AdminChallenge: William's Win2K woes

William needs to test his company's machines for Windows 2000 compatibility without spending any money. If you can help him, you could win a TechRepublic T-shirt!

Every other Monday, AdminRepublic poses a systems or network problem requiring a solution. Some challenges are routine, while others may be more difficult. We then conduct a random drawing from the correct responses and send two lucky winners a fancy new TechRepublic T-shirt. You'll be the envy of the office! Let's start with the solution to our previous challenge.
Dewey and the Netscape Message Server
When we last left Dewey, he was facing a small problem with his company's Netscape Message Server. He ended up having to call customer support and explaining the problem to the customer support representative, Janet.

Dewey told Janet that an employee in the company recently sent e-mail to half of the employees within the company network and carbon-copied a few people outside the network as well. The recipients within the network received the message just fine, but around an hour or so later, Dewey received a call from the employee who'd sent out the mail. She said that the people she had carbon-copied outside the company were receiving the e-mail she had sent—over and over again. The e-mail was quickly filling the recipients' mailboxes. The server the messages were sent to began to bounce the e-mail back to the employee, stating the recipients' inboxes were full.

Janet came up with a solution almost immediately. She explained to Dewey that the mail was stuck in a loop in the queue. She told Dewey that he needed to first unload NIMS to stop the e-mail from being sent out. Afterward, he needed to delete all the files in the spool subdirectory. She explained that doing this would stop the message from being sent continuously to people outside of the company.
Congratulations go to Jacqui Lesiak and D. Helms, whose winning entries were randomly selected from all the correct submissions received.
The next challenge
William, the head of the IT department for a huge Fortune 500 company, is an intelligent guy. Everyone in the company he works for knows how intelligent he is, especially his supervisors. The only bad thing about William being so intelligent is that people expect him to do difficult things; but he's always up for a challenge.

Recently, the decision was made to upgrade the office network to Windows 2000. This included both servers and workstations, as the company wanted a fully integrated system. William didn’t expect the upgrade to be much of a problem. After all, the machines in the office were mostly all the same make and model. It would be a matter of installing the OS on one machine and ghosting the others.

However, before the upgrades were allowed to proceed, William was asked to prove that all the machines in the network could be upgraded from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2000 with little or no problems at all. Unfortunately, the company is not willing to spend money to test the software compatibility, since it has purchased so many copies of Windows 2000. They figure William is smart enough to figure out a way to do it without spending any money.

Is it possible?
How can William check the computers in the company for compatibility without spending any more money? Send your answer to TechRepublic by Monday, June 12, 2000. We'll send a TechRepublic T-shirt to two individuals whose names we select randomly from all the correct answers received.

Our lawyers love this part ...
By submitting your answer, you agree to let TechRepublic publish your solution on its Web site. You also agree that TechRepublic may adapt and edit and authorize the adaptation and editing of each submission as it deems necessary. TechRepublic may or may not publish a submission at its sole discretion.
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