When you're ready to install Windows 2000 (any flavor) on your computer, there are several things you should consider, such as You sure you don't want SUSE Linux installed on this box?

In all seriousness, Win2K will ask you several questions during the install process, and you should verify you can install the OS on your box.

  • Does your hardware meet the minimum hardware requirements for installing Windows 2000? If it needs RAM, you may crash it during the install. If the CPU is slow, you'll just suffer.
  • Verify your hardware is on the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). Traipse on over to Microsoft.Com and make sure your stuff is on their list. If it isn't, that just means the hardware was not tested and certified. If you experience problems, Microsoft will not help you; instead, they will send you to the offending vendor's site.
  • Verify there is sufficient space in an existing partition on the hard disk you intend on installing Win2K on.
  • Choose a file system for the installation partition. Your choices are the old FAT or the much-improved NTFS.
  • Determining whether the computer will join a workgroup or a domain. This gets me all the time, I have to stop and find out what the job and connectivity will be for the box I'm working on.
  • If you are dual-booting, install Microsoft products first. They assume that you only want Microsoft stuff, so you cannot boot to another OS. Install the other OS last and use their boodload program, like Linux's LILO.

Making sure these pre-installation steps are accomplished will help make your installation go smoothly.

Just in case you read that all your hardware is supported under Win2k: If you have a Creative sound card then beware: SB Live!s will work (technically) but will do all their EAX stuff in software, slowing down your games no end. Users with multi-processor systems should be warned that they have no hope in hell of CT ever releasing drivers that don't crash MP systems.

Any other Creative card won't actually have drivers that allow it to do what it says it does on the box.

For example, most owners of SoundBlaster 128s will discover that they have lost all EAX, MIDI, Wide, Reverb, Chorus and joystick port functionality; in addition, their sound cards will suddenly start crackling and producing literally insane amounts of bus noise.

This is because Creative's driver programmers are a bunch of utter fuckwits.

All this would merely be annoying, instead of ludicrous, if Creative announced that support has been dropped; however "unsupported" cards are still being sold with support for "Windows NT 4 and higher". Creative's support staff have made it perfectly clear that they don't hive a damn about their customers.

Hmm. This is turning into somewhat of a rant; perhaps it belongs in Why I don't buy products from Creative any more. Maybe I'll node it after I've slept.

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