Need a Retro Box to Run Win 2K

Microsoft Windows 2000 professional comp...
April 29, 2010 at 22:10:52
Specs: Windows 2000
I need to build a computer with currently available hardware that will run Win 2K. This computer will run dBase III, which needs better DOS support than later OSs provide.

This doesn't need high-end components, as it will mostly be used to run some dBase programs, an email program, Word and an appointment calendar. I've been told that most CPUs today don't do well with older OSs, so need a recommendation for some currently available MB/CPU/memory that will run Win 2K.

I'll use WD caviar drives, but other than that, high-end hardware would be a waste of funds that I'll otherwise put toward the next upgrade of my Photoshop/graphics computer.

Any suggestions?


Ron H

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April 30, 2010 at 06:57:22
I've been told that most CPUs today don't do well with older OSs

I'm afraid you were told wrong. The only Operating System that modern hardware is likely to have a problem with is Windows 95 and even that can be overcome.

Windows 2000 is not that much different than windows XP and so there should be no problem. Windows 2000 may not be able to take full advantage of modern duel core CPUs but it should still work. As there is no DOS in Winows 2000 any more than there is in Windows XP what is the problem there.

If you intend installing MS-DOS make sure that is the first OS you install and install Windows 2000 second and you will have no problems.

If you want a Windows OS with DOS support then you are looking at Windows 98.

The deciding factor is how mush you are prepared to pay.


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April 30, 2010 at 13:02:14
Thanks, Stuart.

I had stopped in at a Office Depot while I was in the same shopping center, to look at notebooks in case the HP Pavilion that killed its video card and caused this little emergency turned out to be more costly to repair than it was worth. It was (of course) a sales guy who told me this. In fact, he said many of the newer CPUs didn't even like XP. Guess he was just another slicky-boy trying to make a sale!

I don't pay much attention to details like this until I'm getting ready to build a new computer, then I usually start well in advance of actually buying components to get caught up well enough to make workable choices. I usually don't even come into contact with guys like this, because I haven't bought a retail computer (except for buying the HP notebook online) since my first computer back in the '80s--a Kaypro with two 5" floppies and no hard drive!

Anyway dBase worked fine on the HP notebook running XP Home, but bogs down running longer programs with multiple open database files on my Pentium D945 machine running XP Pro. I just thought that if I decided to build another desktop that would regularly run dBase, I'd try to optimize it for dBase to ensure trouble-free operation.

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May 2, 2010 at 15:22:51
I'd run a virtual machine. Why buy a new system?

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)

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Related Solutions

May 2, 2010 at 15:37:08
The salesman may have been referring to the fact that many newer computers have some components that will not have drivers for Win2000. HD sound and wireless LAN come to mind. Also, finding Win2000 drivers for newer peripherals like printers could be problematic.

Installing Win2000 on a SATA hard drive requires some preparation. For best results you would need to slipstream SP4, SATA controller drivers, and possibly some additional drivers.

As Stuart S stated, Win2000 runs on the NT kernel and has no DOS subsystem.

Jefro might have your best solution.

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May 3, 2010 at 09:09:08
Jefro and OtheHill--

Thanks guys. Very helpful posts. I'll find out today or tomorrow if the laptop can be repaired at reasonable cost. It's running the XP Home OS that came loaded on it, and runs dBase programs just fine. After watching Task Master while running dBase on the graphics machine, I'm beginning to suspect its the simplicity of what runs on the laptop doesn't put too much drain on resources, and allows dBase to run larger programs with multiple open databases easily, while my graphics machine has so much running in the background that more than a very few open databases makes it bog down.

Jefro, I like to keep things separated on two machines so if one goes down, I'm not completely out of business. Making the division between graphics and business apps is the logical separation point for me, and I can transfer some functions from one computer to the other when necessary. This plan would have worked, except for some reason, I can't access the data on the laptop's external backup drive either. Not a major issue, as I have another backup that's only a little out of date, but it's keeping me somewhat inconvenienced for the time being while waiting to see just where I stand and if I can get it all back by waiting a bit longer.

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