CIS 106a: Introduction to Operating System Concepts

Chapter 2: Installing Windows 2000/XP



This chapter is about installing two versions of Windows. Objectives important to this chapter are:

  1. Features of Windows 2000 and Windows XP
  2. Planning to install 2000 and XP
  3. Actual steps in installing XP
  4. Post-installation requirements for XP
  5. Steps to install Windows 2000 Professional

The chapter begins by telling us that Windows 2000 and Windows XP are similar operating systems. Each feature some improvements on previous versions of Windows. Both are 32 bit operating systems, not reliant on a DOS under-layer. Both include security features and Plug and Play support.

The text notes that you can no longer buy a license for Windows 2000 (W2K). We are now past the time when you could buy a license for XP just anywhere. At this time, late 2007, you may be able to buy a new computer with XP for an additional fee, but the average user must buy Vista if they want Windows on their PC. It is still worth studying XP because many copies are installed and in use, and many corporate users will not upgrade to Vista unless their computer is replaced with more modern hardware.

I have experience introducing users to Windows XP. Some features are a bit confusing at first:

  • Users migrating to XP from 9x or NT see a new user interface. (Illustrations are in your text.)
  • XP provides the ability to log on multiple users "at once". This is not often done. It may be of most use when two users share a computer and are constantly moving from the computer desk to another task and back again.
    To log off or to change to a different user, access the logon screen by pressing ctrl-alt-delete.
  • XP provides users easy access to Windows Media Player (WMP, or just Media Player) and Windows Messenger. (Not all business environments approve the use of either. The former is seen as an entertainment program by many, and the latter may not be approved by your internal security officer or be restricted by network bandwidth issues.)
  • Remote Assistance provides the ability to ask another user to look at your desktop remotely. This feature must be installed on both PCs for it to work.

XP Professional is a higher version of XP. It is available in a 64 bit version, which supports higher end processors than XP does. It is also the basis on which two other versions were developed:

  • Windows XP Media Center Edition - allows a PC to act like a digital TV recorder
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition - for tablets, which are laptops with touch-screens

Windows 2000 has several versions as well:

  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Windows 2000 Datacenter Server

As you can see, three of those versions are for servers, not for workstations.

XP and W2K both use two operating modes. You should know the difference between them:

  • User mode - Follow the link to the left to see how to create a user account that is a Limited User. It can run programs, but cannot change settings on the computer. (When you plan the video, ignore his poor spelling at the beginning and ending slides. Many engineers cannot spell...)
  • Kernel mode - This mode has access to all system data and settings. Follow the link on the left to a Microsoft page that explains the difference between the modes in terms of what mode software or drivers may need to run in.
  • Regular users will use applications in User mode; System Administrators will use applications in Kernel mode.

Some terms that relate to the discussion of the two modes:

  • Process: a program or group of programs that are currently running
  • Thread: a single task that a process requests from kernel
    A process can spawn multiple threads
  • HAL - the Kernel mode uses a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) that is like a driver for the motherboard and processor. Historically, many HALs have existed, to accommodate different hardware. The only way to resolve a HAL problem is to remove the operating system and reinstall it, applying the correct HAL during installation.
  • Executive Services - these are the services used by the Kernel to manage the system hardware. User mode processes cannot access these services.

The chapter moves on to discuss two types of networks used in Microsoft environments: workgroups and domains.

  • Workgroup - a group of computers and users that share resources with each other, without the need for servers. Workgroups use a peer-to-peer networking model: Every computer in a workgroup can provide or request access to resources, like shared drives. Workgroups are only efficient when you have ten or fewer users.
  • Domain - a group of networked computers and users, using a client/server networking model. Resources are controlled through a central directory, a database of network users and resources. Computers in a client/server environment are typically servers or clients, not both.
  • Network operating system (NOS) - runs on servers, controls the network directory database. Examples: Windows Server (2003 or later), Novell NetWare (4.11 or later)

The text is a bit confusing about domains. Know that there are NT Domains that are not the same as Windows 2000 Server domains. Windows 2000 Server domains are more like Windows Server 2003 domains, but 2003 domains have more features, and they are both called Active Directory domains. Microsoft keeps changing things with each new version. This link goes to a good article about the Active Directory Services, including some of its history.

Returning to the text, we discuss 2000 domains.

  • Security for the network is handled by the Security Accounts Manager (SAM) database. It holds information about user accounts, computer accounts, and group accounts. (They are all records in its database.)
  • The SAM is stored on Domain Controllers, servers that hold complete copies of the domain database.
  • A Primary Domain Controller (PDC) holds a live copy of the network database.
  • A Backup Domain Controller (BDC) holds a backup (read-only) copy of the network database.
  • A domain is Native Mode if it holds only Windows 2000 PDCs. It is a Mixed Mode domain if it contains one or more NT PDCs. (There are similar distinctions between domains that have all 2003 PDCs and those that do not.)

XP and 2000 support user logons.

  • A user account can be created on a workstation or on a domain by someone with full rights to the system in question (the workstation or the domain). A user with these kinds of rights is called an administrator.
  • When user accounts are enabled, they typically require a password and a user name to be entered when the workstation is turned on.
  • In a domain, users belong to groups. Groups are given rights and permissions to resources. (Microsoft makes a distinction between rights and permissions. "A permission is authorization to perform an operation on a specific object, such as a file. A user right is authorization to perform an operation that affects an entire computer rather than a specific object on the computer."

The text returns to file storage on disks, a topic begun in the first chapter. The topic has already been discussed in the notes for that chapter. Students should review that material.

The text discusses installing W2K or XP, listing several steps that should be carried out in planning an installation:

  • Check minimum hardware requirements - refer to the chart in your text, or sources like the Microsoft web site
  • Check your software: will it work with the new OS or will you need new software
  • Check your hardware drivers: do you have proper drivers, or should you download good ones before the installation?
  • Pick an installation option: can you choose between an upgrade or a clean install? You may not have a choice, if you only have access to one kind of installation software. Remember that clean installs are almost always better.
  • Decide how the drive will be partitioned and formatted: do you need to create a dual boot system, with two OSs on it? If so, you need two partitions, and you should install the older OS first, if it is not installed already. Each partition must have enough space on it to work.
  • Decide whether you will connect to a workgroup or a client/server network
  • If you are not on a client/server network, you must use installation CDs.
  • If you are on a network, you can use the installation CD, or copy it to a server and install from the copy.
  • You can run an unattended installation
    • if you use an "answer file" for the questions asked during an installation
    • if you use an image file of an installed system.
  • Use a checklist to verify steps have been completed

Some advice is offered about installing XP:

  • If you are booting from the installation disk, make sure it is first in the PCs boot sequence.
  • Turn off Plug and Play in the PC's BIOS
  • If not booting from your install disk, turn off anti-virus protection for the boot sector: you will be making changes
  • Start the correct installation program: winnt.exe is used if you booted with DOS; winnt32.exe is used if you booted into 9x or NT.
  • If the computer is a laptop, use your AC adapter instead of your battery.

When installing XP on a system with no OS:

  1. Configure the start sequence
  2. Boot from the install CD
  3. Create or remove partitions as necessary
  4. Format your partitions
  5. Answer the questions the install program asks

When installing XP on a system that has an OS, as a clean install:

  1. Close any applications
  2. Run the install program on the install CD
  3. Choose the Install option
  4. Choose New Installation
  5. Accept the license agreement
  6. Create or remove partitions as necessary, and continue as above

When installing XP on a system that has an OS, as an upgrade:

  1. Remove unnecessary files from the hard drive
  2. Upgrade hardware and software if needed
  3. Upgrade your BIOS if an upgrade is available
  4. Backup files and scan for viruses (this is necessary whether things go right or wrong)
  5. If drive is compressed, uncompress the drive (you should not use compressed drives, anyway)
  6. Run the install program from the Windows XP Upgrade CD
  7. Select the upgrade type
  8. Select the partition to install Windows XP
  9. Stop installation if things go wrong, and hope you can restore from your backup.

When installing XP as a choice on a dual boot system:

  1. Close any applications
  2. Run the install program on the install CD
  3. Choose the Install option
  4. Choose New Installation
  5. Accept the license agreement
  6. Create or remove partitions as necessary, and install on a partition without an OS already on it.

After installing XP:

  • You should activate the product, verify that the hardware works, and remove unnecessary software
  • Configure how you will get updates for Windows on the System Properties screen, Automatic Updates tab

When installing Windows 2000 on a system with no OS:

  1. Boot PC from setup CD or setup disks
  2. Select a partition and a file system
  3. Enter basic demographic data and product key
  4. Enter date and time, and administrator password
  5. Configure Networking Settings
  6. Remove installation disk and reboot
  7. Complete network configuration

When installing W2K on a system that has an OS, as a clean install:

  1. Insert the installation CD
  2. When prompted to upgrade existing OS, answer “No”
  3. Click Install Windows 2000
  4. Respond to Windows Setup Wizard
  5. After reboot, installation is like a regular clean install

When installing W2K on a system that has an OS, as an upgrade:

  1. Prepare as recommended for XP
  2. Insert the installation CD
  3. Respond to issues raised (if any) in Report phase
  4. Allow PC to reboot and enter two-part Setup phase
  5. The first part of setup takes place in Text mode
  6. Windows registry and profile are moved to old OS folder
  7. Allow PC to reboot and continue Setup in GUI mode
  8. Registry is updated and application DLLs migrated
  9. After system reboots again, retrieve updates