Microsoft KB Archive/254383

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How to Install Windows 2000 or Upgrade from Windows 95 or 98


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional


This article lists some guidelines for preparing to upgrade a computer that is running Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98 to Windows 2000 Professional. Following these guidelines does not resolve all issues that may occur, but may help to eliminate some common issues.


Back Up Your Computer

WARNING: Windows 2000 does not have an uninstall option. You cannot uninstall Windows 2000 after the upgrade.

You should completely back up your computer, including all your data, before you begin the upgrade process. Not only does this protect your data, but it allows you to return to your previous operating system by restoring the backup files.

Upgrade the Computer's BIOS

Before you begin the upgrade process, obtain and install the latest BIOS upgrade for your computer from the computer's manufacturer. If you update the BIOS after you upgrade the computer, you may have to reinstall Windows 2000 to take advantage of features such as Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) support in the BIOS. If possible, update the firmware in all devices before beginning the upgrade.

Visit the following Web site for information about hardware and BIOS updates:

Run the Upgrade Report

At a command prompt, run the following command from the I386 folder on the Windows 2000 CD-ROM:

winnt32 /checkupgradeonly

If you do not have a Windows 2000 CD-ROM, you can download this tool from the following Web site:

This tool examines the computer and lists known software and hardware issues. This may help you decide whether or not to upgrade the computer to Windows 2000. After you read the report, make sure that any hardware that is listed as not being supported has Windows 2000 drivers available from the manufacturer (unless you do not need that hardware to work in Windows 2000). Check the software listing for software that may need to be reinstalled after the upgrade or for software that requires and upgrade before it can work with Windows 2000. You may want to determine whether there are any updates or service packs available for the software before you begin the upgrade process. Having these available during the upgrade process may allow the software to work correctly with Windows 2000.

Uninstall or Disable Antivirus Software

You should uninstall (or at least disable) any antivirus software that is running before you begin the upgrade process. In some cases, Windows 2000 Setup disables antivirus software during the upgrade process, but in other cases you must disable the software first. Most antivirus software must be updated to work properly with Windows 2000.

You should also disable any hardware antivirus features that are running. For example, the BIOS in some computers contains antivirus functionality.

Uncompress Any Compressed Drives

Windows 2000 works only with the compression included with the NTFS file system. You must first uncompress any drives that are compressed with DoubleSpace, DriveSpace, or any other drive compression software. If you do not uncompress a drive, the data on the drive is not available in Windows 2000. The data on the drive is still intact, but it is not available in Windows 2000. To be able to use the data on the compressed drive, you must dual-boot with the operating system in which the compression method is supported. If drive C is compressed, you cannot install Windows 2000.

Shut Down Running Programs

Shut down all running programs. To see a list of all running programs, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to open the Close Program dialog box. Limiting the number of running programs makes additional resources available to Setup. It also limits potential issues between Setup and the running programs.

Run ScanDisk

Run ScanDisk on all your drives before you begin the upgrade process. This may help to prevent disk errors or file-copy errors during Setup, and may prevent extra reboots during the upgrade process that may cause Setup to take longer.

Empty the Temporary Internet Files Cache

Empty your temporary Internet files cache. Windows 2000 tries to preserve as many of these files as it can, but very large folders may cause problems with Setup. If this occurs, Setup may have to delete the temporary Internet files. Removing these files before beginning the upgrade process can speed up and simplify the Setup process.

Download Updated Drivers

Download any drivers for Windows 2000 that are listed as not being available so that you have them when you are prompted, or after the upgrade is finished.

Check the Microsoft Windows Update Web site ( for any software upgrades that may be available. Also, check with your software manufacturers for any upgrade packs that may be available. If a program requires an upgrade pack to run with Windows 2000, you will need the upgrade pack during the upgrade process. If it is not available, you may have to reinstall the program after you upgrade to Windows 2000. For additional information about upgrade packs, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q231418 Specifying Additional Upgrade Packs Upgrading from Windows 95/98

Check System Requirements

To complete the upgrade process, your computer should meet the following hardware requirements:

  • 133 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible CPU.
  • 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM recommended minimum; more memory generally improves responsiveness [4 gigabytes (GB) RAM maximum.]
  • 2 GB hard disk with a minimum of 650 MB of free space. (Additional free hard disk space is required if you are installing over a network.)

For detailed information on upgrading to Windows 2000, please refer to the following Microsoft Web site:

For more information on compatible hardware for Windows 2000, consult the Windows NT Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). This is a compilation of computers and computer hardware that have been extensively tested with Windows NT for stability and compatibility. Microsoft Product Support Services uses the HCL to determine whether or not a computer is supported for use with the Windows NT operating system. The latest HCL is available from the following Microsoft Web site:

NOTE: To obtain the text file of the Windows 2000 HCL, click the following Microsoft FTP site:

Install Windows 2000

To perform a clean install of Windows 2000, insert the CD-ROM. The guided setup wizard will start at this time. Select Install a new copy of Windows 2000 (Clean Install), and then click Next. Continue through the wizard to complete the setup. For additional information, see the Quick Start Guide included with your software.

To upgrade from Windows 95 or 98, insert the CD-ROM. When prompted to upgrade, click yes. The guided setup wizard will start at this time. Select Upgrade to Windows 2000, and then click Next. Continue through the wizard to complete the upgrade. For additional information, see the Quick Start Guide included with your software.

Additional query words: migration migrate dll win2000hotperf

Keywords : kbsetup w2000upgrade KBW2KHOME
Issue type : kbinfo
Technology : kbwin2000Search kbwin2000ProSearch kbwin2000Pro

Last Reviewed: May 9, 2001
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