To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

By Jim Pile, ITworld |  How-to

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
upgrade.

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
Professional.

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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