In most cases, installing Windows 2000 is a relatively painless process; however, when Setup fails for some reason or another, life gets more difficult. Fortunately, most installation problems are easily solved. The most common problems are covered here. Additional troubleshooting procedures can be found in Chapter 38.
More InfoYou can find additional troubleshooting help either in the Windows 2000 Help System's troubleshooters (admittedly not much good unless you have access to a functioning Windows 2000 machine) or in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, available online through http://support.microsoft.com.
Sometimes Windows 2000 Setup inexplicably locks up during the installation process. If you receive a Stop Error message, write it down and consult either the Stop Errors troubleshooter in Windows 2000 Help or Microsoft technical support.
In general, these failures are intermittent and don't come with anything as helpful as an error message. First reboot the system by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del. Do this repeatedly, if necessary. If you get no response, press the Reset button on the computer or turn the system off, wait 10 seconds, and then turn it back on. If you see a Boot menu, choose the Windows 2000 Server Setup option to allow Windows 2000 Setup to attempt to continue with its installation. If no Boot menu appears, launch Setup again. In either case, don't choose to repair the installation, but instead choose to continue with Setup.
Setup usually detects that an error occurred with its last attempt to install Windows 2000 and compensates by using a safer method of installation. If Setup hangs or stops responding again, repeat this process. Sometimes, Setup hangs multiple times before it finishes installing Windows 2000, so be persistent. If installation freezes at a particular part of Setup, try choosing simpler setup options, if applicable. For example, leave out optional Windows components.
Other procedures you can use to fix setup problems are as follows:
ACPI BIOS Compatibility Problems
If Setup consistently freezes during the Windows-based Setup Wizard and the system has an older ACPI-compatible BIOS (dated January 1, 2000 or earlier), the BIOS may not function in ACPI mode with Windows. The freezes might happen at any time during the Setup Wizard, although they most frequently happen during the device detection phase. If you suspect the BIOS isn't working properly with Windows, download the latest version from the system vendor.
If you still have trouble, or if no updated BIOS is available, try disabling ACPI during Setup by pressing F5 at the beginning of the text-mode phase of Setup, right after it prompts you to press F6 to install third-party storage drivers. If this doesn't solve the setup problems, you don't have a problem with the ACPI support in the BIOS (ACPI support can only be added back by reinstalling Windows, usually by a same-version upgrade).
You can also manually enable or disable ACPI support after the file copy phase of Setup completes, right before the computer reboots into the Windows Setup Wizard. (Sometimes you can do this after the system freezes during the Setup Wizard.) To force Windows to enable or disable ACPI support, follow these steps:
Again, if any of the steps you take reveal questionable hardware, replace the hardware before you rely on the computer to store important data or provide critical functions to users.
If Setup locks up while copying files, you might have a problem with IDE drive configuration. Try one of these solutions:
Windows 2000 provides a variety of tools you can use to boot a system that doesn't want to start, including the Safe Mode and Last Known Good Boot options, as well as the Recovery Console, which allows you command-line access to an NTFS or FAT drive that won't boot (see Chapter 38 for more information).
If none of this helps, try the recommendations in the previous section or consult the Windows 2000 Knowledge Base.
When you install Windows 2000 on a computer that's already using an operating system and you choose not to upgrade, Setup creates a dual boot so that you can select which operating system you'd like to use at boot time.
If the computer never displays the Windows 2000 Loader menu that allows you to choose the previous operating system, the problem is most likely one of two issues: either the Boot.ini file has a timeout set to 0 (and thus doesn't display the Boot menu), or the MBR was overwritten during Setup, preventing you from booting the previous operating system even if you have the proper entry in the Boot.ini file.
To change which operating system Windows boots by default, as well as to control how long Windows displays a choice of operating systems at boot time, follow these steps:
You can also do this by manually changing the timeout value in the Boot.ini file to a value higher than 0. To do so, follow these steps (for more information on the Boot.ini file, see Chapter 38):
attrib -r -s -h c:\boot.ini
attrib +r +s +h c:\boot.ini
You can force the Windows 2000 Boot menu to display at startup by holding down the Spacebar after the BIOS screens are displayed. This displays the Hardware Profile/Configuration Recovery screen. Press F3 to display the Windows 2000 Loader screen with no timeout value.
If the previous operating system still doesn't boot properly, you might need to re-create the MBR for the operating system that you had previously installed. This is risky business, so make sure that you have the time to reinstall the operating system and restore a backup if you run into trouble.
To re-create the MBR for a version of Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me, use the following steps:
If this step doesn't work on your operating system, transfer the system files the way the operating system allows, or try using any MBR repair utilities bundled with the operating system.