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Q: Substituting Windows 2000 for XP ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Substituting Windows 2000 for XP
Category: Computers > Operating Systems
Asked by: probonopublico-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 26 May 2003 01:32 PDT
Expires: 25 Jun 2003 01:32 PDT
Question ID: 208782
My current computer has started acting up so I bought another which
came with Windows XP but, from what I've seen, I hate it.

I have tried reformatting the Hard Disk, with a view to installing
Windows 2000, but it is proving very resistant to my efforts.

Please, someone, tell me how to remove this monster before it drives
me mad.


Subject: Re: Substituting Windows 2000 for XP
Answered By: errol-ga on 26 May 2003 03:50 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there, Probonopublico!

If you are sure that you want to continue with this, print this answer
out then follow these steps.
*** If you feel out of your depth at any stage, ask somebody with
knowledge of computers to help. ***
Also, a little disclaimer - you perform this entirely at your own risk
and I cannot be held liable for any data loss or hardware failure.

Now on with the answer :)

Firstly, the reason why you will find it difficult to format the disk
is that Windows XP protects itself with System File Protection.
For more on this, visit Microsoft's web page on the technology here:

Also, it is impossible to format the same hard disk that you booted
This is because a lot of the system files will be in use by Windows
and also the "swap" file will be present, a large file on the disk
which is used for Virtual Memory.
Virtual Memory is needed in all modern operating systems to ensure
that the system does not run out of physical RAM at any time.

The requirements for formatting the disk and installing Windows 2000

- Windows 2000 CD with the Product Key (long sequence of letters and
numbers usually found on the CD sleeve or box)
- CD ROM drive
- Computer capable of booting from the CD drive, if not then:
    a) Floppy drive
    b) 4 x floppy disks

Upon starting the installation process, you will be able to format the
hard disk from within the setup.

You say that the computer came with Windows XP already installed, this
leads me to believe that it is fairly new so it should be capable of
booting from the CD drive.
To test this insert the Windows 2000 CD, cancel the setup screen and
restart the computer.

If you see the Windows 2000 setup appear then we are in luck and you
should skip to Step B below, if not, we must do the following:

Step A (no CD boot):

Follow the instructions here for creating Windows 2000 boot disks:;en-us;197063

Now insert the first boot disk, restart the computer and follow the
instructions on the screen.
Go to Step B.

Step B (CD OK):

Insert the Windows 2000 CD and restart the computer.
Follow the setup until you get to the part where it asks which
partition or disk you want to install Windows on.
Select your normal C: drive.

It will ask if you want to:

    * leave the current file system intact,
    * format the partition as FAT16,
    * convert the existing file system to the NTFS file system, or
    * format the partition by using the NTFS file system.

Choose the last option; the setup program will then examine the disk,
format it as necessary, copy important files across from the CD then
reboot the PC.
After this, it is fairly straightforward and is simply a matter of
entering your Product Key Code and setting up your options (time zone

I hope this helps!
Kind regards,

Related Links:

Microsoft Knowledge Base

What is NTFS?

Partitioning Hard Disks

How do I format/partition a Hard Disk?

Request for Answer Clarification by probonopublico-ga on 26 May 2003 04:13 PDT
Hi, Errol

Many thanks for your prompt response.

I will give it a go, and get back to you.

I'm very sorry now that I was so rude about Wales.

Will you ever forgive me?



Clarification of Answer by errol-ga on 26 May 2003 04:19 PDT
I didn't take offence at all by the comments. :)

Let me know how you get on with the installation.
probonopublico-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Hi, Errol

You've hit all the right buttons!

Many thanks.


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