re installing win2k problem

  Fridge 09:15 21 Feb 2004

When attemting to reinstall win2k i get to the setup is starting windows 2000 screen and the system freezes at that point.
i have tried 3 copies of the o/s but the same happens each time.
any ideas

  Diodorus Siculus 09:38 21 Feb 2004

Is it a clean install or over a current install. It be be necessary to format the hdd first.

  Fridge 13:35 21 Feb 2004

Diodorus Siculus

formatted hd still same problem

  Paranoid Android 14:09 21 Feb 2004

Try installing with a minimal system (non-essential hardware removed).


  fitcher 22:58 21 Feb 2004

did you make the four diskets to start the install .and then ask it to format in the ntfs file , I find it is easier to use that ,,than fat 32 ,, it runs soundly for me ,,in fact I put it on my machines in preference to win 98 make bios boot from floppy of course , sorry if you know all this

  Fridge 10:19 22 Feb 2004

done all that still same, maybe problem in the bios !!!!!!

  Taran 11:00 22 Feb 2004

Have you ever had Win2K running on that machine ?

What is its spec ?

There are some errors with certain types of hardware that may be the cause of this. Some motherboards and chipsets for example, either require some ingenious workarounds or just plain refuse to run Win2K.

SCSI drives also present their own peculiarities as do the more recent Serial ATA drives and let's not get started on RAID. Whoever thought of RAID for a domestic desktop wants a good kick in the pants...

The bottom line is that it could be any one of dozens of things but my first thoughts are a hardware incompatibility, most likely down to the mainboard/chipset or possibly graphics.

There are perhaps a few BIOS settings that I can think of that could be causing this but I'm not totally convinced that this is where the problem lies, especially if the machine has successfully run other versions of Windows.

I will assume that you've already tried the system in "bare bones" state with just the hard drive, CD ROM, floppy [if required] and graphics card fitted.

You could try a standard Windows 98 boot disk but make sure you copy SMARTDRV.EXE ("SmartDrive") from the Win2k CD onto the floppy first.

1. Boot from the Windows 98 floppy [with SMARTDRV.EXE copied onto it]

2. DO NOT select to start with CD ROM support

3. Use FDISK to create your partition.

4. Reboot the system, still with the floppy drive in place.

5. Choose CD-ROM support this time.

6. Format the hard drive.

7. SYS C: to make the C: drive bootable, like we used to in the bad old days of Windows 98. This could well be crucial to your case. There have been reported incidents of the first boot failing after reinstall due to Windows 2000 being unable to boot into C:

8. Start SMARTDRV that you copied to your boot floppy. This makes the install go as nature intended. Not using it is possible but will mean the install will take about five or six hours [on a good day]

9. Change directories to the CD ROM [normally E:] using the cd E: command

10. Change directories into the i386 folder on the CD ROM using the cd i386 command

11. run winnt.exe

This is the most reliable method I know of getting a troublesome Win2K install up and running. It guarantees a clean FDISK and format without CD ROM support drivers potentially messing things up and starting Smartdrive [SMARTDRV] from the boot floppy means your RAM disk holds the necessary bells and whistles for a good install of Win2K without taking best part of a day to get through.

You will be limited to FAT32 for your file table but at least it will verify that things will run on this less demanding and more forgiving environment. You can change the file system to NTFS if and when you get a successful install by running the simple but effective Convert Windows utility from a command prompt, like this:

Click Start, click Run, type cmd and click OK or open up the Command Prompt fro its shortcut in your Start, Programs Accessories folder.

Type this:

C:\> CONVERT C: /fs:ntfs

Press Enter.

Follow any prompts to schedule the job on next reboot if the drive could not be exclusively accessed/dismounted and re-start the PC.

Give us some details about the system and I'll have a proper think.


  Taran 11:05 22 Feb 2004

"FAT32... less demanding and more forgiving environment."

I should have explained that a bit more thoroughly.

Win2K on FAT32 takes less out of your system to run in general.

NTFS is normally more secure, stable and reliable in use, but the way it runs and the way services access the file system can impact on system performance.

That's what I was driving at and that's why I suggested a FAT32 install from a Win98 bootdisk with SMARTDRIVE copied to it.

My apologies if it was in any way confusing or misleading since for overall use NTFS is superb.

  Paranoid Android 12:04 22 Feb 2004

Mind if I bookmark this one Taran ? V v useful.


  Taran 12:27 22 Feb 2004

Feel free to book your mark as much as you like.

Out of curiosity, the exact same process can be used for troublesome Windows XP installations where, for one reason or another, there are issues in getting a clean boot during post install final configuration of the OS.

Obviously there may be certain hardware limitations that need a rethink of partition sizes for the FAT32 base file system metioned here, but remember that this is a kind of all out "rescue install" if you like and I'd rather have a smaller working install on FAT32 than a system that won't boot up at all after what appears to be a normal installation.

It's not a normal installation process but the extra time taken can sometimes be worth it and I have had systems in the past where this was the only way of getting a working installation of Win2K or XP at all.

It also is not guaranteed to work in all cases - obviously it cannot overcome hardware incompatabilities completely.

It avoids most of the usual suspects that can cause issues during installation though by effectively taking them out of the loop.

I'm a bit old fashioned at times, but the SYS C: commands and simialr DOS switches still come in very, very handy when things go that strange shape of pear.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, or sometimes just a bit of lateral thinking.


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