To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

Several readers have asked about upgrading from one Microsoft OS to

another. In the case of Windows 2000 Professional, you can upgrade from

Windows NT 3.51, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 95, Windows 95 OEM Service

Release 1 and 2, Windows 98, and Windows 98 Second Edition. I have no

information about upgrading from Windows Me, nor have I tested such an


I have upgraded to Windows 2000 Professional from Windows NT 4.0,

Windows 98, and Windows 98 SE, and recently from Windows 98, Windows

98SE, and Windows 2000 Professional to Windows XP (RC1). I have also

upgraded from Windows 98 SE to Windows XP Home Edition.

Reader Steve Y. asked how to upgrade from an MS-DOS based OS, such as

Windows 98, to an NT based OS, such as Windows XP. As far as I can

determine, Windows XP actually performs a clean install, but uses your

existing Registry entries. Windows XP's clean install is very much like

the Windows 2000 clean install, but does seem to require more time.

However, you don't have to sit in front of the computer during the

entire process, as much of the procedure is automatic.

For those who asked about a clean install of Windows XP versus an

upgrade, I have found that a clean install works better for me. I

installed Windows NT 4.0 first, before installing Windows XP


Reader Thomas R. asks if I think the current XP beta is good enough to

use in place of Windows 2000. No. Although the XP Professional beta is

very stable, plenty of bugs remain and not all system functions appear

to work properly with all hardware. Install your copy of Windows XP,

but hang on to Windows 2000.

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