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Windows Operating Systems Software

Maintaining Windows 2000 for the Long Term? 110

MarkWatson asks: "I keep two Windows machines: a Windows 2000 laptop (bought with XP, but installed an old Windows 2000 license and Linux) and a desktop with XP (dual boot to Linux). I would like to avoid ever buying a PC with Vista, a situation that looks good because I believe both my Windows systems are reliable, fast, and will service my Windows needs for the long term. My problem is this: I like Windows 2000 better for a few reasons, but mainly because the license is transferable. I would like to still be using Windows 2000 5 years from now in a secure and reliable way (again, just for when I need Windows). Since I am far from a Windows expert, I would like to know your strategy for archiving Microsoft's latest Windows 2000 updates, and generally dealing with security issues. My strategy is to set my firewall up to run in stealth mode and not use Windows for general web browsing. Any suggestions will be appreciated!" How would you keep an old Windows OS (like Win98, and WinXP in another year or two) running long after official support for it has ended?
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Maintaining Windows 2000 for the Long Term?

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  • I would just still use it, i mean firefox will still support win2k way into the 3.0 stage, and so will most programs, as its ALL based on that old ass NT kernel. vista isnt like the transfer that happened with mac os7/8 and X ( i know you could still run os9 apps ) i like win2k, for laptops its da shit, but for the most part, i would just keep using it
  • MS does discontinue support but the updates and whatnot are still available after they discontinue support. They just stop putting up new updates. You can "update" a fresh 98 install up to the point where they discontinues support and this seems to be what you are worried about.
  • Accept the realities (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:29AM (#17473854) Journal

    Eventually, new patches will stop coming out for it. Sure, some people will hack up XP patches, where they can, but eventually they'll stop coming.

    So, what can you do? Make sure that you're running what patches do exist, make sure you never ever expose it live to the Internet, make sure that all of your apps are patched, make sure that you're running fully up-to-date antivirus. Don't install any software which is at all questionable, don't visit any questionable websites. Turn off what you can; if you don't use WSH, turn it off. Turn off autoassociations for it, at least. Turn off as much of ActiveX as you can, javascript and so on. There are lots of guides to hardening Win2000/IIS and so on, and most of the reccomendations here are ones that you should be following anyway.

    If you wait long enough, of course, people will be targeting Vista rather than Win2000/XP, and you won't have to worry about it; kind of like how Win98 is actually a fairly safe operating system to be running these days.

    Oh, and scan it with an up-to-date BartPE disc every once in a while, just to be sure. Make sure you grab the module for Spybot from the Spybot website.

    • If you manually install updates by going to, it is entirely possible (though it takes about half a dozen clicks per patch) to download the patches for later use. I've saved all the patches, service packs, and rollouts, so if I have to reinstall, I can either build an nLite image, or install all the patches without internet access.

      I have only one suggestion to add to the parent's suggestions: Set up and use a non-privileged account. You'll have to do a bit of fudging user/folder permi
    • I don't think it should be a problem if you follow sensible precautions. Keep copies of the newest software that supports your operating system. I usually keep the installer files around anyway. Don't let Microsoft's software to access the Internet where ever possible, or with very heavy restrictions if absolutely necessary.

      The real problem once those precautions are accounted for, is that if a new piece of desirable software doesn't support W2k, then it would take annoying hacking to disable or correct
    • Use Nlite to create an install disc with the latest service pack slipstreamed. After that, download the latest Autopatcher install.

      Install with the slipstreamed disc and then run Autopatcher before you connect it to any network.

      Install something like Zone Alarm and then connect it to the internet.

      Go to windowsupdate and grab any patches you need. Aitopatcher is pretty good; WU won't have much to suggest.

      Remember to keep versions of AVG, Autopatcher, Nlite, Zone Alarm, and any other applications you use on
  • Virtualization? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by petabyte ( 238821 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:30AM (#17473868)
    So ok, its not a perfect solution and might not fit as you didn't specify what you windows needs are, but what about running Win2k virtualized inside a vmware world? Both my laptop and desktop run Ubuntu only these days, but I do have an XP virtual machine on the desktop to "boot up" should I need something which requires Windows. I don't really find much of a reason to do that these days though.

    If you do need to keep Windows natively on the hardware, I would advise setting up a hardware firewall between the machine and the internet, and browse securely with an up to date browswer (Firefox or Opera). Disable MS Filesharing if you don't use it.

    Over the long term, you might want to consider why you're keeping Windows and find an alternative (Linux/OS X, whatever). I can't imagine that anything after Vista is going to be any better and well, you will have to upgrade your machines someday ...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      This is also what I do. I run an XP, 2K and 2k3 Server in a vmware session if/when I need them.

      Other then the lack of 3d graphics support (which I was hoping would let me run a few Windows games without
      messing with wine) it works really well. All my business/job needs are met by this setup. Games... I'm still
      working on that. ;-)

      • by hda ( 311214 )

        After running various Windozes in VMware for a couple of years I recently switched to QEMU []. It works very well with a reasonable speed using the kernel accelerator module KQEMU.

    • by baomike ( 143457 )
      I also use a VMware installation of 2000. Works well. I use it for spread sheets
      (excell is a good spread sheet)* and Turbotax.
      I also keep it behind a firewall (dual home slackware with snort and iptables) .
      Turbotax needs the internet for updates , however I do not use it for browsing.
      I also only turn it on when needed.

      As a solution it seem to work well.

      * Yes gnumeric is good, but slack does not support gnome , and trying to gather
      the dependencies for gnumeric is a thankless/impossible
    • by sBox ( 512691 )
      Although I use VMWare for Win2K, if you don't want to pay for VMWare Workstation, you can use MS's VirtualPC [] for free while supplies last.
      • Although I use VMWare for Win2K, if you don't want to pay for VMWare Workstation, you can use MS's VirtualPC for free while supplies last.

        While I haven't had a chance to play with Virtual PC yet (mainly because I don't like running Windows as the host OS), unless you are running W2K3 Server Enterprise Edition as the host OS you will need a Windows license for the host as well as one for the virtual machine. That extra licensing cost for Windows is one reason why I prefer to use Linux as the host OS.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Cheesey ( 70139 )
      Seconded! This is the way to go. Your Win2K system will survive hardware upgrades so long as your virtualisation software is available for the new platform. You won't have issues finding video and input drivers for your computer in a decade's time, or issues with access to the latest storage devices. And the VM protects you from nasties: if you mess up and install a virus by mistake, you can back it out with the Revert feature.

      Go for VMware - you don't want to be locked in to VirtualPC, because that will ti
  • by megabyte405 ( 608258 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:34AM (#17473942)
    Win2k - Offline Updates: [] . From a post here on Slashdot a while ago, it's a pretty slick tool. Just keep running it until they stop making updates for Win2k, then burn it to multiple high-quality archival CD's for safety :D A firewall (or even consumer router) never hurts, unless it's the Norton firewall.

    Win98 - I'll agree with another poster, virtualize it. VMWare Player is your friend. (and why is Win98 your friend too? I suppose it's not WinME ;D )
  • old software (Score:2, Insightful)

    by matt328 ( 916281 )
    My concern would be that some sort of hardware failure will necessitate a software upgrade at some point in the next 5 years, especially with a laptop. I know you mentioned liking that the Win2k license is transferable so you could transfer it to new hardware, but good luck finding drivers for your new touch pad, or even display device that still support an EOL'd operating system.

    I guess to answer your question as to how to keep Windows 2000 running for the next 5 years? Very carefully.
    • by nizo ( 81281 ) *
      That is the beauty of the vmware solutions mentioned above: since linux handles the underlying hardware, it presents the same interface to the windows side no matter what hardware you are running on. This is really really nice, since I can upgrade my hardware, re-install vmware, copy the vmware win2k files to the new machines, and it just works; win2k thinks it is on the exact same hardware. This is the setup I use at home to run photoshop, illustrator (both latest versions, wine compatibility isn't there y
    • Why (Score:2, Informative)

      by gravis777 ( 123605 )
      Why bother? Yeah, so the license is transferable. Yeah, so 2000 has lower system requirements.

      Do you really think your laptop will still be working in 5 to 10 years? Do you remember what we had 5-10 years ago?

      5 years ago, my system was top of the line. 500 MHz. 192 meg of ram, an insane amount for the time.

      10 years ago, had a pentium 90 MHz, with a whole 16 meg of ram, running the newest Windows 95 operating system.

      Really, do you think you are going to keep your laptop that long?

      So your license is transfera
      • i'm just going to address one of your many points, "What is up with all these people who say that they will never consider using XP or Vista?"

        I was a HP/UX admin before I got my MCSE and switched to the NT world; Win2k is the best operating system I've ever used.
        I have a laptop running debian, a laptop running WinMCE, a server running Solaris VII, and all my house systems (6-8, depending on biz & family needs) run Win2k.
        Every game ever made for DOS/Win works, either just straight up, or with VirtualPC.
  • I would like to avoid ever buying a PC with Vista

    Sounds great in theory(I was pondering the lifecycle of my XP box just yesterday), but I like the idea of having support for my OS(I.e. updates.). As such, I think when MS ends support for XP in 2011 or 13, I think, I will probably buy maybe a new desktop to build from scratch with vista, or buy a new dell or something with vista prepackaged. When you think about it, $200 for a license of XP or Vista over 10 years isn't really that much. So why no
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      When you think about it, $200 for a license of XP or Vista over 10 years isn't really that much.

      And yet, Linux is free. That $200 could be put to better things (hardware, bandwidth) rather than propping up a convicted monopolist. Windows has hidden expenses too in order to make it secure: (antivirus, personal firewall, anti-spyware, router). None of that is required for Linux.
      • by eln ( 21727 )
        You don't need a firewall to secure Linux? Really? What is your IP address?

        Yes you need various add-on programs to properly secure Windows, but you can get all of them for free (AVG, AdAware, etc), so they aren't really expenses, hidden or otherwise. Similarly, you need various free software tools, as well as some level of expertise, to secure your Linux box. Most Linux distros may come stock in a more secure configuration than a stock Windows install, but that doesn't mean you can just leave them alone
        • by Dan Ost ( 415913 )

          I'm not the poster you're replying to, but my home machine is connected to the internet
          without any firewall. The only network service I've got turned on is sshd and the only
          reason it's on is because I turned it on. By default, there was nothing open.

          Do I feel secure? Yeah, pretty much I do even though I haven't really done anything else
          to secure my machines.

          If I were to post my IP, what do you think you'd be able to do?
          • whois lookup, subpoena your ISP for your home address, and TP your house!
          • by petrus4 ( 213815 )
            Do I feel secure? Yeah, pretty much I do even though I haven't really done anything else
            to secure my machines.

            I really wish we had Theo deRaadt reading (and commenting) on this thread...I can't even begin to imagine how novel, riddled with expletives, and generally blistering the abuse you would get from him would be, I suspect. ;-)
        • Heh, heh.... My ip is the same as everyone else's, methinks... Have at it! And good luck! All kidding aside, who installs linux without doing a little post-install maintenance? Shutting ports and services that aren't in use, etc. I don't believe I've ever had to install a security-related app on any of my systems AFTER the initial installation process. I don't bother with antivirus, I've run various flavors of linux for quite a while now without ever being infected with anything. I run a
    • So why not keep your desktop standard for $20 a year?

      Because the "standard" is turning into a locked-down DRM hellhole, that's why. I want my computer to obey me, not the other way around!

  • They will probably extend support on XP for a coupple of years. As for legacy operating systems, I would consider using virtualization. You can get a free version of VMware and place the older operating systems on that, and you will still have the security of the host operating system. It's an idea. I don't know if there is anything in the EULA that restricts using it at work.
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:52AM (#17474226) Homepage Journal
    Others have already made good suggestions for the short-term, such as minimizing exposure, installing all patches, using non-IE browsers when necessary, etc.

    If it's at all possible, block all traffic, incoming and outgoing, except what you need. If it's possible, only allow certain processes, such as firefox, to access the Internet at all.

    Also, make a full-image backup plus frequent additional backups so you can restore your system if it gets compromised.

    The long-haul solution is to go virtual. Get a lightweight Linux with your favorite VM and install Win2K on it. Back up the image frequently. This way if your laptop dies you can replace it and not worry about driver issues. Heck, you can even do all "Internet" traffic on the Linux side and restrict the Windows network to a private-virtual-lan with the host system. Even then, block all traffic except what you really need, such as for file transfer and for printing.
  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:54AM (#17474242) Homepage Journal
    Windows 2k retired from mainstream support on 6/30/2005. It is currently under extended support until 7/13/2010.

    So for the next 3 1/2 years you will continue to receive security and critical patches, and you will be able to pay for support if you need it. So there's nothing to panic about yet.

    After 2010 though, if MS doesn't extended support, you may want to look in a new direction. Possibly an emulator for Linux to run what ever 2k app you need, or a replacement for those apps you are using. Worst case scenario, (2k support ends and numerous viruses are released for it) you can still run it, you just have to take into consideration the extra security concerns.

    Here is the page for MS's support life cycle info: []

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )
      I suspect that after Win2k is EOL'd, there wouldn't be many people using it anyway. Heck, I'd be surprised if there was much support for the hardware of 2010 in Win2k; it's already a pain to get currently new hardware working properly.

      As a result of not many people using it (most of the poeple using Win2k will have upgraded/bought another computer by then - 8 or so years seems a bit long for your average home internet user to stick with an OS), there'd not be many people writing malicious stuff for it, simp
      • by ADRA ( 37398 )
        The only annoyance I've ever had with Win2k drivers on brand new hardware is that ATI stopped linking the newest Catalyst drivers on their Win2k page, but if you go to the XP page, the drivers work great anyways. WDM made the driver boundary between supporting XP and 2k almost brain dead except for the device profiles that didn't exist in 2000 (bluetooth, etc..).

        Sadly, the OS was almost completely ignored as a consumer desktop in the ramp up to XP which is a real shame because I still think its the best Win
      • I have mod points, but I can't find the -1 Paranoid... wtf?
  • by Natales ( 182136 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:54AM (#17474244)
    I have lots of customers who had this same concern about Windows NT. Virtually everybody had that beige box in the dark corner of the datacenter with a sign on top saying "don't touch" running some critical app in Windows NT, where registry modifications and tweaks go back years and couldn't be replicated. Newer hardware wouldn't support NT so they kept it running.

    The ideal solution is a VM. At least if you use VMware ESX, the virtual hardware exposed by the VMM (virtual machine monitor) is always constant regardless of the physical hardware, and the virtual I/O devices are rather old, so any old OS would support it. In fact, in most cases this solution runs faster than the old beige box regardless of the virtualization tax due to the speed of the new processors.

    You can keep a system running for years and years with this method, even backup the full VM as a file.

    Disclaimer: I work for VMware, but I see this all the time with actual customers.
  • by lar3ry ( 10905 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:04PM (#17474422)
    When my daughter wanted a system for college, I convinced her to get an iBook. "But that won't run Office!" she protested.

    "Yes, it will," I answered, and purchased Office 2004 for her.

    "But how about these other things I use all the time?"

    I threw her a bonus: I configured a nice Kubuntu Linux system with all the apps that a student would need, including, Gimp, Evolution, Firefox, etc.

    Then I threw her a second bonus: On the Kubuntu system, I installed VMWare, and installed Windows 2000 to run on it. Win2000 doesn't use as many resources as XP, but apps written for XP run fine on it. In addition, as the OP mentions, the license can transfer.

    What about viruses? Well, I did not configure the virtual network interface for W2000. Anything she needs to run on Win2000 has to be downloaded first onto Kubuntu, and then through a shared drive, installed onto the Win2000 process. Viruses just have no vector to get into Win2000, except from trojans.

    Now, this isn't the perfect situation, and there are some apps that just won't work for her (Internet Exploiter, her previously-favorite IM client, etc.). However, for those things that she just HAS to run on Windows for her schoolwork, she can run the programs at nearly full speed with just a little hassle. Over the last few months, she figured out how to streamline the process of getting files to/from Win2000, but she also figured out how to make do with the OS X applications, and to a lesser extent, the Kubuntu native applications as well. Since Firefox and a lot of the applications she runs on Kubuntu also run on the iBook, she has an easier time with Kubuntu coming back from the iBook.

    Windows 2000 is now a distant third for her, and she is considering "retiring" that system after the next semester if she can get through the next semester without needing Win2000. (Probably won't happen, but back in September, that wasn't even being considered!)

    She's happy, and if she just HAS to run something on Windows, she has the ability to do so.

    She managed a 3.9 GPA this semester, so this setup didn't hurt her.
    • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:15PM (#17474616)
      She managed a 3.9 GPA this semester, so this setup didn't hurt her.

      That may be true. But, did she get laid this semester, or did she have to spend all of her free nights dicking with this ungodly complicated system?
      • by Slithe ( 894946 )

        That may be true. But, did she get laid this semester, or did she have to spend all of her free nights dicking with this ungodly complicated system?
        I assume the GP is a dude, so this would be a bonus. How many fathers WANT young men to screw their daughters? Anyway, she's a chick. If she wanted some action, she would not have to look too hard; she could just go to her local LUG.
        • by r00t ( 33219 )
          I do, if:

          a. young MAN, not MEN
          b. daughter has reached full size
          c. young man is in good condition
          d. young man intends to keep her
          e. young man would make a good husband, father, and son-in-law
      • That may be true. But, did she get laid this semester...

        And now you see the true genius of his plan.
    • by Lproven ( 6030 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:52PM (#17476288) Homepage Journal
      Sounds like you don't know Mac OS very well. Pretty much all the stuff you cite - OpenOffice, Firefox, whatever - could have been run natively under OS X. You can even run many xNix apps from the Fink or OpenDarwin projects, tho' native OS X versions are usually much preferable.

      Including running W2K under Virtual PC.

      I see no need for what is effectively a triple-boot machine - OS X (with Classic, quadruple-boot), Linux /and/ Windows - when you could easily have made a simpler system by removing a whole OS from the equation.

      There's not really much good reason for running Linux on a Mac - there are fewer drivers & proprietary apps in PPC form than x86 and OS X provides pretty much all the Unix goodness one could want.

      The virtualisation idea isn't bad, but run W2K with up-to-date A/V and antispyware and so on, behind a hardware firewall, and it's pretty safe even today. Remove & replace all the MS internet apps and it's not bad at all.
      • by lar3ry ( 10905 )
        Not an option. The iBook is PowerPC architecture, so the only way to run "Windows" is through Virtual PC, which would have had a speed cost.

        What we ended up doing is setting up a Linux system, and it runs the same things that she can run on the iBook (well, the better looking apps run on the Mac). Running Firefox on OS X and Linux makes it easy for her to download stuff on Kubuntu and then switch to Win2K to do whatever HAS to be done on Windows.

        As I said, she managed quite nicely. There was a bit of a l
        • Running Firefox on OS X and Linux makes it easy for her to download stuff on Kubuntu and then switch to Win2K to do whatever HAS to be done on Windows.

          Wait, explain one more time why she couldn't run Virtual PC in OS X instead of Linux?

          • Wait, explain one more time why she couldn't run Virtual PC in OS X instead of Linux?

            It's an iBook. Can you say SLOW?
            • Yes, I can -- I own an iBook too. However, I don't see how Linux really helps that situation much, since it's not as if it's that much more efficient than OS X.

              • I was under the impression that he gave his daughter an iBook, and in addition some x86 box running Linux (and Windows 2000 through virtualization). But I could be wrong.
        • she's happy--and isn't that the important thing?

          Well since you asked, no it's not. The most important thing is that it serves objective requirements in a sustainable and self-managing way. That's what makes a person happy, not just complacent. Your setup is obviously irrationally complex just for the sake of complexity. I can hardly believe anyone would agree to implement it or to accept critical dependency upon this rube goldbergian machination, and upon having to have their own personal sysadmin

      • I see no need for what is effectively a triple-boot machine - OS X (with Classic, quadruple-boot), Linux /and/ Windows - when you could easily have made a simpler system by removing a whole OS from the equation.

        That's the problem - the OP doesn't give a fig a simple, and only gives functionality as passing nod. What he cares about is imposing *his* political and religious beliefs on others. (And has the unmitigated gall to call the forced behavior a 'bonus'.)

        Ending up being modded +5 only shows

  • If you keep it next to your OS2/Warp box, then all should be well.... ahem....
    Realistically, by the time patches stop coming out, everything will have moved on. 64bit computing is here, the only thing holding it back is software and drivers, which are whooshing their way towards us as we speek. So keep using it, keep getting what patches are available, move away from Microsoft tools to make yourself more secure, enjoy.

    You may also just want to get a virtual machine running on your linux box, boot a win2k vm
  • You would be amazed how well Windows 3.1 runs with office applications and old printers like a LaserJet Series II. With a Pentium 166 it runs like greased lightning and with Celerons / AMD chips it is even faster. Memory requirements are so small that it runs on anything but can only use 32 meg. When they stopped support for 3.1 they issued a bunch of patches to Office, the Jet Engine, and other stuff for Y2K and with those it is quite useful. No USB but not needed for a light and fast machine. With mo
    • by Jaysyn ( 203771 )
      Check this out for your Win 3.11 installations. []

  • You may want to eventually run it on a Linux box using a vitual machine. That would sandbox it, give you the ability to cature 'snapshots' for rapid recovery and keep hardware cost down (you only pay for one box).

  • HD 137 GB (Score:4, Informative)

    by rlp ( 11898 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:16PM (#17474632)
    Windows 2000 does not support drives > 137 GB. I just reinstalled Win 2000 on an (older) box with a 200 GB drive. It reported the drive size as 137 GB. The C partition (20GB) was fine, but the D partition (180 GB) was inaccessible. It suggested I run diagnostics. Fortunately I did NOT do this. Instead I installed Service Pack 4 and then did further upgrades on-line. It first required me to manually upgrade to IE6, and then install the MS BITS update package followed by 50-60 patches. Several reboots were required. After that partition D was fine. I did a quick Google and learned that running a file system check before the SP4 install would have completely corrupted the partition. So, maintaining Win 2K systems is already somewhat painful. As MS removes support, it will become more so.
    • Re:HD 137 GB (Score:5, Informative)

      by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <> on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:41PM (#17475008) Homepage
      It supports larger drives just fine; I have a 750GB drive happily running on my Windows 2000 box. To fully use a hard drives that's >137GB, Windows 2000 requires service pack 3 or later and a registry hack []. You didn't need the IE and other extra patches just to be able to use the other partition.

      Windows XP requires service pack 1 and a registry hack []. It's possible for OEMs to upgrade the copy of XP they ship to have this feature by default.

      For people who just have to format the entire hard drive as one big partition, then this limitation in Windows 2000 can be annoying. Those of us who prefer to keep the OS drive on the small side, separating out data files onto a separate partition, are barely effected by it. I'm already going to install SP4 on any new Windows 2000 system anyway, so I just need to remember which registry key to tickle after that's done and this problem goes away.
      • by Dmala ( 752610 )
        Those of us who prefer to keep the OS drive on the small side, separating out data files onto a separate partition, are barely effected by it.

        Unless, of course, you forget about the limit and store all of your drivers and update files on the second partition... which is inaccessible after a reinstall. GAH!
      • Even better is to make an unattended install disk (using a tool like nlite [], or following the directions from a site like []) which includes the proper service pack, drivers AND registry tweak.
    • WTF? Windows 2k SP3 and later *does* support drives bigger than 137GB []. If you're not installing from an SP4 CD, make one with slipstreaming [].

      I just mentioned that the 137GB patch exists the other day and got modded a Troll - this guy tells a blatant falsehood and gets Informative? What's with the Mods around here?

    • I apologize for not looking up the link, but google for "slipstream". You can take your installation disc and apply all the service packs to it. Then you have an install disc that installs SP4 and detects all newer hardware at install time. Also, reduces the time window where you're vulnerable to worms while getting the updates. Also prevents you from having to reboot the system 10 times while getting all the components that can't be installed concurrently.
  • I had good luck w/ the unofficial Windows 98 second edition update (forget the name though).

    I've been meaning to try the SP5 for Windows 2000: []

    Anyone had any luck w/ it?

  • Win2k is has been patched right up. Patches and updates for components like .net run-times will continue to receive official support. Scanners will be updated as will browsers. IMHO, simply keeping up to date and running the appropriate scanners and root kit revealers will keep Win2k more secure than newer, less well known OSs.

    What will kill Win2k is most likely an inability to support higher performance real-time hardware and software. I have already seen systems that won't even boot Win98, OS9, etc.
  • I know it's old tech- but if you can get ahold of Ghost PE, I suggest burning a "clean install" to a series of DVDs. Keep important data on machines you trust, and when you do need that Win2k machine for some special use, you can always just restore the backup from DVDs first, overwriting the entire partition. Windows will continue to work for you for decades that way- I've got an image of a Win95 machine I still use from time to time.
  • Wasn't it just announced that Microsoft would not be releasing a patch to anything less than XP for the new TimeZone changes that happen this spring? []

    You'll have to remember to manually change the time each time it is supposed to change and then fix it when the broken version of 2K tries to change it for you.


  • At that time install your new computer with a basic Linux, install vmware server on that, and install Windows 2000 on top of that.

    Enjoy :)
  • The time required to get Windows 2000 going is a complete waste. Go for Windows98SE, download following programs to keep it safe:

    1. Zonealarm with antivirus.
    2. 0&st=0 []
    3. Use firefox as your primary browser.
    4. New games will not run, but games till 2004 may run.
    5. Maximum Ram on Windows98SE is 512 MB
    6. Post all your queries at MSFN.
    • ZoneAlarm? Seriously? Ever try anything else? You like the way ZA soaks up massive resources, or is it the false sense of security because it always appears to be "Doing Something Important"TM ? A few years back, ZA was crash prone, full of holes and pushed by dubious tests on dubious websites. I wouldn't touch it with a 39 1/2 foot pole, even if it is "fixed" now. Ever try to uninstall it? Ever do it without breaking something?

      Agree with the "VMWare is free" chorus. Install 98 in VMWare on a Linux h
      • Zonealarm is nice, but it does uses lots of resources. Will you be kind enough to recommend me some good economical hardware firewalls. Thanks.
        • Thanks, happy to help if I can. This is how I understand it...corrections or additions welcome.

          A "hardware" firewall is essentially a standalone appliance like a router running a software or firmware firewall.

          Some advantages include:

          - often very easy to set up, just run the software, follow the prompts, and you'll be connected quickly
          - the firewalling takes place on the router instead of using resources on your computer (especially good for older systems)
          - more than one computer can be protected, regardles
  • Even though exploits and bugs will continue to surface long after MS stops releasing patches, you'll save yourself a lot of risk if you log in as an unprivileged user. If you use the NTFS file system (and fixacls.exe if you have to convert after the install) your general-purpose login will have very few ways to wreck the system. Sure, there are privilege escalation attacks, but you'll be protected from many common bugs and exploits.

    Keep a local admin account, or two, using a strong password. Change the d
  • I have been using WIN2K since it was in beta and have several systems that lack the memory and processor capacity to effeciently run XP. I have been keeping them updated using the Microsoft site, but have the same concerns as you. However, I have discovered bigger problems with the 3rd party applications and utilities. Some are no longer posted online, and others have changed ownership (e.g., Adaptec CD Creator). I have started archiving the last updates to all my apps and storing everything on a DVD.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972