Today, I decided to do a complete reinstall on one of my Windows 2000 boxes; I bought a big, fast new hard disk for it, and wanted to strip it down to bare metal, as it were, and start the installation from scratch. From this experience comes these recommendations (which you’ll note aren’t all as practical as you were probably expecting):

  • If you have more than one hard disk in your machine, delete the partitions off of all of them and only let the Win2K installer partition and format the one that you’re putting the actual Win2K files onto. I let it partition and format both of my drives, and when the setup was complete, I ended up with my operating system on D: and my blank hard disk at C:. Ugh.
  • If you have multiple computers and a small area to work in, get yourself a Black Box ServSwitch Wizard, at the very least. Because of this little box of joy, I was able to set up the Win2K machine while doing maintenance on my Linux box and working on everything else I needed to do on my other Win2K box, all on one keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Really helps to be able to do that.
  • During the long format and copy stages of Win2K setup, grab a vacuum cleaner and get all of the nastiess out from underneath those tangles of cable and computers. We all have it, because we all shove our computers into narrow, poorly-ventilated spaces; that’s where the dust and evil lurks. When you are devoted to sitting near your computer waiting for file copies to finish, it’s the perfect time to clean all that stuff up, and it really only takes 10 minutes or so to do.
  • Come to think of it, during that time, set up a nice set of speakers. I had these in their box on my floor for the last three months, because I don’t have a surround sound card in my workstation; I decided the hell with that, set them up while my hard disk was formatting, and they’re awesome.