Upgrading to Win2K Can Bring Unexpected Surprises

I'm always surprised when something unexpected happens during a system upgrade that can be considered a bonus, rather than a problem. For example, when I first installed Windows 2000 Beta 2 on a notebook, I put the system on my lap while moving some stuff around on my desk. This move pointed the back of the notebook toward my printer (an HP LaserJet 6P), and the infrared (IR) ports began communicating, with Win2K telling me that it had found new hardware and was installing the driver for it. That's the way I always believed Plug and Play (PnP) should work.

Well, I had a similar experience this week while upgrading a Windows NT 4.0 Workstation to Win2K. This particular system is attached to my Novell NetWare 5 Server, so after starting the upgrade, I went to another system to download the NetWare Client 32 version for Win2K from the Novell Web site. After I restarted the new Win2K installation, I was amazed to find I still had full client connectivity to the NetWare server. It turns out that the Win2K upgrade can also upgrade the Novel Client 32 version 4.7 or later to the Win2K version when upgrading from NT 4.0 Workstation or Windows 9x. I still need the full client from Novell if I decide to install Client 32 on any other Win2K system, but it was nice to not have to touch an already functioning system beyond the OS upgrade. Full details about using Win2K Pro with Novell NetWare are available from Microsoft's Web site.

I received a bunch of emails about last week's ultra DMA (UDMA) enabling tip, so I'd like to pass on some of the information. The most common email comment was, "What about UDMA/100?" I haven't heard back from Microsoft about UDMA/100 support yet, but if you're running a system with an Intel chipset you can find information and drivers at Intel's Web site.

Documents on TechNet and in the Microsoft Knowledge Base seem to indicate that a system with Service Pack 1 (SP1) installed will have UDMA support enabled. I'm still tracking that one down.

Remember, that tip, as indicated in the newsletter, is for Win2K. If you try it on NT 4.0, it might cause a blue screen failure.

This week's tip:
This tip isn't a registry edit, but it does require changing system settings. If you're running multiple hard drives, you can improve system performance by spreading the pagefile across multiple drives, especially with UDMA drives (even more so with SCSI). If you've upgraded from NT 4.0 and have only a 2GB boot partition, you can move the pagefile off the boot partition entirely (unless you're saving the core dumps that Windows creates when it blue screens).

Generally, Microsoft suggests that your pagefile be physical memory size plus 30MB. It's a good guideline, although you might like a little larger size if you have a small memory footprint. However, giving the system too much swap space can slow things down; Windows likes to use the pagefile space even if physical memory is still available.

To change pagefile size and location:

  1. Right-click My Computer.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. Click the Performance Options button.
  5. Select Change for the Virtual Memory box.
  6. Configure the disk space and location you wish to use.
  7. Reboot the system.
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