General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2291198

    Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro


    by bratt ·

    Our company is considering moving from Windows 2000 to Windows XP Pro but are trying to put together some facts like:
    1. Advantages of XP VS. 2000.
    2. ROI Information.
    3. Compatability issues in a networking environment with XP.
    4. Benefits of XP VS. Windows 2000.
    Just a little FYI. No this is not for a school project I am looking for answers that come from experience with Windows XP that we don’t have that’s all. Any help would be appreciated.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3293327

      HCL Issues

      by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      The biggest reason I’ve found for keeping users on Win2K is the Hardware Compatibility.

      Some motherboards, not on the HCL, are still okay to use with 2000, but are failure points on XP.

      I worked on one system with an Elite Motherboard, and a Radeon AGP card. It was impossible to get the system to boot up correctly with the Radeon card – even though it’s on the HCL.

      Removing it left the system working, installing it made the system crash – so I thought it was the video card.

      It turns out that a LOT of non-HCL compliant motherboards were used to build Win2K machines – but are unusable with XP. The fault lies in the AGP controllers on the board arguing with the ones on the video card.

    • #3293149

      Corporate XP expereince here!

      by house ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      Some people think that xp is a bloated 2k. Somewhat true. You are going to have to work with it to find the new locations of very familiar utilities (they are in the same spots, but some are organized in a differnet fashion).

      If you have a standard lifecycle for your machines, XP should be ok. Xp can be tailored to a standard image that is actually a lot faster than 2k. Disable the pretty colors and special effects. We run mostly XP machines with a minimum of; 256ram – 500cpu – 6gb hd. Our images are equipped with common appz, sp1, and an RPC hotfix. You will have to run some labs to test the compatibility between xp, the updates, and your current software. Block windows update with policies and use 3rd party patchlink to apply the updates that have been tested properly (if your organization is huge).

      My advice…just do a couple of machines, keep the old boxes in a safe place, and let your clients work with the new XP in their daily routine. Once the myths and fears have been cleared up, start some more on xp.

      What kind of network do you have? Are we talking about AD? Do you have internal appz? We have too many servers to mention – nt servers, 2000 servers, 2003 servers, an old Novell box that’s still kickin’ – all that with clients on NT4 (almost gone), 9x (almost gone too), 2k (about 10% left), and a majority of xp.

      PS…if you are going to upgrade, now is the time, unless you want to wait for longhorn…2006->7->8?!?!?!?

      • #3291131

        Network Specs

        by bratt ·

        In reply to Corporate XP expereince here!

        We are currently running on Novell 4.11 A.D. We have two Windows 2000 servers that we use for mail, antivius and network backup. We also have a linux server. Some computer systems have been custom built for certain users such as our Cad and Master Cam engineers which are running AMD 64 3400 w/ 1gig ram and Wildcat VP880 cards that have 256 of mem.

        • #3292561

          Update to XP

          by vetch_101 ·

          In reply to Network Specs

          Windows XP SP2 is far better from an administration stand-point.
          It is more configurable with system policies, in terms of security settings (including the Windows Firewall which is a phenomenal improvement on anything that’s come before). You can easily setup group policies to allow terminal services remote administration allowed from only one particular ip address (yours) for installations, fixes, etc.
          The only thing is that it can be slow on machines with less than 256mb of ram… It sounds like your machines are more than capable of standing it…
          Btw – I’ve haven’t found a piece of hardware that XP doesn’t recognise from before 2000 – including legacy ISA decives!

        • #3292454

          Sorry that I can not remember the model number

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Update to XP

          But there is a Samsung DVD Reader that was sold with a XP Pro {Original Version} that just didn’t allow the system to work when SP1 was applied. What happened was that the driver on the reader caused the MBR’s to be destroyed durring the update. Believe me that is something that I’m not going to forget for a very long time.

          Also quite a lot of CDRW’s fell into the same boat MS KB has a long list of these items. A lot of these things can be made compatible with a firmware update of course if one is available.


        • #3294018

          Ah… a fellow tradesman!

          by house ·

          In reply to Network Specs

          Ah…Novell 4.11 – AKA – IntraNetWare. I’m assuming that it hasn’t been patched to a later revision.

          XP , just as 2k, ships with the client. There is also a free download for an advanced client for 2k and xp. If you’ve been using 2k, you’re good for xp, no matter what protocol you’re using.

          I honestly didn’t expect you (or anyone) to quote those kinds of specs.

          If you want to start integrating MS AD with your Novell system, you will need to upgrade from 4.11, but you probably aren’t thinking that at all.

          It’s funny that I should run into a fellow tradesman here. I started my schooling as a CNC machinist, but I didn’t want to work through a four year apprenticeship. I really enjoyed the manual design, math, plotting, and programming aspect of the work…I just didn’t want to wait 20 years before I got off the assembly line.

    • #3293143

      Are you just considering a software upgrade or a complete upgrade?

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      If it’s the first stick with Y2k until the Tax has been written off so that these boxes are no longer viable to run as most likely you will find a myriad of Compatibly issues with XP.

      This is not limited just to the M’Boards but to almost every component and even if the basic XP will work after you apply SP1 things may not work. Do not believe the tool provided by M$ to check for compatibility either as it only apples to the original version of XP {believe me I learnt that one the hard way.} If you are looking at the latest version of XP it comes with SP2 already on the CD and is likely to cause far more problems than you can think of with the old hardware.

      If things are working OK now and you are not looking at a major hardware upgrade stick with the Y2K boxes until you need to replace them and then do the upgrade as a complete new install on new hardware that way it will save you a lot of time and heart ache.

      You never know but by that time Longhorn just might be released and you’ll be looking at a new range of problems.


      • #3293007

        Reply To: Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

        by house ·

        In reply to Are you just considering a software upgrade or a complete upgrade?

        You’re right. The main issue with the question is that we don’t know enough about the network and clients to be able to assess the situation. If it is fully functional and running smoothly, don’t bother upgrading. If you have all 2k machines, and you subscribe to the mass purchase and implementation technique, it is a general rule of thumb to skip a generation when dealing with MS.

        I don’t know about your organization, but in a large environment the best way to deal with your workstations are;
        a) buy a lot of the same model machine
        b) take one machine and install everything, including devices, appz, and patches
        c) run sys-prep to ready it for deployment
        d) copy the image to a network share
        e) use a network boot disk to copy the image on a clean machine

        *A solid system of standards is key to avoid headaches when dealing with compatibility issues.

        • #3291123

          My logic

          by bratt ·

          In reply to Reply To: Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

          Tell me if I am wrong in my thinking but I was going to start slowly filtering in Windows XP with the new systems we brought in so that overtime we could gain hands on experience in our own environment. No two networks are ever going to be the same so what works for one company may not work for another with simular software and servers right? so in keeping with this thought wouldn’t it be safe to say the best way to find out is by slowly filtering in a couple of systems and give them to two people who are computer savy that can explain in technical terms “yes this works but . . “. I have bought a new system for myself and put XP on it and it works great with Novell and I have found only one issue so far and that has been with my Nero burning software but this is minor and can be easily fixed. I have found more benifits with XP than with 2000 so far but agian I am only one person with different apps than everyone else.

        • #3291078

          Filter in the XP

          by house ·

          In reply to My logic

          Yes. I agree that the best way to convert your clients is to slowly introduce the new OS. Leave it as a task that is always there for you and pick at it when you get the opportunity.

          Nero has more numbers after the “.” than any other company I’ve seen. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I’m assuming that your clients don’t have cd roasting as one of their main job functions.

          Give a couple of XP boxes to non technical users. People who aren’t comfortable with the PC will find more problems and do stranger things than someone who is 100% competent. Use these “users” as a tool to develop the policy standards that you want to enforce.

        • #3292640

          That would work provided

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Filter in the XP

          That the boxes are all XP compatible in the first place. If you are going to try it on older hardware you will find problems some will be easily fixed and others will have you tearing your hair out in handfuls but at least you will learn what you can and can not use with XP.


        • #3292497

          FINAL USER

          by edwin.sibrian ·

          In reply to My logic

          I?ve heard everything until now, you are forgetting the final user. Are they prepare?. If you don?t care about final user, just go ahead.
          If you care about money don?t migrate yet. It?s cheaper if you buy the HW with the OS preinstalled.

        • #3292330

          That depends!

          by ron ·

          In reply to Reply To: Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

          Of course, you can’t legally do this if you use OEM Windows licenses. If you buy the machines with no OS, and have a volume licensing agreement with Microsoft, that is absolutly the best way to do it.

      • #3292556

        Hardware issues?

        by vetch_101 ·

        In reply to Are you just considering a software upgrade or a complete upgrade?

        I have installed XP on countless different spec machines from P2-400s to Athlon XP 2800s – I’ve only had compatiblity issues with machines that have been built after XP…
        And even then, it’s been easy to find and update the drivers…

        • #3292452

          BIOS Issues

          by d50041 ·

          In reply to Hardware issues?

          Drivers are often easy to find but some older BIOS will not supportXP or WIN2000 unless you PAY for the BIOS upgrade, I have seen this with Pentium 400 class computers. But this comes down to each company’s decision on how often to turn over computers, and $$$ is part of that decision.

      • #3292522

        A myriad of Compatibly issues?

        by barrystacy441 ·

        In reply to Are you just considering a software upgrade or a complete upgrade?

        I must be on a different planet. I can’t recall ever having a hardware problem with XP unless it has been a NEW piece of hardware.
        I have an old DELL Dimension XPS 350R that I have run 98, 98SE, ME, 2000 and XP on. I would say that XP has been the most flexible of them all.
        We have over 1700 pc’s where I work. Micron’s, Panasonic’s, and Dell’s. We use Symantec Ghost for setting up machines. Some of the programs that are run here require 2000 instead of XP (until their next release that is) and whenever a 2000 machine comes into the shop we all groan.

        I am now running SP2 and it hasn’t choked any of my apps. Takes a little while to get IE “trained” with it’s new pop up blocker but I think you will see that XP helps you in the long run. Use the MMC to set up policies and configuration prior to Ghosting your base machine and you will live happily ever after….ok, that’s probably pushing it. But you will be happy with it.

        • #3292392

          I agree with Barry

          by jacktel ·

          In reply to A myriad of Compatibly issues?

          We’ve done a couple of 100 change overs and have not had any problems of significance on systems from PII 400’s to P4 2.4g’s. From our perspective XP is faster, it has less memory management problems, and is just generally more user friendly. SP2 has not caused us any problems either other than a couple of application “issues” with the firewall that are easily resolved. My only warning is make sure you have adequate RAM installed with 256 being the absolute minimum and 512 or more being the way to go depending on the applications that you’ll be running and to have the proper XP drivers for your hardware although XP will recognize all but the newest stuff on its own. Our advice? Go for it and don’t look back.

          Jackie McCracken

    • #3292588

      stick with 2000

      by e.h. ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      more stability in w2k. i think this is a paramount factor to consider. the rest is cosmetics.

      • #3292537

        6 mos of standard support left with W2K

        by hoffdog ·

        In reply to stick with 2000

        I have been totally happy with W2K It has been by far the most stable OS Ive worked on to date. I am starting not to cringe when I load another hotfix. I dont want to move for stability sake, and because of my comfort level of w2K however, the Product Lifecycle for W2K is about up for standard support.. June5 2005. So, I guess it is not to early to start trying WXP whether we want to or not.

        • #3292455

          Plus and Minus from experience

          by houndog ·

          In reply to 6 mos of standard support left with W2K

          Plus: I can get some older apps to run using “compatability mode”, I like the “remote assistance” feature for our remote users, detects hardware easily and loads most without a hassle.
          Minus: Service pack 2. This service pack creams 3 of our “non off the shelf” financial applications. I have picked up many “side jobs” from people who’s PC’s won’t boot after loading SP2. There is a patch to avoid downloading it in automatic updates, but that is only good until 3/05 I hear.

    • #3292585

      What do you want to achieve

      by thomas.nilsen ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      My belief is that upgrading from W2K to XP is mostly a “money in the pocket for MS” reason. The only good reasons to upgrade to XP are:

      With XP SP2 you get added security. This is especially important if you have a lot of travelling laptop users. However, in a desktop only environment, this is not really a big issue (apart from malware/spyware issues).

      Faster booting times. W2K do tend to get slower and slower as the times go by. But I don’t think upgrading to XP for that reason would help much on ROI figures, unless your users keep booting their PCs frequently every day.

      But other than those two points, there isn’t much of a good reason to change your entire enviroment over to XP. Of course, if you are buying new hardware with new OS licenses, then XP would be the natural way forward. But I would not spend $$$ just to upgrade to XP.

    • #3292582

      Cad Manager.

      by lynm ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      We have tried XP*** with disasterous results, a number of times. If we had adopted W.200 at the start we would have avoided a ship-load of problems and several times the cost of the program. This yet another time we should have listened to our CAD advisor/provider. Don’t try to sell me XP in any shape or form until I am assured that it can support Autocad, at least, without problems. I am sorry that I can not help with an answer but I just don’t know whre to begin.

      • #3292553

        Internet Explorer

        by vetch_101 ·

        In reply to Cad Manager.

        MS are stopping allowing patches to all non-XP machines… Your browsers will have known exploits that you cannot patch…

        (Unless you take the sensible option and install Firefox anyway…)

    • #3292533

      Free Clinic

      by richard81 ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro


      Not a whole lot of advise to offer since I don’t do a lot of desktop support (mostly server stuff) but I just ran across this offer from M$ that you might be interested in. Here’s the link for a free clinic on deploying Xp. Good luck!

    • #3292515

      Only if you need to

      by dogcatcher ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      W2K is an excellent desktop OS and will handle almost any application you care to put on it, so there is no strong reason to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading.

      However, there are two main exceptions: Software and hardware. Perhaps you need/want the features built into XP’s Media Center Edition. If so, get a Media Center PC. (You can’t just install MCE.)

      If you want to take advantage of the RAID capabilities built into motherboards such as Intel’s 875P, you’ll have to move to XP.

      If you are buying new PCs, get them with XP.

    • #3292444

      Holy Software Batman

      by paul.hudson ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      Do you use any legacy software? Any legacy financial software?

      We tried to go to XP but our legacy software wouldn’t run on XP. Because it is legacy software, there isn’t any support for it and we can’t replace it.

      Examine every nook and cranny of your operation. You’d be surprised what people are running on your PC’s. Thoroughly test the legacy stuff and research it. If you can do without it, great. But, if like us, you can’t . . . well you know the story there.

      We’re doing W2K and Office XP. Great combination. WXP has some great features but I don’t think it’s enough to put yourself in “software hell” for.

      • #3305178


        by bratt ·

        In reply to Holy Software Batman

        Sorry I used all caps but I haven’t seen anyone mention testing any software prior to purchasing. Did you know for $350.00 – $400.00 you can buy what is called an “Action Pack Subscription” from Mircrosoft and they send you all the latest software including server software? Sorry if you already knew that but if you didn’t check it out it’s always nice to pass good information off to fellow professionals. And before I forget thank you for all the responses I will keep reading them all as they come in.

    • #3292429

      My Perspective

      by jdgretz ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      As in independent consultant, I support a lot of different configurations – some organizations have full WinXP Pro sites with a variety of servers while some still have W’98 in service (I work very hard at fixing that particular situation).

      The initial deployment of XP was not easy, but after SP1 things went much easier, both from upgrades and clean installs on older machines. My personal XP test mule is an old HP 400Mhz box. I figure if it will run there, it will run almost anyplace.

      The issue of support is one you definately need to consider. If your company is big enough, you may have an agreement that specifies support after standard support ends, if not, seriously consider moving to XP. I would also suggest getting off Novell 4.11 – if you wish to stay with Novell (don’t know why with their Unix/Linux stance, but that’s a whole other discussion), consider the 5 series.

      Multimedia applications are one area where XP has a definate edge over W2K. Also, there are a substantial number of games that just do not run on W2K, but that should not be the deciding factor in a corporate environment.

      From my experience, W2K is a more stable environment. Having said that, if you are running Server 2003 with AD, you will find a lot of management advantages to having XP desktops as well.

      Best of luck,


    • #3291566

      XP in Mixed Environment

      by johngreg ·

      In reply to Windows 2000 Pro VS. Windows XP Pro

      I work in a large educational environment, where pretty much every MS os (not 3.11 thankfully) is running on a large mix of hardware makes and specs. We have W2K ad and Exchange 5.5.

      With such a diverse environment my experience is generally good with XP given the following:

      Minimum spec – would personally say 500 MHZ, 512 MB 6 GB hd. The 512 MB of Ram excluded a certain % more of PCs, which can be a stick with which to push new hardware purchases.
      H/W – Some machines have need driver updates however, these have been relative few. Are some of the latest Intel boards only coming with XP drivers?
      BIOS updates – fine from big manufacturer e.g. Dell, HP etc however, self assembly boxes more of a pain.
      New PCs -If you can get it in on new PCs excellent. Hopefully your OEM will have done all the necessary hardware checks for you.
      Fresh Install not upgrade – much better if the option is available, more time consuming, initially, but does also start afresh for users, even if they don’t realise the benefits 😉
      Support – MS will not be supporting 2000 for ever, and already the IE version shipped with XPSP2 ie6sp2, will not be launched on 2000.
      User training, – may have a lot of user queries especially if you leave on all Native XP desktop features
      Apps ? obviously legacy apps can be a problem. However, again sometimes have to push new(er) versions for support purposes. Certain MS apps will not run on earlier versions anymore e.g. office 2003 will only go on 2000 and XP.
      XPSP2 ? this is more than just a service pack it is almost xp v1.5. Personally have not had too many problems with it. However, if going straight to XP include it from the beginning, and when resolving issues look for XPSP2 specifics.
      Laptops ? most XP (and SP2) problems have been with these. Handful of Toshiba laptops that have had XP upgrade problems, had to restore to default configuration via restore CD, before could upgrade to XP SP2. And this was almost Toshiba?s official line. (See )

      Hope this helps.

      • #3291275

        IE Not a Factor

        by lathan_devers ·

        In reply to XP in Mixed Environment

        When looking at XP, I would not consider IE6 a factor since there is a much better alternative (Firefox) to use. Don’t expect IE to be a factor until Longhorn is out since that is the first expected true upgrade of IE and not just a patch. Overall though, I think Johngreg’s analysis of the pros and cons are quite accurate. I have a Dell laptop with XPpro SP2 and it has given no problems. However, if I had 2000 I would wait for Longhorn before upgrading.

Viewing 10 reply threads