Now it’s time to customize, tweak and fine-tune your W2K installation. First, let’s head over to the Windows 2000 update site by opening Internet Explorer and clicking Tools/Windows Update. This is where you’ll download and install any available service packs, updates and patches. Alternatively, if you want to download and save these updates for later installation, you can also head over to http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/default.asp.
Go to Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager to see a list of all the devices that Windows installed automatically. Check to see if there is anything missing from this list. If so, click on the hardware wizard in the System Properties to install additional hardware.
If you find some devices in the device manager that are marked as not properly working and/or missing the driver, double-click on those devices, go to the Driver tab and click Update Driver. This will launch a wizard that guides you through the process. Point it to the disk where you have the driver for that device and Windows will do the rest for you. Be sure to use only Windows 2000 certified drivers if at all possible, you don’t want to mess up your clean installation.
The device manager offers some nice options under the Action and View menu, allowing you to customize the view, printing a list of the devices, and scan for hardware changes.
Installing the Recovery Console
W2K comes with a tool called Recovery Console that is designed to help you out when something goes wrong. To install the Recovery console, log on as administrator, insert the W2K CD, then go to Start/Run and type in x:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons where x is the drive letter to your CD-ROM drive, and follow the instructions.
The next time you reboot your PC, pay attention to the screen. If you do not have a dual-boot setup, you’ll see a new screen with a boot menu, giving you the option to either boot to Windows 2000 or to go to the Recovery Console. You’d choose the console if you cannot boot into W2K anymore. If you choose console, it will dump you out at a pseudo command prompt. Type Help and hit Enter to see what commands are available to you in this mode.
If you already have the start menu every time you boot due to a dual-boot configuration, you’ll see Recovery Console as a new option in the boot menu.
Create an Emergency Repair Disk
Another helpful tool in case of a disaster is the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD). It will help you with deleted or corrupted system files, or the partition boot sector problems.
To create the ERD, go to Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Backup. Under the General (or Welcome) tab, select Emergency Repair Disk, insert a blank disk and follow the instructions to create the disk.
To use the disk, you boot with the setup disks created before installation, then choose R at the initial setup screen to repair W2K. Select either Fast or Manual Repair, depending whether you just want it to do the job without your input, or if you want to select which items to repair. Insert the ERD when prompted to complete the repair process.
Important: The ERD does not back up your registry or data or program files. If you restore the registry with the ERD, you end up with the very first registry after W2K was completed and have to reinstall most of your applications. Use this option only to repair the boot sector or system files.