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Wayback Weekend: Windows 2000

Way back before there was The Cloud, there was Windows 2000. I used Win2K extensively in computer labs at ITT Tech. Say what you will about that school, I did at least get practical, hands-on experience with computer environments while going there. Maybe I didn’t end up getting a job in traditional IT, but the experience still helped me adapt to other technologies I’ve encountered since.

Installing Windows 2000 Server

For this lab experiment, I’ll be setting up servers in VirtualBox. I’ll give each VM access to 1 CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage: truly staggering specs for a server in the year 2000!

To begin, you need the 4 setup floppies to get to a point where the rest of the OS can be installed from CD. We’ll create a single NTFS partition using the installer.

Not DOS, but almost DOS.

Built on New Technology Technology!

Setup continues in a graphical wizard once the VM restarts. It will try to detect the system hardware and install the correct drivers. VirtualBox picks pretty safe virtualized hardware, so there shouldn’t be any problems getting through the setup.

This guy will be our domain controller, DC1.
We’ll need DNS running for our fake domain.
We’ll create the domain after we’ve logged into Windows.
TADA! Windows 2000 is ready to go.

DC Promo

Run the Active Directory Installation Wizard (type dcpromo at the Run prompt). We’re going to create a new domain:

Using a made-up FQDN means we also have to run DNS.

I use all the default installation directories for the database, log, and system volume. We should get an error that our domain name doesn’t resolve and be prompted to install DNS:

No need to support pre-Windows 2000 domains.
Give Windows a few minutes to setup the new domain.
Now we’re the domain admin!

Create a Domain User

I really don’t want to login as Administrator everywhere, so let’s create a new domain user. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in and add a New User:

Snap-ins are buried under Administrative Tools.
Right-click the domain and select New > User.
Fill in the user’s details.
Add yourself to the Domain Admins group.

Make sure you can login as the new user and access the Active Directory management tools.

Installing Windows 2000 Professional

Client computers don’t run Server, they run Professional. The Windows 2000 Professional setup boots straight from the CD:

Nearly identical procedure.
Less blue than the server install at least.

Give the computer a good name.
Join it to our domain.
You might get this error message. Click Yes, just need to point to the correct DNS after we’re done installing.
You’ll need to login as Administrator first so you can point DNS to our domain controller.
A world of possibilities awaits!

At this point I was going to add an Exchange 2000 server to the domain, but it’s really difficult to find installation media to play around with.

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