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Get Windows 9x to play nice with Windows 2000/XP

We've taken pity on you poor souls out there that still have to administer Windows 9x workstations -- and there seem to be a lot of you! In this two-part article, a panel of resident experts answers member-submitted questions on managing the inevitable migration and maintenance issues that arise in a mixed Windows desktop environment.

Serdar Yegulalp
James Stewart
Tony Northrup
Laura Hunter
Jerry Honeycutt
Paul Hinsberg

We've taken pity on you poor souls out there that still have to administer Windows 9x workstations -- and there sure seem to be a lot of you! In this two-part article, our experts answer your questions on managing the inevitable migration and maintenance issues that arise in a mixed Windows desktop environment. member: We currently use Windows 2000 Active Directory. We were going to upgrade to .NET Active Directory, but then I heard that Windows 95 clients would not be able to authenticate because they do not support Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Is this true? Our Microsoft rep said Windows 95 clients should be able to authenticate.

Jerry Honeycutt: You can download the Windows 95 version of the Active Directory Services Interface. Your Microsoft rep was correct -- Windows 95 can authenticate. member: We are installing Win2k Pro on our Windows 98 machines, by performing a "clean install," not by upgrade. We are also converting our file system to NTFS. After the install, I am still getting the OS selection screen during boot up -- the selections being Win98 and Win2k. If I select Win98, the system hangs because it is not there anymore. How do I get the system to boot directly to Win2k? Do I have to wipe the hard drive prior to install?

Paul Hinsberg: You will need to edit the boot.ini file in the C: folder. You can script this fairly easily and make it part of the installation process if you are using an automated method for installation. The boot.ini file looks like this:

  [boot loader]

   [operating systems]
   multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000
Professional" /fastdetect

Your file will contain entries for DOS, which translate to Windows 98. Just delete the lines. Make sure that the 'default=' points to the Windows 2000 installation prior to restarting. You may also wish to change the default timeout to 0 as I have done here. member: I am trying to copy a user's desktop/startup profile from a Windows 95 PC to a different Windows 2000 PC. I have tried enabling individual passwords for Win95 and copying the user profile from the "profiles folder." I also tried copying that folder onto the PC with Win2k without success.

Jerry Honeycutt: Have you tried the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard? member: I am trying to set up a small LAN using a machine loaded with Windows 2000 server connected to a number of clients running Windows 98 SE. Is it possible to set up roaming profiles so that a user can log onto any client machine and access his/her individual settings/network area? Does the server have to be a domain controller or can it be a standalone server? Finally, where could I find the instructions on how to set this facility up?

James Michael Stewart: For roaming profiles to function, you must have a domain. It is possible to use roaming profiles for Windows 98 clients on a Windows 2000 domain. For details on creating roaming profiles for Windows 98, see chapter seven of the Windows 98 Resource Kit that came with Windows 98. member: I just got our VPN set up at work and I am having some issues with the Windows 98 machines. Internally, they were set up in a workgroup environment (flow), not using WINS, DNS or anything for name resolution. We set up a host file on remote workstations. XP Professional, XP Home Edition, Windows ME and Windows 2000 are having no problems accessing the file server through VPN. The Windows 98 SE machines have no problems coming in through the VPN either -- but they cannot reach the folder that is shared on the Win2k server. They keep trying to access the hidden root share (IPC). I've tried 'serveract,' without success. I've tried the IP but that pulls our intranet Web page, not the folder. I tried mapping the drive, too, but it's no good. I am able to ping by IP or name. I am not using IPsec client, just MS VPN.

Tony Northrup: You're testing my memory here! As I recall, Windows 98 cannot resolve NetBIOS names using IP addresses or DNS. So, you'll need to add the server's name to the LMhosts file. The LMhosts file is similar to the hosts file, and is located in the same directory. It may not exist by default, but a file called LMHOSTS.SAM should reside in that directory and provides instructions for creating an LMhosts file. member: I have two mapped network drives on my PC using the Windows 2000 Professional operating system. The mapped drives are folders on a Windows 98 box. Each time I log on, it asks for the passwords to these drives. Why won't Win2k retain these passwords once they are entered correctly?

Jerry Honeycutt: You need to enable the Guest account in Windows 2000, which is not enabled by default. This is due to limitations in Windows 98, not Windows 2000. See KB article Q258938 for more information.

Click here to continue to part two.

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