Upgrading to Windows 2000

  old jim 20:39 07 Mar 2003

Hi guys
At the moment I have a Dell Latitued CPx laptop running Windows 98se, and I would like to upgrade to Windows 2000, but I am having trouble finding out which drivers I need to upgrade.

I have visited the Dell site but the list they provided was very long and confusing.

Please if anyone out there has been though this and has any advice please post.

Old Jim

  temp003 06:25 08 Mar 2003

Latitude laptops are slim and light and more mobile friendly. Specs are usually lower as a result, so I don't know whether it's worth the trouble of upgrade to w2k. But you should have at least 128MB RAM. W2k requires more memory than 98. Using 64MB on w2k will probably be slower.

Try the US Dell site instead of the UK site. It's a bit clearer. click here and go through the steps as you did on the UK site.

There seem to be 2 models, CPx H and CPx J. Dell says both are upgradeable to w2k, being ACPI compliant.

The list of available downloads does not seem to include much hardware (e.g. can't see a modem driver - perhaps the laptop didn't come with it).

Dell has the BIOS, video and audio drivers for w2k for your laptop. Those are the basics which will enable your laptop to work. There's a whole lot of monitor drivers as well. Usually monitor drivers are not necessary, but I'm not sure about laptop screens. If so, there must be one for you.

No need for the hard disk firmware upgrades. CD/floppy drives usually do not require new drivers.

Go to Device Manager and check out what other hardware you have, and whether w2k drivers are available either from Dell or from another manufacturer.

Some software may not be compatible with w2k, but I doubt it will pose a big problem. You can check out w2k compatibility (hard and software) on the Microsoft website.

When you satisfied that you will upgrade to w2k, first upgrade the BIOS before installing w2k.

Download the latest version from Dell. There's a choice of files even for the same version, depending on the method of flashing the bios. Some people say the floppy method is safer, but I've been using the non-floppy method and it has not failed. Up to you.

When bios upgrade is successful, download all necessary drivers. You can do it on another computer, save them to disk, and copy to CDs or to the laptop.

If a new driver is needed for the monitor, install driver now (but only if it is compatible with both 98 and w2k - otherwise install monitor driver after installing w2k).

Back up any important data first. Things can go wrong.

When in 98, put in the w2k CD, and you'll get 2 options. Upgrade or fresh copu (clean install). The upgrade path backs up your 98 system files and gives you the option to go back to 98. Safer (especially on an OEM laptop), but takes up hard disk space - so make sure you have enough hdd space.

Format and clean install is usually better, but riskier with an OEM laptop. Sometimes laptops need special drivers for certain hardware and the Windows generic drivers won't do. If you format the hard disk or partition, you may not find these little things even from the Dell CDs. I haven't tried so I don't know whether it's a real risk.

If you choose clean install, computer will go through an extra process, letting you select the partition to install w2k and format the partition.

Either way, you will be asked at some stage about which file system to use, FAT or NTFS. Choose FAT if you use the upgrade path and want to retain the option of going back to 98 (which won't work on NTFS). Otherwise choose NTFS. You can convert FAT to NTFS later if you want.

Computer will reboot. Just follow the prompts from w2k Setup.

When installation is finished, computer will reboot into w2k. Install video driver first. Then audio. Then go to Device Manager to see if there are any exclamation marks and install any other driver as necessary.

Make sure you retrieve all your Dell CDs before you upgrade, in case you need to restore everything.

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