Windows 2000 Modernization Tips

edited November 25 in Software

I have recently reverted to using Windows 2000 SP5.1 with KernelEx as my daily driver OS, and as such would like to provide some useful information and freeware for all WinWorld users.

The KernelEx tutorial on YouTube is good, with a couple of exceptions: particularly the recommendation of Update Rollup 1. Do not install it on multi-core/CPU/HT systems, for it will make these extra threads/cores/CPUs run extremely hot and/or unstable. Instead, you can kill two birds with one stone by installing the Unofficial Service Pack 5.1 (https://majorgeeks.com/files/details/microsoft_windows_2000_unofficial_sp.html), which will also install IE6 SP1. Then install the January 2016 root update, followed by KB2817183 as in the YT tutorial, then install KB951748, then you have fulfilled all prerequisites for a stable extended kernel!

From there you can use virtually any XP-compatible web browser (although the Application Compatibility Toolkit from the YT tutorial may be necessary to trick installers). I recommend New Moon (based on Pale Moon) 28.0.0b5, which is very stable on win2k (28.2.0a1 produced occasional crashes on my end), available here: rtfreesoft.blogspot.com/2018/08/weekly-browser-binaries-20180811.html. I recommend at least 768 MB RAM if not 1 GB for modern win2k web browsing, and a dual-core processor for good results on YouTube (480p is perfect on Yonah T2400 1.83 GHz whilst my Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66 GHz can do 1080p well).

While I'm at it, here is some very hard-to-find but useful free software/supplements for Windows 2000 SP4+. First off, this is the first stable release of the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack for 2000/2003 (and unofficially 97). It was deleted from Microsoft's website although they kept a beta version up (how responsible): https://mega.nz/#!h1ElHKhR!6ruau-WYsP3vXK0mFQaXxJRVDU6Iww1P3ZmHVUVw4iE. Later versions dropped Windows 2000 support.

A universal wireless LAN client that supports WPA2 on Win2k SP4 and later. It does take two or three attempts to connect to my home network sometimes but the connection sound makes up for it:
web.archive.org/web/20070314030742/http://boingo.com:80/downloads/BW1201/boingoinstaller.exe

And finally, some modern (2013) partition management freeware (a paid version also exists): AOMEI Partition Assist Home Edition 5.1.2, which works with Windows 2000 SP4+. It can do resizing and some more complex operations than the Windows Disk Management tool. I haven't tested it as thoroughly as the other software and I do recommend testing it in a VM before applying to metal, but I haven't had any issues either: https://mega.nz/#!MpE1BAxC!Wr-O1End_b_Gqmwzwr0OunYl9kJd1HrpzJgp5OfpasI

Official Windows 2000 hotfixes can be found at windowsarchives.com, whereas blackwingcat's unofficial extensions/drivers/runtimes etc. can be found at w2k.flxsrv.org/wlu/wlu.htm.

I do advise that mission-critical and sensitive tasks such as financial transactions be left to newer operating systems which may provide better security. I am not responsible for any harm resulting from using these tips.

Comments

  • This will be handy for anyone still holding on to the past or, use this fine OS extensively on a VM :P Thank you for this :)

  • Thanks for the office compatibility pack. I'll give this a try with office 97, provided I can keep powerpoint from crashing.
    Office 97 just doesn't like nt 3.51.

  • That's interesting. I've never had an issue with the SP4 Update Rollup on multicore systems. The first one I used it on was a T60 and that worked fine.

  • edited November 27

    @nick99nack said:
    That's interesting. I've never had an issue with the SP4 Update Rollup on multicore systems. The first one I used it on was a T60 and that worked fine.

    I also use a T60 with Windows 2000. I do have considerably higher CPU temperatures than with XP/2003, although that seems to be characteristic of 2000 in general (even with something like Intel SpeedStep enabled). Perhaps Core Duos aren't affected as badly as other processors...

    Another thing I've discovered is that the modified Pale Moon 26.5, as provided from the browser link above, may be a better choice for stability (no crashes unlike 28.x) and RAM usage though you will have to sacrifice anything above 360p on YouTube and deal with a few rendering issues. It works on Windows 2000 without unofficial updates.

    With both browsers installed, you can get away with a lot on win2k. Unfortunately my printers only have XP drivers and I have to find a way to get it to access my Galaxy S5. Two new endeavors for me...

  • Have you tried the XP drivers? Don't use the install programs, just use the basic driver and install it the old-fashioned way. Many times it will work. Or, sometimes a driver for an older model will work with a newer model.

    I have a Brother HL-L2340DW and I've gotten that to work on both 2000 and NT4 using drivers from an older, similar model in the series.

  • My Canon MX492's drivers installed fine, but I couldn't get wireless printing to work. USB printing should work though. It was bought new in 2016 so it would be impressive for it to work in 2000.

    I added my Galaxy S5's hardware id to usbstor.inf though that didn't succeed. Couldn't really find any proper drivers either. In that case, VirtualBox 1.5.6, compatible with 2000 SP4, apparently supports USB host-to-guest passthrough so that could be the solution for USB devices incompatible with 2000 itself.

    In fact I tested Windows 10 in a VM under win2k but it wouldn't install citing a lack of PAE (which the PC's C2D does support). I'll have to convert that install to advanced server and enable PAE there to see how far I can go.

    All I can say is that I really do like working with win2k and feel far more comfortable working with it than win10.

  • edited December 8

    @win32 said:
    I have recently reverted to using Windows 2000 SP5.

    Did you mean SP4? Because there is no SP5 for Windows 2000.

  • edited December 8

    The official Windows 2000 SP5 was scrapped by Microsoft in 2005 and replaced by Update Rollup 1. However, an unofficial service pack 5 (and later 5.1) was shortly released, built in the same way as an official Windows 2000 service pack. It can even be slipstreamed as a service pack into win2k installation media using nLite.

    Here is a guide to produce a fully-slipstreamed win2k CD, which adds many utilities on top of the unofficial service pack.

    https://ryanvm.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=10622

    Unfortunately slipstreaming could be a very difficult proposition for those with high definition audio buses, particularly 60-series ThinkPads where KB888111 and the audio driver must be installed prior to USP5.1. I'll have to see if slipstreaming KB888111 will fix this problem.

  • Well, it turns out that slipstreaming KB888111 fixes the bug that causes the soundmax HDA bus drivers to fail to install under the circumstances mentioned above.

    Windows 2000 is soooo fast compared to XP/2003 on the same hardware, especially with slipstreamed hotfixes and SATA drivers. It's sad to think that there was a time when Windows updates actually fixed and improved the OS. Meanwhile my Windows 8.1 AiO HP crapbox already had its Windows install commit suicide before on account of updates and is now dealing with Intel graphics driver troubles.

    In other win2k news, TRIMing an SSD has gotten easier with this utility. Meant primarily for Windows XP, .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 seems to be enough for it to run under 2000. I'm not sure if it actually does anything, but it does check partition alignments anyway.
    You can also leave your workstation idle at the login screen for 30 minutes per week to allow the SSD's internal "garbage collection" routines to perform their magic.
    https://mega.nz/#!RhsTUQLK!2UciEf7aUtN1wpR9bjECQgvECmPJOEiBba2yrMcPFjg

  • edited December 11

    There is an issue caused by something on the slipstreamed win2k CD that doesn't occur with my manual installation method: a bug affecting win16 applications which causes them to crash when a menu bar item is clicked. :'(

    There are some additional hotfixes and a couple of shell extensions/utilities that are present with the slipstreamed image and not with the manual install method.

    My solution for now is to use Windows 3.11 in DOSbox in 2000.

  • edited December 12

    I have found the problem: a utility called MMM that helps add additional options to right-click drop-down menus. When disabled win16 applications are working properly again and I can take Windows 3.11 out into a dark alley to shoot it. :p

    Don't forget to install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010-2017 runtimes from Windows Legacy Update. Some API calls that are used by New Moon 28.x are included in them (hopefully they should help fix the minor stability issues that are present without them).

  • Patching the tray icons to show 256 colors was one of the common alterations when I used to use Win2000

    dr-hoiby.com/TrayIconIn256Color/index.php

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