What is Windows 2000

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Windows 2000 Professional operating system

Microsoft released this new Windows version 5.0, Build 2195) in February 2000. It is the desktop operating system of the new Windows 2000 platform for the x86 architecture and also includes the variants Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. The minimum requirements for the installation are a Pentium processor, 32 MB RAM and 650 MB free hard disk space. Microsoft had also planned an operating system version for the Alpha architectureto develop, after an announcement from Compaq, the plans were discontinued. On 1999-08-25, Compaq limited support to Windows NT 4.0 with ServicePack 6 and not beyond. Microsoft then discontinued the development plans for the Windows 2000 32-bit Alpha version.

Windows 2000 roughly defines the user friendliness, Plug & Play and USB device support of Windows 98 and the security and stability of the Windows NT family. The update to this new operating system is possible from Windows 95, 98 and Windows NT 3.51, 4.0. It is a multitasking, multiprocessing operating system and supports up to 2 processors of the x86 32-bit and 64-bit architecture with SMP. Threads or processes can determine on which CPU they run. In addition to the complete overhaul, there are new features and many improvements. The result is high compatibility, simplified management, increased hardware support with over 7,000 devices, file management and enhanced security functions. Applications for Windows 9x are only supported to a limited extent. Installation is possible from CD-ROM or from a file server over the network. The virtual address space is 4 GB and is managed by the Virtual Memory Manager (VMM). VMM assigns the address space to the actually available physical memory and the paging file (pagefile.sys) to the hard disk.

As operation areathis operating system is suitable as a stand-alone computer or as a client in the company network. The operating system is supplemented by the DirectX 7.0 game interface, and Internet Explorer 5.0 provides access to the Internet. When accessing files, printers or other computers, Windows 2000 first authenticates the user. Networks are supported with the protocols TCP / IP, NWLink and AppleTalk. Windows 2000 supports data exchange in decentralized workgroups and central domains.

The Registryas before in Windows NT 4.0, consists of the system files SAM, SECURITY, SOFTWARE and SYSTEM. The hierarchical database stores hardware and application information as well as configuration settings. The following background services are installed in Windows 2000 Prof. The SFC (System File Protection) offers protection against the overwriting of Windows system files. Hardware profiles can be created for different hardware configurations in which the configuration of devices and services is specified. The file system is NTFSused in the new version 5. This allows the definition of user rights for files and directories on the file system level, file compression in real time as well as data storage quotas and encryption with EFS (Encrypting File System). When defining authorizations, the Access Control List (ACL) is saved with every file and every directory. Compression and encryption are mutually exclusive; only one of the options can be applied to an object. The FAT / FAT32 file system is still supported.

Windows 2000 Prof. is particularly suitable for the mobile useon notebooks. With the full support of the APM and ACPI technologies, effective energy management and thus lower power consumption is possible. With the suspend to disk function, the computer can be put into a power-saving idle state and is available again in the same state after a short reactivation time. An assistant supports the user in managing the network connections; secure mobile access to company networks is possible using VPN (Virtual Private Network) and IPSec (Internet Protocol Security). Printer management has been simplified with an assistant.

- Unattended installation of the operating system via script possible
- Various options for Windows startup such as "Safe Mode" and "Last Known Good Configuration"
- Booting with the Windows 2000 CD-ROM offers repair of the operating system or recovery console
- Supports the display of the desktop on up to 10 monitors
- Task scheduler for time-controlled execution of programs
- Disk utilities to defragment and check for errors
- Backup program for data backup and restoration
- Event viewer for application, security and system logging
- Microsoft Management Console (MMC), administration of the local or remote computer, expandable with snap-ins
- Supports local and predefined user accounts, domain user accounts
- ActiveDirectory directory service available if the client is in Windows 2000 domain
- New protocols for secure authentication in the network are EAP, RADIUS, IPSec, L2TP and BAP

2004-02-13Microsoft announced that parts of the Windows 2000 source code appeared on the Internet. The source code is illegally distributed in file sharing networks, and Microsoft advised that all legal means should be used to protect the stolen property.

2003-06-25Service Pack 4 fixes 675 errors since the last service pack. Support for USB 2.0 device connections is new.

July 13th, 2010: Windows 2000 support has been discontinued




Date version

2000 Feb - Windows 2000 released, version 5.0, build 2195
2000 July - Service Pack 1 released
2001 May - Service Pack 2 released
2002 July - Service Pack 3 released
2003 June - Service Pack 4 released
2010 July - Support for Windows 2000 has ended