Marco Von Ballmoos
These instructions are for installing Windows 2000 from scratch. If you have an existing installation of any flavor of Windows, it will show you how to get rid of it and install cleanly. These are not step-by-step instructions because, quite frankly, I'm not going to re-install one of my systems just to make sure I don't miss a step in this guide. Also, there are numerous places that you may want to utter small prayers or big curses and other places where you hold your breath. Those are not documented, but are implied because of the vendor of the product. Feel free to put them in where you wish. With the warnings out of the way, on to the guide, but remember: your mileage may vary.
You will basically be doing the following steps:
If you don't already have these, you will have to make them. On any installation
of Windows 2000, there is a 'BootDisk' folder, usually located inside
the obvious folder. On some disks (like MSDN copies), it's in
but it's usually relatively obvious. As a last resort, do a file search
You'll need 4 disks if you have to make them. Run
MAKEBOOT.EXE and follow the instructions. This should
work from Windows 98 or 2000.
If you have a copy of Desktop Superstars 2.4 or higher, you should have a copy of PartitionMagic 7.0. Install this into your existing operating system and start it up. The interface is pretty intuitive. The program allows you to create, delete, move and resize partitions. If you have only one, so much the easier. Select the partition you want to reformat and delete it. You have to click 'apply' to make the changes happen. This will reboot your computer and will leave you in DOS.
If you have a lot of space (I would recommend about a 5GB partition for Windows 2000 if you can do it), then you can be a little fancier here. You can actually save your data to another partition so you don't lose everything when you reformat. This takes some time and has to be done in several steps, but it's pretty easy and foolproof (though I've heard that saying something is foolproof implies a finite number of fools). This is not necessarily temporary either. You only need to delete enough space in the partition to create a new partition (because Windows 'upgrades' are notoriously flaky, more so than usual). The extra partition you make to hold your files can be permanent and serve as a games/user/music disk whereas the other is the systems/applications disk. Do what suits you.
You can also make Partition Magic Rescue Disks from the installation (it will prompt you when you install). These can be used to boot the computer and make partition changes from outside of Windows. The interface is exactly the same and will require the same actions. It's a good idea to make these in any case so that you can 'adjust' your partitions after your system is gone, if you find it necessary. You shouldn't need to, but it's a security blanket.
If you do not have Partition Magic or if it does not work or if your system is completely *borked*, then you will have to use the old and venerable command-line utility, FDisk. The easiest way to do this is to run it from a Windows 98 boot disk. If you don't have one, you'll have to make one from an existing Windows 98 installation. Again, if your installation is *borked* or if you have Windows 2000, then you will have to ask a friend to do it.
Reboot your machine with the Startup Disk with or without CD-Rom support
(without is faster). Go to the
a:\ prompt and type
It will offer a menu of options. If the drive you want to clear is NTFS,
make sure to select the 'non-DOS file system' option or you won't be able
to delete it. Select the partition you want to reformat, gather up your
courage and do it.
By this step, you should have a clean partition in which to install Windows 2000. This is actually the easiest step. Simply reboot the computer from your Windows 2000 boot disk and follow the instructions.
From there, it should copy a bunch of files, then reboot and continue on a standard Windows installation.