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Upgrading Windows 98 With the
Full Version of Windows 2000

Last updated: 12/5/02

Q.  Can I upgrade my win98 machine to win2000 without reformatting (so, I don't have to re-install everything) if I use the full version CD instead of the upgrade CD of win2000?

This question and answer came directly from our Forums.  My thanks to DJ Net2Infinity for writing-up the answer.  Larry

A.  Installation Procedure

It is very important that the update procedure be run from inside Windows 98. If you boot the computer with the CD, the installation will not work properly.

Login to Windows 98 and place the W2K upgrade CD into the CD-ROM drive.

Windows will recognize the CD and asks if you would like to upgrade to W2K. Select Yes.

The installation procedure brings up the "Windows 2000 Setup" window. Choose Upgrade and select Next

A license agreement appears; read each and every word very carefully, consult a practicing attorney, and then accept the agreement by selecting the Accept radial and then the Next box.

The installation procedure now asks if you want to visit Microsoft's website to check your BIOS and install upgrade packs. Click on the link to go to the site.

Once at the site, Click the blue link in the middle of the page to check your BIOS. Enter the manufacturer and model of your computer to see if it is compatible. Most computers will be compatible. If your make and model is on the list it is compatible. Use the browser's Back function to return to the first page of the Compatibility website.

Select the Next button at the bottom of the web page to proceed. Select the blue link in the middle of the page. It should be titled "Download the Latest Upgrade Pack for Setup and Compatability" This brings up the download window. Choose "Run from current location" and the downloaded file does all the work.

Select the Next button at the bottom of the web page and this returns you to the installation program. Select Next at the bottom of this screen to move on.

The install program might ask you now if you have upgrade packs to provide. You probably won't so select Next to move on.

The next question asked is whether or not you would like to upgrade to NTFS or not. NTFS is short for Windows NT File System. Choose yes, unless for some reason you are going to be running 98 or 95 on the same machine. Windows 98 and 95 can't read drives formatted with NTFS. W2K works best with NTFS. Select Next.

The install program might ask you to provide Updated Plug n Play files for some devices that it lists. Most likely you will not have any to provide. This is ok for the time being. Go on to the Next window.

This step is quite important. Setup now provides you with an "Update Report." You will want to print this out and/or save it, and then review it before continuing. After reviewing the file, you will most likely want to make some adjustments to your system before going ahead with the upgrade. If this is so, Press Cancel to quit the setup process and return to Windows 98 and make changes.

Click here to look at a sample upgrade report. If you cancel the installation process (and you probably will) to make changes to your system and prepare it for the upgrade, it will start over at step one.

When you are done looking at the upgrade report and have decided that your system is as ready as it will ever be, choose Next.

This takes you to the "Ready to Install Windows 2000" window. This marks the end of the first stage of installation. It is your last chance to cancel out of the process. Choosing Next will start the upgrade.

After about 30 minutes to possibly more than an hour, the upgrade is mostly complete.

Windows 2000 shows you a "Password Creation" window. Choose a password that you will remember. You can always change it later.

If a Netware Client was installed on the Windows 98 system, this upgrades to version 4.51 for NT. Login using your Novell username and password as you normally would. This version of the Netware client is old and will need to be upgraded as well. A new one can be obtained here.

Check that the CD-ROM drive letter is "R:" by double-clicking the My Computer icon. If it isn't, it will need to be changed. Directions for that are here.

Now would also be a good time to change your passwords and look at the accounts for the machine. This can be done by going into the Control Panel and double-clicking on Users and Passwords. Also, it would be a good idea to click on the advanced tab and place a check next to "Require users press Ctrl-Alt-Del before logging on."

Run the Windows Update from the Start menu.

Go back to the upgrade report and install the W2K versions of the software and drivers that you need.

Windows FAQ Index

Also, see Windows Tips and Tricks.

Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.