Windows 2000 Pro, still a usable OS after all these years.

Discussion in 'Windows Server Forums' started by catilley1092, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Senior Member

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    There may be those who don't care about running older OS's, and if so, just ignore this thread. This is for those who still wants to run Windows 2000 Pro, or is interested in trying.

    First, you either need a computer that Windows 2000 was meant to run on, where drivers are still available from the OEM. Dell & IBM/Lenovo has a massive database of drivers for older computers. With newer computers, I won't say it's impossible, but it will be difficult finding drivers that works. Although many drivers claims to work with W2K/XP, this is not always the case, as I found out when I attempted an install on my HP MS214 AIO desktop, built in 2009.

    The drivers (from AMD), although they worked quite well when I installed XP Home, Pro & MCE on it, didn't work with W2K. So to save a lot of trouble, it may be best to find a computer that was built for XP, and the market is saturated with them. eBay & Amazon are good places to begin looking, if you don't have one. Keep in mind that 120GB hard drives is the limit, as if an install is attempted on a HDD over either 127 or 137GB in capacity, even with SP4, it's a no go.

    There is an "unofficial" SP5 that was written by MS engineers, but due to the fact that at that time MS was pushing XP, just as they're pushing Windows 7 now, it was never released for download. However, it contains many updates & hotfixes (over 400), and once installed, you have IE6, rather than IE5. It can even be slipstreamed into the install disk, making for many less updates to install. The unofficial SP can be obtained from here:

    |MG| Microsoft Windows 2000 Unofficial SP 5.1.2195 Download

    There are no viruses or malware in this SP, but as I always advise, scan it anyway.

    Speaking of viruses & malware, security is going to be an imperative item that cannot be taken likely with this OS (nor any other, including Windows 7). At present, ESET NOD32 AV5 runs quite well on the OS, as does Malwarebytes Pro (MBAM). ESET is getting the bugs out of Smart Security, which contains a firewall that W2K lacks, so that it will work also. Some users has no issues with ESET Smart Security on W2K, it may depend upon the computer. MBAM Pro is an excellent choice to block malware on W2K, and most any Windows OS. Out of the many years that I've ran W2K, I've never been infected with a virus or malware. Just some tracking cookies that SuperAntiSpyware (SAS) removes quickly.

    Now for a decent browser. Except for Windows Update, I highly recommend to stay away from IE6. The latest Mozilla Firefox (version 10) & Opera (version 11.61) browsers runs perfectly fine on 2K. You will need the latest Flash for both that W2K supports, and IE, as well as Java for some sites. Currently, the latest version of Java that will install on 2K is "jre-6u30-windows-i586". Flash (non IE, version 11,1,102,55, IE, version 11,1,102,55). Latest Adobe Reader supported is 9.4 Ultra Defrag 5.02 is about the best defrag software available.

    All of these versions can be downloaded from File Hippo, as well as the browsers.

    FileHippo.com - Download Free Software

    Plus, there's many versions of software listed on that site that runs well on 2K. CCleaner, Recuva, the above browsers mentioned, and much more.

    And remember, if you're dual booting W2K with XP, W2K will benefit from many more apps, such a defrag & backup software, that won't install on 2K.

    The bottom line, if one keeps W2K secured, and uses a modern browser, coupled with safe computing habits, it's still quite a usable OS, and simple to use.

    Cat
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  2. whs

    whs Senior Member

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    Interesting. I suppose you could run it in e.g. Virtual Box if you have a very recent system where you are liable to encounter driver problems.
     
  3. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Senior Member

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    Yes, you can do that, if the computer is fairly new. VMWare Player is a excellent choice also.

    But usually, any computer that's designed to run XP, will run 2000 with no issues at all. All existing updates for the OS is still available through Windows Update. Plus, that unofficial SP that I linked contains many updates/hotfixes that aren't even available through Windows Update. Even if the computer has a SATA HDD, there's usually an option in the BIOS to allow it to run in IDE or compatibility mode, not requiring to hit F6 at startup to install drivers via a floppy that many users today don't have, don't know how to use, or have never seen. I've seen them, but never used them. BTW, this method also allows for XP installs on many computers built to run Vista/Windows 7. It's how I installed XP onto my desktop.

    Now, unless it's the only computer one has, and cannot afford another, I don't recommend it for transactions. If that's the case, then securing it with ESET Smart Security 5 & MBAM Pro will provide optimal protection for most any use. Today, I received the latest copy of MBAM that I got on sale at Newegg, W2K is the OS that I installed it on. Had the free version already installed, just had to enter the key that was on a card in the package, it made it the Pro version.

    All of my main installs has this combo of protection, plus both Win 7 Pro installs has SAS Pro version. 2 years ago, I said that I'd never pay for an AV/IS suite, but after a nasty attack about a year & a half ago, on Windows 7 Pro, with MSE installed, it made me rethink my security options. After running the ESET Online Scanner a few times, I decided that NOD32 was for me. Just so happened that Newegg had it, a 3PC package, for only $29.99.

    Most any Windows OS can be secure if decent security protection is installed & maintained. Even Windows 2000.

    Cat
     
  4. Tech7

    Tech7 Active Member

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    I, too have used W2KPro for many years; have a home-brew rig that's run the OS for twelve years with very few problems---had to reload it once, after 6 years (suspect that was due to my "fiddling" around with GPO's a few years earlier, b4 I knew much about what I was doing), along with some hardware issues I simply addressed myself as I'm an electronics technician---which is why I maintain the ol' girl, as it runs some consumer electronics's mfr's legacy apps I would be hard presssed to do w/o. As much as I like 7, I must admire the durability afforded by W2KPro... Since it's now been another 6 years, may soon be time to load her up again, & I've been scramblin' around to gather all the hotfixes/sp's---and now you've solved that issue for me! Thanks so much!
     
  5. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Senior Member

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    You're quite welcome! Should you need any help, post back here. I'll do what I can to help.

    No need to throw away perfectly fine working software, but as I stated in my post, it's best to secure it with a paid suite, like ESET Smart Security & MBAM Pro, both of which can be found on special at Newegg.com. Don't go to the brand makers & pay full price.

    Sign up for promos at Newegg & never miss a sale again.

    Cat
     

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