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Eric Bursley

Eric Bursley

Windows 2000:

Windows 98 to Windows 2000 upgrade

So you decided that you want to upgrade your Windows 98 system to Windows 2000. Windows 2000 will be a big jump for most people that haven't already seen the beta product. Upgrading to this new operating system should not be taken lightly because once done, you won't be able to turn back without performing a clean reinstallation of Windows 98.

Windows 2000 Professional is the latest business operating system from Microsoft. It incorporates all new technology, as well as some old favorites from Windows 9x. It will enhance your ability to maintain a sTABLE network, and also enhance the ability to monitor, control, and deploy your client systems.

Before jumping straight into the upgrade, you should do some preplanning. Check all applications that you are currently running on your current operating system, and make sure they are Windows 2000 compatible. If they are not, check with the product manufacturer for an upgrade. You should also run the Windows 2000 Readiness Analyzer to make sure that all hardware / software components will be ready. You can find this program on the Microsoft Web site, or if you have the Windows 2000 CD you can run a command: X:\i386\winnt32 /checkupgradeonly where X is your CDROM drive. Each of these options will ensure that you have validated your hardware and software for proper Windows 2000 operation.

After you have decided to upgrade, the next step is to determine how you want to proceed. You can perform a clean installation of Windows 2000, perform an upgrade from your current operating system, or install Windows 2000 as a second operating system. I'll define some of the pluses and minuses for each option and let you decide what you want to do.

  1. Installing Windows 2000 clean will provide you with the best version of Windows 2000. It will have a better chance of being more sTABLE. However you will have to take the time to reinstall all applications and network settings. To perform the clean installation of Windows 2000 do one of the two option provided below:

    • If your system supports booTABLE CDROM. Insert the Windows 2000 CD, and restart your computer. On some systems you may need to adjust BIOS settings to enable CDROM Boot. Follow the steps provided on the screen. For the time being I would select FAT or FAT32 file systems. Later one you can upgrade to NTFS. I would only select NTFS if you need the security provided by it.
    • If your system does not support booTABLE CDROM, you can create the 4 setup installation disks. To make these disk do the follow:

      • From DOS change directories to X:\bootdisk (where X is your CDROM drive) and run Makeboot and then specify the drive to make the boot disks.
      • From Windows 9x or NT click Start > Run and type x:\bootdisk\makeboot a: in the Open: box. (where X is your CDROM drive letter). This will make 4 diskettes.
      • Reboot from the first diskette in the set, and follow the onscreen instructions.

  2. Installing Windows 2000 as an upgrade will allow you to keep all network settings and applications that you currently have. The upgrade process is pretty straight forward and can be handled by just about anyone that has Windows experience. However if you've had strange problems or buggy programs with your current operating system, these same problems could continue to plague you in your Windows 2000 installation. To start the upgrade procedure, insert the Windows 2000 CD and click on the upgrade option when it appears. It will run you through the software and hardware wizard to make sure that the upgrade will succeed. Then it will start to copy files and complete the upgrade almost on its own.
  3. Installing Windows 2000 as a second operating system gives you the advantages of a clean installation without losing your current setup. Windows 2000 can successfully dual boot with Windows 98 or Windows NT on FAT, FAT32 or NTFS file systems, and can even share programs and data with the other operating system. This option will allow you to "Test Drive" Windows 2000 in your current environment without risk. If you don't like it, delete the Windows 2000 directories and rewrite the boot sector by issuing a SYS C: command from the Windows 98 MSDOS prompt. If you decide to stay with Windows 2000, you can safely delete the Windows 98 directory and remove the reference to Windows 98 from the boot.ini file. If you decide to perform this option, you can either insert the Windows 2000 CD into your current operating system then choose upgrade, then take the option to clean install, or just boot from the CDROM as described earlier.

In conclusion before you upgrade your current operating system to Windows 2000, take the time to plan the upgrade. If you perform the upgrade, make sure you have a roll back path in case things decide to blow up. Windows 2000 does not have an uninstall option, so have a current backup of all data and applications. In the end if everything goes well, you will have a much more sTABLE operating system.

Eric Bursley, MCSE
Network Engineer / Analyst
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