ServersWindows 2000 The Year after

Windows 2000 The Year after




by Michael Day

Since its been a year since the Windows 2000
release and everyone seems to have their own opinions about Windows
2000 after the first year, I decided to list my own discoveries and
insights.

Since its been a year since the Windows 2000
release and everyone seems to have their own opinions about Windows
2000 after the first year, I decided to list my own discoveries and
insights.

 

Server

In April 2000 I started with Windows 2000
Server by upgrading our Primary Domain Controller from NT Service
Pack 6 to Windows 2000 as well as added the second processor to our
server.  The installation appeared to go well but shortly after
that we started getting weird errors and occasionally users were
unable to access the server until I rebooted it.  This led to
me creating a new Window 2000 Domain Controller and converting it to
the PDC emulator.  Once that machine was up and running good I
wiped out the original machine and rebuilt it from scratch. 
That machine is now running as our Terminal Server and hasn’t had
any lockups since I modified our Norton Antivirus install to not run
autoprotect on all the Terminal Server sessions (There appears to be
a memory problem running NAV Corp 7.0 on Windows 2000 Terminal
Server).

August 2000 we converted our last NT 4.0
Domain Controller to Windows 2000 by doing a clean install.  We
also added the second processor to that machine at the time. 
This install involved replicating the Active Directory over our 128K
Wide Area Network, which we were never able to get to work with
NT4.0.  It was a slow replication but we had the domain
controller up and running before the users were back the next day
with no problems.  That server has been up and running both as
a Domain Controller, File Server, and now also a Terminal
Server.

Once the last NT4.0 Domain Controller
was upgraded I converted our domain from mixed to native mode. 
This is the easiest step in the upgrade since all that is involved
is the click of a button and it is done.

The best parts of the Windows 2000 AD in our
situation are Sites, to allow our users to log on to the nearest
controller (before that some users were logging out over our WAN
links), Organizational units, to allow us to set up specific
policies for all our branches and departments, and Group Policies,
which is making my job administering the network much simpler.

The biggest problem I have is that our
Antivirus will not run properly on our Terminal Server without a
nightly reboot to free the memory.  If anyone has solved this
issue I would appreciate any help they can provide. 

The biggest thing I can stress about
server installation is to do a clean install wherever you can. 
Upgrade your PDC to Windows 2000 then add a new Domain Controller
and make it the new PDC (turning the old PDC into a member server is
probably the easiest) then rebuild the old server.

Also make sure to backup the old server
first in case of any problems.

Professional

We started upgrading our workstations to
Windows 2000 Professional during RC2 when I set up my own
workstation.  The first thing I had the released version
of  Windows 2000 installed on was our Sales Managers laptop so
he could have better mobile support and be able to use a USB 
flashcard reader (for a digital camera).  Again I made the
mistake of doing an upgrade from NT4.0 which led to a clean
reinstall when he started complaining about things not
working.  We did a number of upgrade installation that have
come back and haunted us until we wiped the machine out and rebuilt
it from scratch.

My first rule of Windows 2000
Deployment

    If you can avoid
upgrading the existing operating system do so at all
costs.

We have installed about 80 of our 150 desktops
to Windows 2000 and converted another 20 to Thin Clients over the
last year with an almost perfect track record.  Almost all of
the problems we have encountered involve unsupported hardware or
software.  

My second rule of Windows 2000
Deployment

When you are
doing a migration to Win2K Pro make darn sure your hardware is
supported and test the software very well.

    We had one program that works with Win2k Pro
with no problem but as soon as we installed Service Pack 1 it
stopped working, so also check before applying any service
packs.

 

Closing Comments

I believe Windows 2000 is probably the best
Windows operating system released yet.  It is very stable (I’ve
rarely rebooted the servers, mainly because I am used to NT where I
had a weekly scheduled reboot), Fairly easy to install using
unattended installation or Sysprep/Ghost, user friendly, and
powerful.  The biggest downside is system requirements, though
I am running it on an old IBM Thinkpad (Pentium 150, 80MB ram, and
2GB HardDrive) with far better results than I had with Windows
98.

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