Replace Win2000 with Me

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Dsquared

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Jun 2, 1999
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When my wife's company closed it's doors, they let everyone buy the laptop they were using for cheap dollars. so we did. The laptop has Win2000 Professional (NT) and her access is at user level only. The problem is that it doesn't allow me to do many things such as install drivers for a new network card or make other chages. I have Win Me on my desktop and have the original system disk. I'd like to replace the NT on her laptop with the Me that I have and I'd like to do it to a clean hard drive. Of course NT won't let me format the disk either. Her hard drive is partitioned into two drives.
My questions are:
1. How can I get to a clean formatted hard drive in order to install Win Me?
2. If I can get to the point where I can re format, should I make it all one drive...and should I?
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2002
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I'm sure someone will be along shortly to answer your question in full . . .
but I have one question:
They let you buy the laptops, but didn't give you the admin passwords?

All you need to do is get the admin password and log on as administrator and you're all set with a top quality OS.

Personally, I do not recommend installing WinME. Upgrade Win2k to WinXP, yes . . . but speaking out of experience, I used WinME for a year and (like so many other people) wasn't impressed.

Over to the TSG crew . . . :)
 

crjdriver

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Jan 2, 2001
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43,083
If you are dead set on using ME, here is how to install win9x. First go to my computer and check to see if you are using ntfs file system. If you are using FAT32, just boot with an ME boot disk and format both C and D. Now install ME from your install cd.
If you are using ntfs, then it gets more complicated; since you have more than one partition I do not think you will be able to delete a logical drive formatted as ntfs inside an extended partition [at least fdisk has never let me delete an extended ntfs partition] You can delete the primary non dos partition, create a primary dos partition and format it as FAT32 it is just the extended partition that will give you trouble.
There are two ways that I know of solving this problem:
1) Use a zero fill utility to wipe everything off of the drive. This will make the drive just like it was when it was new with nothing on it whatsoever. You can then use fdisk to partition the drive however you want.
2) Use a third party program such as Partition Magic to convert the drive to FAT32 then install ME.

Again this is only if you absolutely must have ME. I personally am not a fan of win9x os, NT based os are much more stable. The computer that I am using now is running win2k sp3; it has been running for 3 months without a lockup, crash, bsod or anything like that. Win2k is so stable, it can be downloading a file on the net, burning a cd, playing a game, and playing mp3’s all at the same time without any problems whatsoever.
Post back if you need more information on installing ME.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2000
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OH god No, please do anything but install win ME on your system. I agree W2K is an awesome OS. Try to get a hold of someone in the company that might know the password. I do not know of any tools out there that could break the syskey on W2K. Try to upgrade to XP or reload W2K.
 

Dsquared

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Jun 2, 1999
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200
The company is no more. And that was all decided and done in a single day (last May). That's how VC investors operate. It's happened to my wife twice.
To be honest, I may have done something back when she first brought it home to create this problem. It used to boot up with her user name and once you put in her password, you seemed to have access to everything (admin access?) Anyway, after cleaning off unwanted and "unnecessary" company related files, we couldn't sign on anymore. It now boots up with "Administrator" in the user window and her password didn't work. Back then she could still reach company people. Some one helped get us where she could use it again. Only now, it boots up with "Administrator" in the window which she then changes to a new user name, inserts a password and she has access - but obviously only user access.
The reason I wanted to install Me is because I have it right here. I've already copied all her files to my desktop in preparation for cleaning the hard drive. If I decide to go to XP later I'll do it on both computers. Right now I just want to be able to do to her laptop what I can do to my desktop. I just bought a wireless router and PCMCIA card to extend our high speed ISP to her laptop. The damn thing won't let me install the driver for it. I've run into other similiar problems. And it takes forever and a day to boot up while it looks for its "network connections" We're just tired of dealing with it.
 

Dsquared

Thread Starter
Joined
Jun 2, 1999
Messages
200
One of the partitions is FAT32, the other is NTFS. If I am able to "clean" this hard drive, is there any reason not to just have a single partition?
 
Joined
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Originally posted by Dsquared:
One of the partitions is FAT32, the other is NTFS. If I am able to "clean" this hard drive, is there any reason not to just have a single partition?
No reason not to just make one partition. Have fun. :)
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
481
What noone has mentioned yet is that what you want help with is technically illegal. If you already have ME installed on your desktop machine, you can't install it anywhere else, due to the licensing. I would try clearing the admin password on 2k and give it a new one, or buy another OS.
What drive is FAT32, and which is NTFS? If the C: drive is fat32, I've posted instructions in the past which tell how to clear the admin password. Look here:
http://forums.techguy.org/showthread.php?threadid=78898&highlight=administrator

or here:
http://forums.techguy.org/showthread.php?threadid=74818&highlight=administrator

or here:
http://forums.techguy.org/showthread.php?threadid=75672&highlight=administrator

Well, you get the idea. :)
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,429
Originally posted by Tx_Tim:
OH god No, please do anything but install win ME on your system. I agree W2K is an awesome OS. Try to get a hold of someone in the company that might know the password. I do not know of any tools out there that could break the syskey on W2K. Try to upgrade to XP or reload W2K.
If you looked at the message above yours, you'd have had a link to a utility that I've used several times to solve this very problem! :rolleyes:

I sometimes wonder why I bother to post the easy solution, since nobody seems to read anyway.:confused:
 

Dsquared

Thread Starter
Joined
Jun 2, 1999
Messages
200
Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the feedback. The path I chose was the instruction to boot up with a floppy and rename the "sam" file. Once it booted up again I didn't even get a loggon window. It went right to the desktop. I was then able to install the driver for the wireless network card. It seems that I have administrator access again. Although I understand that this NT is a better OS than Me, I am much more familiar (advanced novice) with Win9X. As I cruise through the two drives, I find all sorts of things that I'm not familiar with.
The laptop has two drives, C: and D: D: is NTFS, is 5.4 GB and has only three program folders: "Office", "Adobe" and "WinZip". C: is FAT32, is 4 GB and has everything else. When I look in C:\Documents and Settings, there are now six folders: "Administrator", "Administrator.NDUNN" (the new one), "All Users", "ndunn", "ndunn1" and "SMSCliSvcA". ndunn was the user name that had to be put in place of administrator in the start-up window before this latest change. After moving her documents to the AdministratorNDUNN folder, the rest are mostly empty. Can I assume it's ok to delete them? When I look in the user profiles window, there are four "unknown profiles" and the one for AdministratorNDUNN.
Also, I would like to shorten the excessively long boot up time though. I stare at that window that says it's "Preparing Network Connections" for several minutes. Is there a way to reduce that time?
Anything else you'd like to impart concerning this NT would be welcome. Again, thanks.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
481
Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to find out how you're currently logged on. It probably is the AdministratorNDUNN account. If so, you can probably remove everything but the All Users and AdministratorNDUNN folder from Documents and Settings. In Users and Passwords Control Panel, get rid of the 'unknowns', and create another account with admin rights for backup purposes.
What I'd do is after deleting the folders and getting rid of the unknowns is to reboot, then create a new account in Users and Passwords with the name Administrator, with admin rights, then logout of the current profile, log back in with Administrator, create a normal user account for the wife, move everything from AdministratorNDUNN to the new account, then delete the AdministratorNDUNN account from Users and Passwords. But then again, I'm anal like that. :)
 
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