How do you keep your existing Windows NT Workstation configuration and still upgrade it to Windows 2000 Professional? Easy! You clone the NT installation and then upgrade the cloned copy. The result is a dual-boot system with your old installation intact and your new upgrade in place without reinstalling applications.

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To begin, you’ll need a registry editor that can perform global search and replace in the registry. Check out the Registry Toolkit from Funduc Software and then put on the latex gloves and mad scientist outfit for the following steps:

  1. Boot your current installation of NT and execute RDISK /S to update the repair data and update the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD), just in case you have problems.
  2. Perform a full backup of your system so that you’re prepared if trouble arises during this process.
  3. Create a directory called WIN2K (we’ll call it WIN2K for this example—you can use a different folder name if you like) to contain Windows 2000.
  4. Boot the system and open a console prompt. At the command prompt, type the following command:
    XCOPY C:\WINNT C:\WIN2K /h /i /c /k /e /r
    If Windows NT is installed in a folder other than C:\WINNT, specify the correct source location for the XCOPY command.
  5. Configure folder options to show all files, including protected operating system files. Open My Computer and locate the file Boot.ini in the root folder of the boot drive. Change the file’s properties to remove the read-only attribute.
  6. Open Boot.ini in Notepad. In the [operating systems] section, select and copy the line that defines your Windows NT installation (such as “multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT=”Microsoft Windows NT Workstation Version 4.0”).
  7. Insert a new line in the [operating systems] section and paste the copied line into the file at that point.
  8. Modify the inserted line to reference the \WIN2K folder rather than the \WINNT folder and name it “Windows 2000.” This will give you a menu option to boot the copy of NT in the \WIN2K folder.
  9. Save the file and restore the read-only attribute.
  10. Hold down [Shift] to prevent an autorun and insert the Windows 2000 CD. Open a console prompt and change to the \i386 folder on the CD.
  11. Execute the following command to install the Windows 2000 Recovery Console:
  12. After the Recovery Console is installed, restart the system and boot the option, “Microsoft Windows 2000 Recovery Console.”
  13. When prompted to select the installation for logon, select the backup copy stored in \WIN2K. Since XCOPY did not copy the SAM, you won’t be prompted to provide an administrator password.
  14. Change to the \WINNT\System32\Config folder and then use the COPY command to copy all of the files in the folder to \WIN2K\System32\Config. You’ll have to copy the files one at a time. (This step copies the registry from your \WINNT installation to the \WIN2K installation.)
  15. Restart the system and select the option “Windows 2000.” This will boot the cloned copy of Windows NT in the \WIN2K folder.
  16. Log on as administrator and then perform a global search and replace in the registry, changing all instances of C:\WINNT to C:\WIN2K.
  17. Review all shortcuts on the Start menu and desktop, changing references from C:\WINNT to C:\WIN2K.
  18. Restart the system and select the option “Windows 2000” to boot the cloned copy. Insert the Windows 2000 CD and perform an upgrade.
  19. Upon successful completion of the upgrade, test both operating systems to verify that you can boot them both and that both work properly.

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