The released version of Windows 2000, after many beta cycles and three release candidate cycles was build 2195.2. It was extremely similar to RC 3. You can see this on an install of Windows 2000 server (RTM version). It had been around in many previous incarnations as beloved Windows NT 5.0.

Windows NT 5.0 was an excellent, incredibly stable early version of Windows 2000, a couple of years before marketing pulled the "year" numbering scheme from the consumer Windows and tacked it on to NT. We had this build dropped from the Windows 98 beta time frame. NT 5 was really just NT 4 with many of the bugs fixed, and minor architectural changes built in. It was what I ran for quite a while, before moving back to Windows 95 for device support. Windows 2000 had pieces that were 7 years in the making I heard. From what I can tell it was well worth it. All in all, an excellent OS. I figure if it doesn't flinch at my non-kernel development, it's got to be stable.

Overview of Windows 2000

Windows 2000 is a multipurpose Operating System with integrated support for client/server and peer-to-peer networks. It incorporates technologies that reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), including software and hardware updates, training, maintenance, administration, technical support, and lost productivity due to user errors, hardware problems, software upgrades, and retraining.

Windows 2000 actually comes in more flavors than the standard three:

Info gleaned from several Microsoft books and webpages.

The most annoying thing about Windows 2000, in my opinion, is the control the Microsoft attempts to take away from the users.

Under the program files (and winnt) directory, there are certain sub-directories that win2k will NOT let you delete, such as Netmeeting, Outlook Express, and Frontpage. All of which are non-critical components. I can understand protecting critical os files, but even then, if I'm the administrator, I should be able to screw up my system if I want to!

Fortunately, I have found a couple ways around this file protection:

1. Delete the dllcache directory under winnt\sytem32. This is the directory where all the backup files are stored. When this is deleted, not only does your hard drive gain 200meg free space, when a "protected" file is changed/deleted, a prompt will come up asking for the win2k cd. At this point you can simply click cancel to keep the file the way it is.

The drawback to this method is that the directories still exist, even if empty. Also, if you have installed service packs/patches, not all backup files will be in dllcache, and it can be a pain to find all copies of a particular file.

Alternatively, if you can get access to your hd through an os other than win2k (ie. dual-boot), there is a different method:

2. Boot into the other os, and go to the parent directory of the ones you want to delete (ie. program files or winnt). Delete the offending directory. Now, create an empty file with the same name as the directory had. Set the attributes on this file to be hidden/system/read only. Now reboot into windows 2000, and the directories cannot be recreated, and the only side effect are empty files with the same names.

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