Windows 2000: tuning the new OS

No matter how advanced your operating system is, it will not prevent your system from crashing. Sure, system crashes are less common with Windows 2000, but they still occur, and you need to be prepared for such calamities. Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 2000 offers solutions to help you get back up and running. Here's how to get going with a couple of them.

Create a boot disk

Here's a sign of how times have changed: instead of creating a boot disk as every PC operating system back to DOS 1.0 did, Windows 2000 uses four 1.44MB disks to hold all the boot data it needs. Of course, Windows 2000 can boot up from its CD-ROM to repair a corrupted Windows installation, but to create boot disks for notebooks or other PCs without permanent CD-ROMs, you need the floppies. First, hook up a CD-ROM drive with the Windows 2000 Pro CD-ROM in it and insert one of four formatted floppy disks into your system. Then select Start-Run (or press the key and R simultaneously on a "Windows" keyboard). In the Run dialogue box, click the Browse button, and select the CD-ROM drive that contains your Windows 2000 setup disk. Now go to the BOOTDISK folder and double-click makeboot.exe. Click OK to launch the command line program. Answer the prompt for your floppy drive's letter. Windows 2000 starts to copy boot files to the drive, prompting you to enter new disks as each one fills up.

Back up your system configuration

Do you live in fear of serious corruption of your system configuration? Use a new option in Windows 2000's Backup program to back up the System State data. This compact backup set provides just enough information to restore settings - including the Registry, the system boot files, and the personalised configuration information - without requiring you to restore massive gigabytes of data files. It's an excellent precaution for Registry tinkerers with more enthusiasm than technical know-how.

To back up data, select Start-Programs-Accessories-System-Tools-Backup. In the dialogue box, click Backup Wizard and Next, and in the radio buttons listed, select Only backup the System State data and complete the wizard and the backup. To restore System State data, insert the backup set that contains the information into the appropriate drive, run the Restore Wizard from Backup's Welcome tab, and select the correct backup set from the list.

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