Installing Windows 2000 Professional

A clean installation of Windows 2000 Professional is one that does not use any settings from an existing operating system, or one that is installed onto a computer with no existing operating system.

It is highly recommended that you install Windows 2000 on its own partition. Installing Windows 2000 Professional on the same partition as the existing operating system for a multiple-boot configuration is not supported and causes the other operating system to function improperly.

During Setup, you can either create a new partition out of unused disk space or format an existing partition. If your computer contains a single partition that uses all of the hard drive, and an older operating system already resides there, you have two options:

  1. Upgrade the current operating system (Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT Workstation 3.51 or 4.0 only) to Windows 2000 Professional.

  2. Back up your data, reformat your partition, and then perform a clean installation of Windows 2000 Professional.

A clean installation of Windows 2000 supports the FAT and NTFS file systems. A clean installation can be performed from a bootable CD-ROM (if your CD-ROM drive supports starting from a CD-ROM), from a setup floppy with CD-ROM, from the network, or by running Winnt32.exe from the command line of an existing Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT Workstation operating system (for multiple boot configurations).

The method you choose for running Setup depends on your current configuration and whether you are performing a clean install or an upgrade. The following section is a guide to choosing the appropriate method.

Disk Partition Options

Disk ** partitioning is a way of dividing your hard disk so that each section functions as a separate unit. You can create a partition to organize information (for example, to back up data) or to dual-boot with another operating system. When you create partitions on a disk, you divide the disk into one or more areas that can be formatted for use by a file system, such as FAT or NTFS.



If youre performing a new installation from an existing operating system, Windows 2000 Professional Setup automatically selects an appropriate disk partition, unless you click Advanced Options during setup and specify otherwise. A hard disk can contain up to four partitions.

Configuring Disk Partitions

Depending on your existing hard disk configuration, you have the following options during setup:

  • If the hard disk is unpartitioned, you can create and size the Windows 2000 Professional partition.

  • If the existing partition is large enough, you can install Windows 2000 Professional on that partition.

  • If the existing partition is too small but you have adequate unpartitioned space, you can create a new Windows 2000 Professional partition in that space.

  • If the hard disk has an existing partition, you can delete it to create more unpartitioned disk space for the Windows 2000 Professional partition. Keep in mind that deleting an existing partition also erases any data on that partition.



Before you change file systems on a partition or delete a partition, back up the information on that partition, because reformatting or deleting a partition deletes all existing data on that partition.

If youre setting up a dual-boot configuration of Windows 2000 Professional, its important to install Windows 2000 Professional on its own partition. Installing Windows 2000 Professional on the same partition as another operating system might cause Setup to overwrite files installed by the other operating system.

Sizing Disk Partitions

It is recommended that you install Windows 2000 Professional on a 2 gigabyte (GB) or larger partition. Although Windows 2000 Professional requires a minimum of 650 megabytes (MB) of free disk space for installation, using a larger installation partition provides flexibility for adding future updates, operating system tools, and other files.

During setup, you only need to create and size the partition on which you want to install Windows 2000 Professional. After Windows 2000 Professional is installed, you can use Disk Management to make changes or create new partitions on your hard disk.

For more information about Disk Management, see Windows 2000 Professional Help.

Converting vs. Reformatting Existing Disk Partitions

Before you run Setup, you must decide whether you want to keep, convert, or reformat an existing partition. The default option for an existing partition is to keep the existing file system intact, thus preserving all files on that partition.

If you decide to convert or reformat, select an appropriate file system (NTFS, FAT16, or FAT32). The following guidelines will help you decide.



You must uncompress any DriveSpace or DoubleSpace volumes from previous operating systems before upgrading to Windows 2000 Professional.

Converting an Existing Partition to NTFS

You can convert an existing partition to NTFS during setup to make use of Windows 2000 Professional security. You can also convert file systems from FAT or FAT32 to NTFS at any time after setup by using Convert.exe.

This option preserves your existing files, but only if Windows 2000 Professional has access to files on that partition. Use this option if:

  • You want to take advantage of NTFS features, such as security, disk compression, and so on.

  • You arent dual-booting with another operating system that needs access to that partition.

For more information about dual-booting, see Planning a Multiple-Boot Configuration later in this chapter.



NTFS is the recommended file system for Windows 2000. However, there are specific reasons that you might want to use another file system. If you format a partition with NTFS, only Windows 2000 can gain access to files subsequently created on that partition. If you plan to access files from other operating systems (including Microsoft MS-DOS), it is best to install a FAT file system.

Reformatting an Existing Partition

Reformatting a partition erases all existing files on that partition. Make sure to back up your files before you reformat a partition.

Choosing a File System

Windows 2000 Professional supports the FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS file systems. To take advantage of the full potential of Windows 2000 Professional, it is recommended that you use the NTFS file system. NTFS has all the basic capabilities of FAT16 and FAT32, with the added advantage of advanced storage features such as compression, improved security, and larger partitions and file sizes.

There are many advantages to using NTFS. Among these are:

  • Increased robustness — NTFS is a transactional file system and can automatically recover from many errors.

  • Increased security — access to files can be secured, and files and folders can be encrypted.

  • Support for large media.

  • Support for large hard disks, up to 2 terabytes (TB). The maximum drive size for NTFS is much greater than that for FAT, and as drive size increases, performance with NTFS doesnt degrade as it does with FAT.

  • Faster access.

Windows 2000 NTFS has been improved over Windows NT 4.0 NTFS with such features as:

  • Encryption — Can be used to protect the contents of individual files from unauthorized use.

  • Volume extension — Volumes can now be extended without having to restart the computer.

  • Disk Quotas — Administrators can allocate the amount of disk space for individual users on a per-user basis.

  • Distributed Link Tracking — Can be used to preserve shortcuts when files are moved from one volume to another or to a different computer.

  • Mount points — Can be used to place another volume onto an NTFS folder, avoiding the use of additional drive letters.

  • Full text and property indexing — Allows fast searching and retrieval of files and documents.



If you do not plan to use a multiple-boot configuration, format your partitions as Windows 2000 partitions with NTFS.

In Windows NT 4.0, you can only access an NTFS drive from within the Windows NT 4.0 operating system. This made repairing or fixing the NTFS partition a difficult task. The only solution was to reinstall Windows NT 4.0 to access the NTFS volume, or to run the repair process, both time-consuming processes.

With Windows 2000 Professional, by using the Recovery Console, the administrator can read and write to the NTFS volume by using the four Windows 2000 Professional boot floppy disks or by starting from the Windows 2000 operating system CD. This gives administrators the ability to copy and delete system files and to repair the system.



By default, only an administrator account can access an NTFS volume by using the Recovery Console (RCC), as they are required to log on to the system before accessing the hard drives.

For more information about RCC, see Troubleshooting Tools and Strategies in this book.

You might want to run Windows 2000 with another operating system on your computer, such as MS-DOS or Windows 95. If this is the case, you might also want to take advantage of the file system features built into each of the operating systems. To manage different file systems on one computer, you might have to create or delete partitions on your hard disks.

If you want to use the integrated security features built into the Windows 2000 NTFS file system or any other features of NTFS, youll need one partition formatted with NTFS.

Windows 2000 Professional provides support for existing Windows 95 or Windows 98 file systems, including FAT16 and FAT32 file systems. Users have the option to convert to the Windows 2000 NTFS file system.



Compressed Windows 95 or Windows 98 drives cannot be upgraded, and need to be uncompressed before upgrading to Windows 2000 Professional.

If you also want to use MS-DOS on your system, you need another partition formatted with FAT, which is the MS-DOS operating systems native file system. MS-DOS cannot recognize data on an NTFS partition.



The primary active partition on your system must be formatted with a file system recognizable by all the operating systems running on that computer (you can have four primary partitions, but the active one is the one that starts all the operating systems). The number of file systems present on your system doesnt necessarily indicate the number of operating systems in use. For example, Windows 2000 Professional can be installed on a FAT partition. This lets you maintain your MS-DOS system, as well as run Windows 2000 Professional. In this case, two operating systems can be used with just one file system.

File System Accessibility

Table 4.3 describes the different file systems that are accessible by Windows 2000 Professional as well as other operating systems, such as MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, and OS/2.

Table 4.3 Windows 2000 Supported File Systems




A computer running Windows 2000 has full access to a Windows NT 4.0 or 3.51 NTFS volume. A computer running Windows NT Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 5 can access a Windows 2000 NTFS volume. Other operating systems cannot access a Windows 2000 NTFS volume in a multiple-boot configuration on the same computer.

Local access available through MS-DOS, all versions of Windows and Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, and OS/2.

Local access available only through Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98, and Windows 2000.

File System Limitations

Table 4.4 describes the size and domain limitations of each file system.

Table 4.4 File System Limitations




Minimum volume size is approximately 10 MB.
Recommended practical maximum for volumes is 2 TB (terabytes).
Cant be used on floppy disks.

Volumes from floppy disk size up to 4 GB.
Does not support domains.

Volumes from 512 MB to 2 TB.
In Windows 2000, you can format a FAT32 volume only up to 32 GB.

File size limited only by size of volume.

Maximum file size 2 GB.

Maximum file size 4 GB.