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Windows 2000 PC Readiness Experiences

Attention! This particular web page is quite old and it is no longer actively maintained. None of the computers on this list are any younger than about nine or ten years old at this point, and many of them are quite a bit older than that. Windows 2000 has, of course, long since passed into unsupported status. And while I still maintain that it is the best release of Microsoft Windows ever, I'm not using it quite as much as I used to.

Anyone looking to run Windows 2000 on truly contemporary hardware would probably do well to visit a forum where such things are discussed. There are undoubtedly other forums relevant to the subject of Windows 2000, the previously linked example is only mentioned because it was convenient and sprang readily to mind. In the event that you are unable to run Windows 2000 on a given piece of hardware, virtualization may be the answer. Oracle's VirtualBox is open source and free to use by anyone. VMware's Player is closed source software that is made freely available under certain scenarios. (The latter requires a computer supporting hardware virtualization capability. VirtualBox as of this writing can still be run on any reasonable hardware, with added benefits on those platforms that are capable of hardware virtualization.)

With that said, and before I close this up, I'll throw a few more "late breaking" entries into the table below. Everything else remains as it was written when this page was last updated on March ‎1, ‎2005.

Why Windows 2000?

"Back in the day" I didn't consider Windows XP to have reached an acceptable level of stability and performance. There are things I still dislike about it today. Windows XP reached what I considered an acceptable level of stability, performance and functionality by the time of Service Pack 2, and after that I point I gradually began to use it.
 

Computer Model/Maker Basic Config Windows 2000 OK? Comments
HP Vectra VL Pentium 133 P133, 64+MB RAM Yes, see comments. Setup takes a LONG time to complete. Factory-installed Quantum hard disks are usually junk. They might work under less demanding OSes but not on Windows 2000 or NT. Replace with anything 8GB or less in size. APM may not work properly. This machine represents the minimum processor and RAM requirements for Windows 2000 to run at all. More is recommended for all but the most basic use.
Hp Vectra VA Pentium Pro 200 PPro 200, 64+MB RAM Yes, see comments Factory installed Quantum hard disks are junk. Replace with 8GB or smaller drive. APM may not work properly if enabled.
Compaq Presario 4808 Pentium 233 MMX, 128MB RAM Yes, see comments All basic hardware functions perfectly. Onboard S3 video capture device is recognized in Device Manager but does not appear to work.
Compaq Presario 4555 Cyrix CPU of unknown speed Sort-of. May or may not work acceptably. System will function normally under Windows 2000 and is stable, but SiS chipset appears to be flakey. Cannot enable DMA transfers on primary IDE channel.
Compaq Presario 1275 AMD K6 (366 MHz?) Yes. Performance isn't great. System functions normally under Windows 2000, but onboard modem doesn't work.
Toshiba 3100 Intel Celeron 300MHz, 256MB RAM Yes. Works perfectly. No installation difficulties and few external drivers needed.
Dell Dimesion XPS T500 Intel Pentium III 500MHz, 128MB RAM Yes Works perfectly. Struggles to POST with larger than 20GB hard disk. Use the stock hard disk if it works.
Dell Dimension L550R Intel Pentium III 550MHz, 128MB RAM Yes No known problems with the stock configuration.
HP Vectra VL Series 6/XXX Intel Pentium II at 233 then upgraded to 300MHz. Yes. See comments. APM doesn't work properly and will cause stop errors. Stock Quantum hard disk appears not to suffer from reliability problems. Seems to handle drives in excess of 8GB BIOS limits with far less trouble than most systems. Booting Windows 2000 with a drive exceeding BIOS limits has not bee tested, but a slave 40GB drive works fine.
Compaq Presario R3000 Notebook Intel Celeron at 2.8GHz Yes. See comments. Basic stuff works perfectly and most of the drivers supplied with the machine on recovery CDs work fine under Windows 2000. Analog Soundmax audio system cannot maintain a steady pitch when playing DVDs...but this is a problem seen on many other systems. Installation of the "Easy Access Buttons" software caused Win2000 explorer to continually crash in a loop, but this may have been caused by an older version of Internet Explorer than what the software expected.
Compaq Presario 5004US AMD Athlon at 1.1GHz, 768MB RAM Yes. Very easy setup with few external device drivers needed after getting up and running.
Compaq Presario 2500 Mobile Intel Pentium 4 (?) No. Setup could not complete and seemed to have very serious problems with the onboard IDE controller.
Dell Dimension 4x00 Unknown Yes. Not many details. System came in for testing and repairs, so I loaded Windows 2000 temporarily. There were no problems and most hardware worked right out of the box.
Dell Dimension 8300 Intel Pentium 4 at 3.4GHz with HT Technology. 1GB RAM Yes. Setup had no problems, but most hardware in the machine required external drivers to work. For most devices, use of the Dell-provided driver CD worked fine. The onboard NIC required a separate driver download for Windows 2000 from Intel. Drivers supplied by Dell for the onboard Pro/100VE network connection are XP-only.

Errata: The Dell drivers CD will not show any drivers for Windows 2000. You must "lie" to this program and tell it you are using XP.
eMachines 2.8GHz Celeron Intel Celeron at 2.8GHz, 512MB RAM Yes. No serious issues. All hardware works perfectly after appropriate drivers are installed.

Errata: eMachines doesn't provide individual software CDs with this computer. Only a "factory disk image" is supplied that will restore everything to the way it came from the factory. Kind of a disappointment as you won't get to keep the software that comes preloaded on the computer.
eMachines ET400i2 Intel Celeron at 400MHz, 96MB RAM Yes. No significant problems with this computer.
Iwill P55TV Based System (I430VX) IDT WinChip 200, AMD K6-200 Yes. RAM is tight because board only takes SIMMs of decent capacity. DIMM Socket is limited to 16MB.
Gateway 2000 "LPMINI-TOWER G6-266" Intel Pentium II @ 266MHz No. Possible but not recommended. System supports enough RAM and hard disk capacity to make the upgrade possible, but the onboard Chromatic Research graphics system is not easily supported and caching must be disabled in System Setup to avoid STOP errors and allow for reliable operation. APM not tested.

When running in VGA mode, the Chromatic Research chipset is horribly slow and demonstrates some visible quirks in its emulation of VGA. No wonder they didn't last...

Gateway 2000 "LPMINI-TOWER KAD-K7-700 AMD Athlon @ 700MHz Yes. See notes. Most all hardware works right out of the box with no significant issues. Onboard USB does not seem to work. Windows 2000 Device Manager reports that the device has a problem and cannot start.

Other drivers may exist to cure this problem , but this has not been tested or proven.

eMachines eMonster (550?) Unknown, 550 MHz
Unknown, probably works fine.
Never got around to testing it.
eMachines T3256 AMD Athlon XP 3200+ Yes. Find drivers for nVidia chipset-based motherboard. All hardware works fine.
Compaq Deskpro EN
Intel Pentium III, varying speeds
Yes
Most all drivers are built in. Get newer drivers where applicable from hardware vendors. Offered with Windows 2000 as an option. Many systems shipped with Windows 2000 Professional. Officially supported.
Dell Optiplex GX400
(and Dimension 8100)
Intel Pentium 4, varying speeds
Yes.
Most all drivers are built in. Get newer drivers where applicable from hardware vendors. Offered with Windows 2000 as an option. Many systems shipped with Windows 2000 Professional. Officially supported (GX400, dunno about the 8100).
Dell Dimension 2400
Intel Pentium 4, SL6PG, 3.06 GHz/533 MHz FSB w/ HT
Yes
Get drivers from hardware manufacturers as needed. Works great with unofficial updates.
Asus A7V8X-MX SE and A7V400-MX SE motherboards
AMD Athlon XP 3200+
Yes
Officially supported. Get all needed drivers directly from VIA or Asus as needed.
Biostar P4M900M4 Motherboard
Pentium 4, unknown speed
Yes
Officially supported as best I recall.
Compaq Evo D500
(possibly the D510 as well)
Pentium 4, various speeds
Yes
Officially supported. Get drivers from hardware vendors or HP.

 No further updates to this page are planned.


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