Upgrading your existing Windows installation

If you want to upgrade your existing Windows installation, start your PC and boot to your existing Windows version, insert the W2K CD, and wait for the splash screen to appear, then select Install Windows 2000. If the splash screen does not appear because you don’t have auto insert notification turned on, run setup.exe from the root of the CD. Click Install Windows 2000, then select Upgrade to Windows 2000. Now follow the instructions on the screen. The installation is very straight forward and doesn’t really require any explanations.

Creating a dual-boot configuration with W2K and your existing Windows installation

Setting up a dual-boot is surprisingly easy. Start your PC and boot to your existing Windows version, insert the W2K CD, and wait for the splash screen to appear, then select Install Windows 2000. If the splash screen does not appear because you don’t have auto insert notification turned on, run setup.exe from the root of the CD. Click Install Windows 2000, then select Install a new copy of Windows 2000 (Clean Install). When you get to the screen to Select Special Options, make sure you click the Advanced button which offers a few very important options.

For the Windows installation folder, specify a new folder name, e.g. Win2K. Be sure not to install into your existing Windows directory and to install into a different partition.

If you have plenty of disk space, you can then check the box to Copy all Setup files from the Setup CD to the hard drive to have the files reside on your hard drive. This is a nice feature that saves you having to dig out the CD every time you want to make a change.

The most important checkbox is to Choose the installation partition during setup. This will allow you to place your W2K installation on a separate partition or drive, which is mandatory. If you put it on the same partition as your existing Windows 95 or 98 installation, it can create conflicts with existing Microsoft programs, e.g. Outlook Express and Netmeeting.

Now follow the instructions on the screen. Once the installation is complete and you reboot the system, you will see a boot menu with your different operating systems listed, one of them being the default which it boots to after a set amount of seconds. W2K setup will take care of the dual-boot option for you, it’s very simple and doesn’t require any brain surgery.

Clean installing W2K/Install from Setup floppies

Two ways to start a clean install: boot from the setup disks you created earlier, or from the CD-ROM directly, and setup will start automatically.

Insert the first setup disk that you made using the makeboot.exe command, boot up your PC and watch setup start.


Most PCs that were built in the last 2 or 3 years support booting from the CD-ROM drive directly. Insert your W2K CD, then turn on your PC. Watch you on the first screen for a line telling you to Press Del to enter Setup or something similar. This will let you change your BIOS settings. Look for the Boot Sequence option and change it so that it boots from the CD-ROM first. Save the settings, exit and reboot. Now your PC will boot from the W2K CD and start setup automatically.

Both ways will bring you to a pretty ugly screen. If you ever have installed NT before, you’ll recognize the screen. First, your hardware configuration will be checked. Go and have a smoke, a piece of pie, or whatever your vice is, this might take a few minutes. When this is done, you need to pay close attention.

Is your hard drive hooked up to a regular on-board IDE controller? Then you’re cool and go right ahead. If your hard drive is hooked up to a SCSI controller or a UDMA 66 controller, you NEED TO PUSH F6 to install a third-party SCSI or RAID driver. If you don’t do this, W2K setup cannot access your hard drive and will give you a Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) with the error INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE and instruct you to reboot your computer.

After pushing F6, you need to push S to specify an additional SCSI, UDMA66 or RAID controller driver. This is where you insert the floppy you hopefully made earlier to supply the proper driver to W2K. If you do not have the driver at this point, you will not be able to install W2K.

Assuming you have the driver, setup will continue, and you will eventually get to a screen where you can select which drive and partition to install W2K into. You can either install Windows into an existing partition, or first delete a partition, create a partition, format a partition, whatever is necessary. Preferably you would install W2K into its own partition as discussed earlier.

Please pay attention to the file system you use. Especially when setting up a dual-boot situation, you have to take into consideration that W2K can read all FAT, FAT32 and NTFS partitions, however, other operating systems such as NT 4 or Windows 95 cannot read FAT32 or NTFS partitions. Therefore you will not have access to those partitions. If you’re in doubt, don’t convert to NTFS yet. Leave it at FAT or FAT32, you can always convert the partitions to NTFS later with a simple command line switch. Use FAT for best compatibility between W2K and NT 3.51/4.0/Windows 95, use FAT32 for compatibility between W2K and Windows 98, use NTFS if you don’t care about compatibility and just want the best file system period.

The rest of the setup procedure is pretty straight forward. You choose your regional settings, enter your name and organization (if applicable). Then you set up a name for your PC and an administrator password. The administrator is the big cheese, god-like, boss user of the machine. The administrator has total control over the setup, creates and deletes user accounts, installs and removes software, creates shares, and much more. Therefore it is highly recommended that you choose a secure password and store it in a safe place in case you forget. Without this password, you’ll find yourself in a bad situation eventually to put it mildly.

Then you can set up your date and time settings, network settings (if applicable), etc. Again, this is pretty straight forward. Once these choices are made, the rest consists of watching Windows detect hardware, copy files, reboot, etc. If you’re fascinated by status bars, this part of the installation will be a real treat for you. If not, this would be a good time to have another smoke, piece of pie, cup of coffee or whatever.

After the last reboot, you’ll see the W2K splash screen and are prompted to press Ctrl-Alt-Del to log on. Don’t worry, this will not reboot your PC, but bring up a log in screen with the administrator already filled in as the user name. Type in the password you set up earlier (you still remember, don’t you?) and admire your brand-spanking new W2K desktop!


Leave a Comment: