What is Windows 2000?

Windows 2000 is an operating system of the Windows family created by the American company Microsoft. Its creation represented an effort to merge two different operating systems, Windows 9x and Windows NT, until then.

What is Windows 2000?

Microsoft Windows 2000 Operating System

Two years before its release, Windows NT 5.0 was known to be on the pipeline line, but Windows 2000 was developed to solve all these problems.


   Windows 2000 Professional

The successor to NT Workstation, Windows 2000 Pro is intended to be a secure network client and a corporate workstation. It supports up to 2 processors and is useful as a standalone operating system, especially for running high-performance applications in graphic design. Microsoft promotes this as the leading desktop operating system in a business environment.

   Windows 2000 Server

The successor of NT Server supports up to 4 processors and small and medium businesses are intended to be print, file, application, and even Web servers.

   Windows 2000 Advanced Server

The successor of NT Server Enterprise Edition supports up to 8 processors and will be the department application server for medium and large businesses with multiple domains and critical tasks. Other features include RAID support and fault tolerance.

   Windows 2000 Data Center Server

It supports up to 32 processors and is only available on request. It is designed for large companies that require data warehousing, econometric analysis, large-scale scientific and engineering simulations.


In this operating system, you can find major improvements over its previous version, among them: a lot of connectivity tools, the maturity of the interface, good recognition of the hardware and stability.

This includes support for new technologies, improvements in remote computing functions, central service applications, and significantly reduced mandatory restarts.

Most of the improvements in the system are weak but create a better experience using a computer. The fact is that someone experienced with the use of Windows 98 will prefer Windows 2000 a few more times.

Hardware Requirements

The minimum requirements for Windows 2000 Professional are Pentium 166 MHz, 64 Mb RAM, and 2 Gb hard drive on paper, with at least 1 Gb of free space. These are numbers for the Professional system to work.

Server and Advanced Server versions require more powerful processors and more RAM. In summary, if you want to install Win2000 and achieve an acceptable level of performance, it is recommended to choose a Pentium III 500 Mhz machine with at least 256 Mb of RAM.

Installation Processes

Win2000 Pro installation can be done through Win98, but Server and Advanced Server versions require NT or clean installation.

The process starts only by running the Setup file. After several short tables for language selection and accessibility, the installation files are copied to the hard disk.

Previously, the wizard warned when trying to convert the FAT or FAT32 file system to NTFS. We recommend doing this as this system allows you to use file management functions more efficiently.

Once complete, the system will automatically reboot and installation begins. The setup process is long but does not require much attention and can best apply plug and play recognition.

The commercial version of Windows 2000 can recognize and support a large number of devices, automatically allocate resources, and install drivers.

The New Hardware Installation Wizard allows you to dynamically add, configure, remove, analyze, and update peripherals without worrying about effects on the rest of the system.

In any case, although hardware support is considered with older BIOS, the biggest advantages will undoubtedly be achieved with new hardware such as USB, AGP OpenGL 1.2, or DirectX.

Hardware recognition is the longest part of the installation. After copying the files and drivers, the system will reboot and enter the stage of configuration, creation, access creation, and component registration.

You will notice that when Windows 2000 is started for the first time, it takes longer than Win98. Also, in the Server version and higher versions, the network administrator has the option to remotely install Win2000 on client machines.

Hardware Support

When it comes to hardware support, the two technologies that underpin Windows 2000 are Plug and Play and ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface), both based on Windows 98 hardware support.

In Microsoft’s terms, the ACPI and Plug and Play package are known as the OnNow Initiative.

This design initiative makes computers available immediately. In other words, without OnNow, the PC will boot when it is turned on.

With OnNow, it switches from low power consumption to direct operation, and vice versa. When a computer is not in use, it remains in a state where it appears to be off; however, it is still able to react to events that may occur around it.

In general terms, OnNow allows sleep and hibernation. In the latter case, the operating system dumps the contents of the memory into a file on the hard disk and shuts down.

After rebooting, it invokes the file from memory and appears as it was before Desktop was closed.

Windows controls system configuration and power management through the Plug and Play and APM (Advanced Power Management) BIOS.

For this, they use a unified driver model because they serve both WDM (Windows Driver Model) named Windows 98 and 2000, which supports Plug and Play and power management for the device it controls.



New system icons and apparently more three-dimensional displays are the first things to stand out. For example, the mouse pointer is a noticeable shadow.

Win2000 surprises start with the Start menu and differ from previous versions. You can easily watch the programs and files used in the first sessions.

The system uses this behavior profile to configure the Programs menu, so the most used apps are always in the foreground, while the rest are gathered on the menu.

This not only facilitates access to programs but also provides more visual cleaning on the screen. In addition, it is possible to step up the control panel and activate the smooth display of the menus with a calming fading effect.

Among its most interesting details is the new structure of the Open, Print, or Save dialog boxes. These boxes have an Outlook-like design that provides quick access to the most used files.

In addition to the My Documents folder, there is another file called My Pictures and My Sites. The dialog navigation bar also contains a list of recently used documents.

   Ease of Use

System customization and configuration can be done almost entirely from control panels, including folder options. It is the first operating system to customize the system menu bar. In fact, it contains more than 20 buttons, including Search, Move, Copy, Favorites, and resize buttons.

A detail that beginners with Windows will appreciate is that contextual help tags are integrated into all system elements, and dialogs and panels are more informative, including troubleshooting buttons and the option to uninstall drivers.

Actual work can be seen in Windows Explorer and in integration with Internet Explorer 5. History of IE5 and Windows Explorer now includes both Web sites and the documents and folders we work with, and we can say that we can use them interchangeably.

Changes in the search tool show great similarities to what we can find on an Internet portal, as it covers Boolean operators, allows space to be narrowed, and specifies the requirements in detail.

The found documents are previewed in the Explorer window, so we can access Web sites or browse the disk, which is a combination of functions that will look natural in a few minutes.

Directory Server must be running for a thorough search. This component allows local content to be indexed independent mode.

The user can select the directories that want to index and the features that should be considered in this process. If the user is on a server network, the server can take over the entire job.

System Reliability

Reliability and manageability have been developed with tools that help users and network administrators to manage their systems more easily, starting with the DLL labyrinth.

It allows DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) to be loaded into your specific applications’ directories and prevents the removal of shared DLLs.

System Management

The global management of a system is carried out through a module called Computer Management, which organizes the resources, services, storage devices, and security they use on both the local system and remote computers.

The panel is a valuable tool for administrators and is divided into three modules: System Tools, Storage and Services, and Applications.

For example, in System Tools, our event viewer and Device Manager have a hierarchical synthesis of devices installed on the computer, which allows changes and searches to resolve IRQ or DMA conflicts.

On the other hand, it is possible to access the properties of disk drives, including removable drives, and verification, sharing, and backup copies options from Storage.

Finally, Services and Applications give us clearer information about Microsoft and network services implemented. In general, the Team Manager is a complete and detailed map of the computer, including reports on how the computer uses it.

Security Infrastructure

The Win2000 family has robust security technologies as it is a network-oriented and resource-sharing operating system.

The goal is for every user to understand and fully control how these technologies work. This security infrastructure operates at three levels:

   1. Local

Refers to data protection on the computer. The system is designed to prevent unauthorized users from bypassing the boot system and thus security functions.

Some hardware manufacturers integrate password systems, a solution that is not very suitable for shared work environments. Encryption of data on the NTFS disk is a service based on the Windows CryptoAPI architecture to implement the public key system.

Each file is encrypted with a randomly generated key using asymmetric algorithms. Win2000 is the first process to implement 128-bit encryption in a transparent process because ENF encrypts and decrypts these files by finding files from the system storage or devices such as Smart Cards.

   2. Corporate

Refers to data protection on the local network. Win2000 uses the Kerberos version 5 authentication protocol, a security standard that verifies and monitors the effectiveness of every user on the network, on local networks and intranets.

By providing unified access control to almost any network environment, Kerberos eliminates the need to obtain permission and wait for the client to respond each time it wants to access a new network resource.

   3. Public

Win2000 also uses public-key systems and authentication protocols to secure communications over the Internet, thereby verifying the origin of e-mail messages or guaranteeing the resources from which downloads are received.

In addition, virtual private networks (VPNs) include support for encapsulated protocols that create a private communication channel through public networks. VPN support is via PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol), Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, and IPSec, a protocol that implements various functions on an encrypted network layer.

Active Directory

Directory service is a network service that identifies all the resources in it and makes them accessible for users and applications. Active Directory (AD) is the directory service included in Win2000.

The main element of AD is the directory that stores information about network resources and services that make information available.

Resources such as user data stored in the directory, printers, servers, databases, groups, computers, and system policies are called objects.

AD divides them into areas hierarchically. A domain is a logical grouping of servers and other network resources under the same domain name.

Each domain contains one or more domain controllers, which are machines that store a copy of a domain directory. The rest is updated automatically whenever changes are made to any of the drivers.

An object is a set of specific attributes that represent a single network resource under a particular name. Attributes refer to the properties of the object.

Therefore, the attributes of a user account can be the name, department, and e-mail address, and the properties of the printer if it is a laser and if it is colored. Some objects also function as containers: for example, a domain.

Logical object groups are classes. A class can consist of all user accounts, printers, and groups.

Organizational units/OUs are containers for gathering objects in a domain into logical management groups. Each UO can contain different objects, and each field can have its own grouping logic in UOs.

The central unit of the logical structure of AD is the domain. It is possible to represent the organization of the company by grouping objects in one or more areas. All network objects are located in one domain, it is possible to host up to 10 million objects.

Perhaps the end-user did not give this type of structure. However, to manage a business network, AD allows it to be easily, centrally, and automatically done in its many parameters.

And for the user, you don’t have to remember abstract numbers or names and it means having network resources without worrying about not knowing where they are.

Laptop Compatibility

Although Win2000 is an apparently large operating system, Microsoft has made great efforts to ensure that laptop users can carry and work independently and also coordinate on their machines.

For this, Win2000 has a folder definition feature for offline working. By configuring this option, it is possible to work with documents on the laptop, making sure that all files will be synchronized when connecting to my host.

Also, if we use shared files when the network connection is established, we will have the latest version of them to start working.

The energy-saving function, which is essential for laptop users, is accomplished with ACPI support. ACPI also allows improving the connectivity of laptops to the slots of the main systems, since it can be done without processing and without delay in the recognition of hardware and drivers.

The user can also create different user profiles in the case of low energy by reducing disk operation or reducing screen brightness or choosing sleep mode.

Win2000 also supports laptop hibernation mode. The only bad news is that ACPI is part of the system software, so only newly manufactured laptops can use this standard.

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