Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Setting Domain and Workgroup Membership

A domain is a grouping of accounts and network resources that are grouped together using a single domain name and security boundary. All user accounts, permissions, and other network details are all stored in a centralized database on the domain controllers. A single login gives users access to all resources they have permissions for. Domains are recommended for all networks with more than 10 computers, or networks that are expected to grow to larger than 10 computers in the near future. There are a few requirements to join a domain. You will need to know the domain name. You must have a computer account for the computer you are installing Windows 2000 Professional on. This account can be created either by the administrator before installing Windows 2000 Professional or during setup with the user name and password of an account with the permissions to create a computer account. You will also need at least one domain controller and Domain Name Server (DNS) online when you install Windows 2000 Professional.

A workgroup is a logical grouping of resources on a network. It is generally used in peer-to-peer networks. This means that each computer is responsible for access to its resources. Each computer has its own account database and is administered separately. Security is not shared between computers, and administration is more difficult than in a centralized domain. A workgroup is only intended as a convenience to help find resources. When browsing the network, the resources in your same workgroup are found first. It does not provide any security. In a workgroup, you might have to remember a different password for every resource you want to access. To join a workgroup during installation, all you need is a workgroup name. This can be the name of an existing workgroup or a new one. You must join a workgroup or a domain during installation, but you can change these memberships later as needed.

Windows 2000 Professional Application Compatibility

In addition to determining that your hardware is compatible with Windows 2000, you should also verify that your software is compatible with Windows 2000. Most applications that were compatible with Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0 will be compatible with Windows 2000. Since Windows 95 and 98 were compatible with MS-DOS applications, some applications that ran on Windows 95 and 98 will not be compatible with Windows 2000. This is especially true for older programs that accessed the hardware directly. Windows 2000 does not allow the hardware to be accessed directly; it must be accessed through the operating system. This was also true in Windows NT. Prior to upgrading to Windows 2000, you should remove the following types of applications:
  • Any third-party Plug and Play tools. These are no longer needed, since Windows 2000 is now Plug and Play compatible.
  • All third-party network protocols and client software. However, you can look on the CD-ROM in the i386\winntupg folder to see if there is an update for your networking software. If there is, then you can leave your software installed.
  • You should remove antivirus software and any third-party disk quota software because of the changes to NTFS. It needs to be compatible with NTFS 5.
  • If you have any third-party power management software, you should remove it, because Windows 2000 has changed its power management support.

Multi Boot Configuration

With many versions of the Windows operating system now available, some users will need to have multiple operating systems installed on the same computer. The user can choose which operating system to load. During installation, you can upgrade an existing Windows operating system to Windows 2000, but when you do, you cannot load the existing operating system. When configuring your computer for multiboot operations, consider the following points:
  • To upgrade an existing Windows operating system to Windows 2000, you must install Windows 2000 in the same directory. To dual-boot with the existing Windows operating system and Windows 2000, you must install Windows 2000 in a different directory so it doesn’t overwrite the existing files (Microsoft also recommends that you install to a different partition).
  • When dual-booting Windows 2000 with MS-DOS or Windows 95/98, install Windows 2000 last, because older operating systems overwrite the Master Boot Record and you won’t be able to boot into Windows 2000.
  • You cannot install Windows 2000 in a compressed drive that is not compressed with NTFS.
  • All applications must be reinstalled on Windows 2000 when you do not upgrade from the existing operating system. To save disk space, you can install most applications to the same directory in which they are currently installed.
  • With Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 and earlier, NT4 is able to read data on NTFS partitions, but it cannot read files encrypted in Windows 2000.
Now that we have discussed the different file systems available for Windows 2000, let’s test what you have learned so far.
  1. What type of file system should I use if I am dual-booting between MS-DOS and Windows 2000?
  2. What type of file system should I use if I am dual-booting between Windows 98 and Windows 2000?
  3. What type of file system should I use if I am dual-booting between Windows NT4 and Windows 2000?
  4. What type of file system should I use if I am dual-booting between Windows 95 and Windows 2000?
  5. FAT is the only file system that MS-DOS recognizes.
  6. FAT and FAT32 are the only file systems that you can use with Windows 98. FAT32 is a better choice if your partition is greater than 2GB.
  7. FAT or NTFS. Windows NT 4 does not recognize FAT32. You should be concerned about the new NTFS 5, since some features in the new version of NTFS won’t function correctly in version 4, such as file and folder encryption.
  8. FAT or FAT32 are the only file systems that you can use with Windows 95. FAT32 is only available on Windows 95 OSR2 (also called Windows 95B). FAT32 is a better choice if you are running OSR2.x and your partition is greater than 2GB.