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Make sure Win2K support is available before you install

Make Sure Win2k Support is Available Before You Install

By David Gabel, Executive Technology Editor,

Windows 2000 is a great operating system for business use, and you may want to install it on everything inside your company.

But wait. Before you go hog wild, make sure that the hardware you have supports the features available in Windows 2000. If not, you might be better off falling back to a Windows 9x edition for some notebooks or desktops.

This might seem like a pretty common-sense tip, but the problem can crop up where you least expect it. For example, the Sony Vaio PCG-F520 family of notebook computers does not have Windows 2000 support, while other computers available from the company do. A visit to the appropriate web page on the Sony site reveals that, "Currently, there are no Windows 2000 Professional updates available for the PCG-F520. As Sony develops new drivers, software updates, and solutions to resolve Windows 2000 issues, they will be posted to this page." The site also has links to pages offering advice on how to install Windows 2000 if you are just bound and determined to do so.

That means some features, such as the Ethernet port in the computer's expansion dock won't work in Windows 2000, so you'll have to provide a PCMCIA Ethernet adapter. And it you have users who want to connect an external monitor, don't count on it. It doesn't work in Windows 2000. This problem would not arise with other computers from Sony. But it could happen that it might come up with some models from other companies.

So the bottom line is to make sure you check the hardware compatibility list before you make a blanket decision to move to Windows 2000 across the board. You may have to fall back to another edition of Windows, or you might have to choose a slightly different hardware platform if Windows 2000 is the be-all and end-all.

This was last published in September 2000

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