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    Windows2000 Final Setup

Okay... the UpGrade and floppy / CD-based installations come together now with Setup restarting your PC, there are some minor variations depending on which path you followed, and options you may have chosen earlier. So I may describe some steps you've already seen, or that won't see...  or after writing all this, maybe I am brain dead... *grin*

When the first stages of the boot succeed, the screen turns blue with the legend "Windows 2000 Setup" displayed at the top, and the message "Press F6 if you need to install a third-party SCSI or RAID driver" shown at the bottom. If you're running a server with a RAID array, you must push F6 at this point and supply the disk for your RAID controller (the on-screen instructions will tell you what to do). Keep that disk handy too, since you'll need it later on when Win2000 copies files to you hard drive.

Setup now copies a few files required to begin installation, including device drivers that may be needed in the initial stages, as well as the Win2000 kernel itself. When the kernel boots, the screen will flicker and you'll see (after another short delay) Setup's Welcome screen. To start the Setup, press Enter.

The first stage of Setup, which is conducted entirely in the blue-screened text mode, involves making some basic decisions about your system setup and copying over the files needed to run Win2000.

If you're installing Win2000 on a system with a blank hard drive or with an incompatible file system, you'll get a warning about this, and will be asked to press C to continue setup. (If you continue, all contents of your hard drive will be erased.)

The next step (for non-GUI installations) is the licensing agreement. Just press F8 to continue.

Drives and Partitions
Setup's next step is to poll the available drives on your system and look for volumes where Win2000 can be installed. If you read the list of available disks and don't see a drive you know to be there or you get an error message that no drives can be found, then chances are you don't have a needed disk controller installed. This happens more frequently with RAID controllers that aren't specified at the start of booting.

It's decision time
Look at the list of available drives and select the volume, or partition, where you want Win2000's files to reside. If you haven't determined yet where it should be installed, you can always quit the installation, and read through the first several pages of this story to help form your decision. This isn't a good time to hazard an impulsive guess. Once you've figured it out, restart the setup process.

You can select an empty partition or one that already has data on it. If you choose an existing FAT or FAT32 partition, you'll be asked whether you want to convert that partition to NTFS. If you don't want to make any changes to the partition type, just select "No changes." In fact, when in doubt, do not convert to NTFS. You can always upgrade a FAT or FAT32 partition to NTFS later (using the CONVERT command). You have an especially good reason to leave it alone if you're creating a multiple-boot environment, or if you're just testing Windows 2000, possibly temporarily. The only time you should convert to NTFS is if you're running a clean install on a machine that will have only Windows 2000 on it, and you have no intention of switching Windows versions any time soon.

File system considerations
If you press C to create a partition in an empty space, you have the option to choose how big a partition you want to create and what file system to use, including FAT, FAT32, or NTFS. Bear in mind that if nothing else stands in the way of installing NTFS, it's a better file system than any of the FAT file systems. (The version of NTFS that comes with Windows 2000 is a slight upgrade over the NT 4.0 version.) Unlike NT 4.0, Win2000 recognizes FAT32 drives. For flexibility's sake, FAT32 is probably your better choice in a multiple Windows environment, so long as your existing Windows supports it. Pre-Windows 95B and all previous versions of NT do not support FAT32. If any of those operating systems is present on your system, install Win2000 to a FAT or FAT32 partition. To prevent possible compatibility problems, I recommend that a system partition should not be larger than 2GB, at least at first, no matter what file system you're using. That helps you avoid compatibility problems with older versions of Windows, and also limitations of older computers.

When installing Win2000 on a system with one drive, you should allocate a separate partition at the front of the drive (as in the above example) for spare files, booting, and for swap space. The size of the partition should be your main RAM size plus another 32MB.

If you create multiple partitions on a boot drive, Windows will always install its boot-loader information in the first partition. For instance, if you create a 100MB C: drive for swap space and a D: drive of 1.5GB for your main Win2000 files, the boot loader will be installed on C:. There's no way to change this during installation, but it can be edited later.

If you choose an empty partition, Setup will format the partition in question for you, and also run integrity tests on the listed drive. When that's completed (which can take a bit of time on larger drives), Setup copies the rest of the files to your hard drive and reboots again. The file copying may take anywhere from two to 20 minutes depending on the performance of your PC's CD and hard drives.

Once that's done, follow Setup's on-screen directions for rebooting...

After the system reboots, Setup enters the second stage of installation, which occurs in GUI mode. When Setup offers its welcome screen, click Next to continue; that starts the process of installing device drivers for Win2000. Figure about 20 to 40 unattended minutes for this part of the setup, so find something more productive to do elsewhere.

The next step is choosing regional settings. When sold in the U.S. and possibly elsewhere, Win2000 comes with settings that assume it's being installed in the continental United States. If you want to change regional settings, such as default currency type or supported languages, click the first Customize button to bring up Regional Options (exactly the same as the Win2000 Control Panel).

To change the keyboard layout, click the second Customize button, which opens the Input Locales tab of the Regional Options dialog. Here you can add keyboard and font support for different languages.

Next, Setup asks for your name and organization (if any) to personalize Win2000. You can supply pretty much any information you want for these fields, but you must supply a name at the very least to continue. Click Next and type the 25-character product key that came with your copy of Win2000 (if not entered previously). 

Setup will next ask you to choose a computer name and an administrative password. By default, the computer name consists of the first name you supplied previously, plus a randomly generated tag. You can, and probably should, replace this with anything you want, so long as it doesn't conflict with any other computer name on your network. In multiple boot settings, it's best if the name you supply in this field is the the computer name used in other versions of Windows on the same PC.

Setup's next step is to provide a list of possible optional components to install. Win9x users in particular, take heed. There's very little if anything most desktop PC users should change from the default installation settings on this dialog -- unlike Win98 and Win95. When in doubt, leave each of the dialog's options, which are detailed on this page, as you find them.

Accessories and Utilities (Checked by default.) 
Applets and programs, such as the Calculator or the Character Map, that offer additional conveniences to Win2000.

Certificate Services (Available only on Server.) 
A certification authority that lets you issue certificates for public-key security apps, such as SSL in IIS.

Indexing Service
Background indexing service that builds an index of common text file formats for fast context searches across your system.

Internet Information Services
Also known as IIS, this is Microsoft's Web server.

Management and Monitoring Tools
Tools for monitoring and improving network performance.

Message Queuing Services
Services that help you create distributed applications.

Networking Services
Additional network components that aren't installed by default.

Other Network File and Print Services
File and print services that support interoperation with non-Microsoft standards.

Remote Installation Services
Remotely installs Win2000 on remote-boot enabled computers.

Remote Storage
Archives files to magnetic tape.

Script Debugger
Identifies scripting errors.

Terminal Services / Licensing (Available only on Server.) 
Accesses a Win2000 Server remotely in a graphical desktop.

Windows Media Services (Available only on Server.)
Installs components for streaming media from a Web server.

Check only the components that apply, or that you're sure you need. They can also be added later. If you're using 2000 Server as a file and print server only, for instance, you can uncheck IIS without flinching.

Almost done!!!
The next step is adjusting date and time. Be sure to use the correct time zone for your computer, or you'll get bizarre results with scheduling applications and anything else that's time-dependent.

Network settings are next. Setup gives you two basic options. The first is Typical, which installs the most commonly used configuration for networking: TCP/IP, Microsoft Networks client, and File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks. The second, Custom, lets you add and configure network protocols and services. If you're in a Windows networking environment with NT or Win2000 servers, Typical will probably work fine; that choice delivers you straight to the Workgroup/Domain selection page. 

Right after you choose network settings, Setup gives you the choice between registering your computer with a specific workgroup or a Win2000/NT domain. Select the top choice on the page ("No, I am not part of a domain") if you want to register with a workgroup, and the bottom choice ("Yes") if you want to register with a domain (if available). No matter whether you choose "Yes" or "No," you must type either a workgroup name or a domain name in the field at the bottom -- otherwise your PC will not have LAN access.

The last part of the setup process is non-interactive and consists of copying the required components and configuring the operating system. This part can take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the number of options you're installing and system speed.

Once that's done, reboot. Congratulations! You've now got yourself a basic Win2000 system.  But, remember that this is only a basic install and we need to address a few issues, so be sure to read the next section:

Next: Tweaking Your Win2000 Installation


Back to Windows200 Install Guide









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