000 includes an all new imaging functionality, a major upgrade for NT users. These new utilities provide you with digital photo capturing, editing, and printing capabilities that far surpass the basic drawing functions of the old standby Paintbrush utility in NT. If you’re upgrading from Windows 9x, you’ll find the imaging functionality in Windows 2000 far superior. You’ll find the Imaging utility under Programs, Accessories, Imaging.

Fax Server Management

The Fax Server Management utility lets you configure fax devices and send and receive faxes. A useful program for those of you running a small business or those of you that have a home-business and need fax capabilites but have only one telephone line. You’ll find this utility under Programs, Accessories, Fax, Fax Server Management.

Phone Dialer

The Phone Dialer utility works in conjunction with other programs such as the Address Book and the Fax Server Management utility mentioned above. It lets you place voice, videoconference, and fax calls from your system. To use Phone Dialer, you can use voice lines with a modem and telephone number or you can use IP addresses to communicate over a network. You’ll find this utility under Programs, Accessories, Communications, Phone Dialer.

HyperTerminal

For many, the Internet has become their primary communications conduit, however many organizations and network devices still use asynchronous communications for basic Telnet connections and file transfers. HyperTerminal is a small light weight program that provides these asynchronous capabilities to Windows 2000. You’ll find this utility under Programs, Accessories, Communications, HyperTerminal.

Scheduled Tasks

Although you could use add-ons in Windows NT to schedule certain tasks, doing so lacked the flexibility of the Scheduler included with Windows 98. This Windows 98-like utility is a much anticipated addition to the Windows 2000 interface. Scheduled Tasks lets you automatically run programs, scripts, or batch files on a daily, weekly, or monthly timetable. The utility is much easier to use than Windows NT’s command-line utility, as well as any of the add-ons available. You’ll find this utility under Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks.

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