Are you considering upgrading to Windows 2000?

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20th Dec 2000
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TrainingZONE recently published an article reporting that sales of Windows 2000 have not taken off as much as Microsoft had hoped. One of the reasons for this quoted was that users had encountered problems when upgrading their existing PC's from Windows '95 and '98 to Windows 2000. Below are some guidelines, but real-life experience is definitely best, so get those fingers tapping to add your comments beneath this article.

Microsoft do recommend a little planning and preparation and here is a list of the areas you need to check before loading up the installation CD:

  1. Does your PC need a completely new installation? Windows '95 and NT Workstation 4.0 can upgrade to Windows 2000 Professional. Windows 3.1 cannot. If you wish to check upgrading your version of Windows it may be worth visiting the upgrade path site.
  2. Can your system take Windows 2000? Older systems may not be compatible, check minimum requirements for processor, speed, RAM and hard disk space and you also need to check your hardware and software compatibility to ensure that these can also support the upgrade to Windows 2000.
  3. Are updated drivers needed? Once your hardware is compatible, make sure you have the appropriate drivers installed by visiting the Hardware Device Drivers information site.
  4. Is the system BIOS current? A current basic input/output system (BIOS) is required, as this affects your power management and device configuration, make sure that the updated version of BIOS is used. Go to the BIOS compatibility site to check for any useful information.
  5. Fallback plan. Windows 2000 does not include an uninstall feature, once installed you cannot return to your previous configuration unless you wipe your system clean and start all over again. Back up your important files before proceeding with an upgrade.

Running through these basic five steps may help act as guidance before undertaking the perilous task of upgrading to the latest version of Windows. It has never been a painless task, so why should Windows 2000 make it any simpler? For those of you who have experienced this process, please add any useful tips at the end of this document.

Always seriously consider whether it is worth upgrading your machine and do add up the advantages or disadvantages of taking such a step, even if it means waiting a little longer. One word of caution from a user: if no one upgraded, would there really be the need, other than that created by Microsoft to do so? Are these software upgrades really implemented because these are changes that have been driven by the customer?

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