millenium to windows2000

By empirebaypete ยท 13 replies
May 17, 2007
  1. G'day all.

    I retired friend has asked me to help him upgrade from dial up to broadband.
    unfortunately he lives quite a distance from me & i'm going to make a trip
    this weekend especially to sort it out. I know he only has a 13 gig hard drive
    but I'm not sure how much ram.

    problem is he has windows millenium edition & the isp says he needs minimum
    of windows 2000.

    now I've searched through the store room at work. found an old computer with
    a dead hard drive. got the windows 2000 installer disk that was stuck to the side
    and stripped out 128mb ram....and yes the boss knows.

    so what I need to know is can i load windows 2000 without intialising the hard
    drive? and will the programs he has on the computer still work?

    can anyone suggest any problems I might run into please.
    I'd be interested to read peoples thoughts.

    I think this will be a stop gap, just to get him broadband. I think he may well
    be looking for a new computer by the end of the year.

    thanks for your time
  2. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    i take it you're gonna just take out his old hdd and replace it with your other one? or put it side by side?

    if the hdd hasn't been formated before, then once you boot up with the win2000 cd it will give you the option of formating it as part of the setup. Its the same with any version of Windows or other OS's...

    If you want to keep the programs etc, you would probably need to do an upgrade rather than a format install, although the latter is much better option when changing windows. Then reinstall programs, drivers etc, don't forget to backup before hand.

    Win2000 requirement is just for the ISP's custom software to run, if the modem used by them only has USB connections. I believe WinME should work otherwise, and if the ISP's program isn't compatible, then just use the ethernet ports on the modem and PC to set it up (if there is)
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I am pretty sure you can't Upgrade ME to 2000. I think ME came out After 2000 and 2000 is the 'buisness' OS and ME is the 'personal' OS. So you'll have to reformat/install, so that is going to blow away any programs that are installed, hopefully he has the install disks somewhere.

    2000 with SP4 is no doubt the better OS, but switching him over to that is going to come with a price. If its not worth all that trouble there is no reason ME shouldn't work just fine with his ISP, even if its 'unsupported'.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Upgrades to Windows 2000 Professional from Windows ME do not work in most cases... You need a full version, not an upgrade version. Otherwise, it is one of the few impossible upgrades. Then you need to jump through a bunch of hoops and end of with Service Pack 4 (at least SP2) to get a lot of software to even work with it.
    If you have a product ID for Windows 2000 from a machine sticker or other documentation, I will be happy to send you an install disc you can use, and will give you a one-time email address to use. But it sounds as if you have the right thing.
    There are many software packages that WILL NOT work with Windows ME, or with Windows 2000 or W2K SP1.
    I am one of those who believes WME is the worst product (Other than Bob) that Microsoft ever put out. It is inherently buggy and requires a significant clean-up or reinstall every year... it is not something for which you can easily give assistance over the phone.
    It is best to save the files and folders using one of the free file update packages from or other such sites... then install Windows 2000 Professional to a new drive ($39 for a new 40 GB Seagate at, jumper it as Masgter, then put your Windows ME disc in the other slot jumpered as a slave.. then move everything over with a file transfer program or with drag and drop.
    Then download Windows 2000 SP 1a. Install it, then download and install Service Pack 3. Service Pack 4 has been partially withdrawn by Microsoft, but I think they have a revised SP4 download out now.
    Once done, Windows 2000 works great... it is limited to 137 GB hard drives on some installs.
    Cheap, fun, and a good learning tool..
  5. empirebaypete

    empirebaypete TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    thanks for your replies. regards the hard drive. the one from work is no good. i was going to use the documentation & install disk from that computer. I believe this will be ok, but feel free to tell me otherwise.

    SNGX1275....the isp say ME is not supported and I've tried arguing with Australia's major telephone company before.....they are always right.

    raybay...I laughed at your point about ME being buggy and needing to be re installed every year. My friend has had the computer for a few years. No reinstall. no firewall. no anti virus, and clean up? what's that?

    I'm thinking a reformat is the way to go...and then probably a new computer

    thanks all for your time and thoughts
  6. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    oh yeh.. thats right.. ME is later than 2000..

    i think the reason ME isn't supported by telstra (i'm guessing this is the big telco you're talking about?) is because MS has stopped support for 9x/ME altogether. I'm gonna guess this, but the ISP is probably stopped training the support group to handle calls with people who have ME on them, hence why they're not supported.

    If you really want to do the "upgrade" then its really up to you, and raybay has given some good advice on how to do so.. but i don't really think its necessary and that you're gonna create more hassle than anything. Although a HDD upgrade is probably advisable at one point, once your mates start to discover "downloading" stuff :D. MSY is a good store if you live on the east coast, otherwise finds you the cheapest bargains on the net...

    As i was mentioning before, you can get around this by using the ethernet ports on the computers to get connected via a network, therefore bypassing any need to install custom software or drivers. I assume you know how to set up a basic network? If not, connect the modem and the pc via the ethernet ports, then go to start>programs>accessories>communications>Network Setup Wizard and tell it you want to connect to a gateway with direct access to the net.

    The custom software that, for example Optus gave me was just a window with how much data i've used, some other info (which you can login to the ISP's website and have a look there) and a button that says "connect" and "disconnect".. quite.. redundant really..

    Of course, this is provided you get a modem with an ethernet and USB port (quite common nowadays, you can ask them specifically to supply this if they give you an USB only) and if it still doesn't work out, then go ahead and put 2000 on it..
  7. VicRic

    VicRic TS Rookie Posts: 44

    Quick thoughts:

    - I don't think you need to reformat your friend's HD, you can load the current WinME and from it run the Win2000 Install and then choose the "New Installation" option. The good thing of this is that you'll end up with a dual-boot system which comes handy if for some reason the Win2000 install fails and/or if your friend still wants to load WinME sometimes. Only thing: remember to check the 'Advanced' option to install to a different folder -or something like that- in the Win2000 install procedure, meaning that you'll have the chance to change the default C:\WINDOWS target to a different one of your choice, like for example C:\WIN2000;
    - if you're planning to upgrade RAM as well be aware that some old machines use PC-100 and will not take PC-133 RAM. Also, cross fingers the RAM you're bringing is not really damaged; I've wasted so many hours in my life trying failure after failure to install OSs only to find in the end that the RAM had faulty addresses.

  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Since you have a Windows 2000 Professional disc with product ID available, why not use it. W2K is clearly far superior to WMe in every way. No reason not to switch to a new hard drive with W2Kp. The support to the defective and corruptible WMe slips awau by the day.
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    VicRic has the best solution. Put in the new drive, boot up ME. Put in the 2000 install disk, choose new installation, choose the new drive. (there may be some formatting step in there if the new drive needs it).

    Choose FAT32 for the drive format rather than NTFS, this keeps all his data accessable from whichever OS he's in.
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    We have seen way too many problems to agree to that procedure unless it is your only choice. Since he only has a 13 GB drive now, free space is limited. It is likely a Quantum or Maxtor Fireball, which means this old hard drive can fail at any moment. It is a much wiser choice to do a full install on a new drive following a reformat. Then pull the data from the old drive used as backup or Slave. Evaluate whether he really needs that old software, or if the software itself can be upgraded.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Free space isn't an issue. 2000 will go on the 'new' hard drive, the 13 gig with ME on it will be untouched, the only thing that will change is the boot.ini will be modified. I've never actually done the 2000 after ME dual boot thing so it might get a bit hairy with getting ME to boot at all, but if 2000 can be dual booted with ME (98 can) that way it will work and is the best solution. Jumping straight to 2000 kills the ability for him to run the programs he already has installed in ME. That drive that 2000 is going to go on can fail at any moment too, if the 13 gig fails in the dual boot setup all he'd have to do is a repair installation of 2000 to get that up and running again.
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    It has been a while since I have done a dual boot with Windows 2000 Professiona, but if my memory isn't totally defective, you must first install and boot to Windows 2000 before you can add WMe as a second boot...
    And you must have at least Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 2... but Service Pack 4 before the Microsoft debacle is best.
    If you try to add W2K to a Windows ME, it will not work, unless the later service pack changed that.
  13. empirebaypete

    empirebaypete TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    everyone thanks for your time. I didn't get to my friends at the weekend.
    he's going on holiday for 2 weeks soon, so i will get to have the computer for that time.
    we've decided that I will add the extra ram i've got and reformat the drive.
    we'll just go with the existing hard drive for the time being.

    i'm not sure thats it's worth forking out money on an old computer when he can buy a new one relatively cheaply. he doesn't need huge hard drive or heaps of ram.

    the only application he has is microsoft word, so it shouldn't be a prob re installing that.

    My feeling is that as soon as he gets broadband and realises all the stuff thats available he'll be off to buy a new computer anyway.

    Once again thank you all for your time.
  14. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Sounds like a wise move... which gives you the room to adjust if things don't work properly.
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