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Windows 2000 Server vs. Pro for a laptop - Which is more hearty or robust?

Posted on 2005-04-20
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I'm an IT pro.  I spend too much time reinstalling my Windows 2000 Pro on my own laptop after a program hoses the installation, or in my current case:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win2000/Q_21393530.html

Microsoft itself implodes and necessitates me to reload windows from scratch.

Forgetting all the server vs. pro and the need for different programs such as a server anti-virus program does anyone feel that 2000 Advanced Server would be less susceptible to needing to be reloaded all the time.  In other words, does anyone think that Windows 2000 Server would fare better in the long run because it is built heartier?

I know I'm not phrasing it the way I would like, but since I'm at the point where I have to reinstall again, why not install server instead of pro?  I can always turn off the services I don't need.

PP
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Question by:pistonpilot
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by:RevelationCS
RevelationCS earned 800 total points
ID: 13826381
there isn't going to be much difference with the "core" of the OS as W2k, W2kS and W2kAS are all built on the same core... if you are having issues with having to reinstall, maybe it would be best advised to look at what is being done on the machine at the time of the installation being hosed to determine the root cause of the problem. As I see it, you will only run into the same problems as you do with Pro with AS... the downside will be higher memory and system utilization as AS installs additional services that are not included with Pro...
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mikeleebrla earned 800 total points
ID: 13827042
im with revelationCS,,,, the only difference is what they are licensed to do IE what services are offered (DNS DHCP, IIS,etc) and how much RAM, and how many CPUs they support.  As far as stability of the OS they are the same, since they are in fact the same OS.
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by:craylord
craylord earned 304 total points
ID: 13827220
As stated above, between workstation and server, there isn't too much difference. Programs or situations that hosed your w2k install will most likely have the same effect on w2kserver. I would highly recommend dumping 2000 in favor of XP pro. The biggest thing xp offers that isn't available on 2000 is the system recovery console. If a program seriously hoses your pc, xp will have many Restore Points in the c:\system volume information\ folder to revert back to. Where as 2000, just has the repair files from c:\windows\repair\ folder. If you use these, you may as well just pull your data off and reinstall. Why? because these files were created when the OS was first installed. After using XP, I would never use 2000 again (except for a dedicated server) unless it has the same restore function or a 3rd party software program that did just that. People say XP is just 2000 dolled up for show. But XP has better recovery options that beats 2000 down on  2000 like a meat patty. IMHO.
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by:pistonpilot
ID: 13827274
I despise XP.  I have had the restore not function several times.  

If it won't work sometimes, then it is useless.

XP is a poor replacement for 2000.  It is full of fluff with not enough substance.  The niceties that have been incorporated into XP have made it less stable than 2000.  

I personally have seen the entire networking subsytem become unstable from adding and removing protocols.  It's buggy.  

If it is so stable, why do we need all these recovery options?  

If I could install one OS, it would be linux.  The day I can run most of my programs and my aircard, is the day I abandon this garbage called Microsoft Windows.

Now, I'll still go out and fix it for money, but I won't use it myself.

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Expert Comment

by:huntersvcs
ID: 13827395
We had a similar situation once:  users continually crashing their OS with no way to get back - even recovery options were useless.  We solved the situation by totally reconfiguring our concept.

We set up a second partition and rerouted all stored files (ie My Docs, DBs, EMail, Special settings, etc.) to land on the second partition.  We then made an image of "C" using GHOST and put it also on the second partition (needless to say, formatted FAT32).  We then put together a script to reimage "C".  That way, we could restore the entire OS at any time and for whatever reason and no data or settings were lost.  Worked for over 500 notebooks, so (for us) was an idean solution.  And we were using XP Pro!
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Author Comment

by:pistonpilot
ID: 13827443
Your answering a question that I did not ask.  You are also answering a question that I have wanted to ask.

Can you be more detailed?  Why fat32?  Can you post the script?

My current config is all NTFS.  

I have 4 partitions.

1 - OS and programs
2 - swapfile
3.- encrypted file holding all my data
4.- Downloads - files - etc .. not having to do wth OS
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Author Comment

by:pistonpilot
ID: 13827522
I am disgusted with Windows.  I hate having to reinstall it for stupid reasons.

Currently I cannot load sp4 on my system. http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win2000/Q_21393530.html

This is my laptop.  It's functional but also crippled.  

I have had to reinstall Windows due to:

ACT7
Zonealarm
Symantec Programs

The list grows

One program has the capability of taking down the entire OS.  


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Expert Comment

by:mikeleebrla
ID: 13827711
i think we have found the root cause of your problem(s)... symantec sucks,, don't install it.  Zonealarm sucks also, dont install it. ACT7 ive never used so i can't comment on.  The root of your problem isn't really the OS, its the crap you have been installing on it.  And of course if you install crap on your OS it will suck,, that is in no way the OSs fault. This is no different than going out any buing a Corvette or porsche, then putting diesel fuel in it and having it run like crap. then saying that all corvettes and porsche suck. Its not the cars' fault you put the incorrect/crappy gas in it causing them to run bad, its the fault of the gas or whoever put it in.  
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Expert Comment

by:Longbow
ID: 13828122
You can also install Windows 2000 twice. One on their own partitions and hide them one from the other.
This way use one for working and one for internet connections.
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by:RevelationCS
ID: 13828228
You know, I find it rather funny that you bash Microsoft about how their products are garbage... I have had w2k running for almost 5 years now and have only reinstalled it once (due to purchase of new motherboard).... If you do routine maintenance (as is needed with any OS, including Linux) to keep things clean and in an orderly manner, you should not have any problems with performance. Also, I tend to agree with mikeleebrla that issues like this tend to relate more towards what is installed on the OS and not the actual OS itself...

just out of curiosity, try the following:

download HiJackThis - http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/downloads.html
post log file to the HJT LogAnalyzer - http://www.hijackthis.de/en

you can save the log once it is posted to the Analyzer and from there post the URL of the saved log here....
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Author Comment

by:pistonpilot
ID: 13828372
I am a spyware expert.  It is not spyware.

I bash Microsoft because it is garbage.  I'm stuck with it.  I would love to move to Xandros but I'm not sure if my Aircard will function.  I've got data in programs that do not run on Linux or do not have an comparable program in Linux yet.

I'm a consultant.  I setup a mean server.  I follow the best practices.  I setup the machine as cleanly as is possible.

A laptop, as workstation is not a clean environment.  We load programs and remove them.  Windows lasts a long time for people who never change their system much.

As a consultant I am always loading something new.  When someone has a problem with a program I may load the program to familiarize myself with it.

Windows is garbage.  It's inherently unstable.

Would you like to argue against those two statement?  I'll take on all who disagree.

As to your last statement - about the os vs what is installed, the purpose of the OS is to provide a medium where I can install programs.

If I could live with notepad my entire life, I'll bet I could keep a Windows OS running indefinately.

 
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Expert Comment

by:craylord
ID: 13828451
oooh, this could be the start of a flamewar.

FYI, my vote is for Microsoft XP Pro! It just works. And I'm an IT pro too. I just counted how many programs I've currently got installed. 117. Doesn't include stuff I've tried and uninstalled. Mine works fine. The only thing that's made my pc kaput is bad video drivers.

If you're concerned about testing programs I'd recommend using DeepFreeze by www.faronics.com. You'll never have to worry about anything with that program.
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Expert Comment

by:RevelationCS
ID: 13828487
pistonpilot,

if you are not willing to let the experts provide advice as to how you can resolve an issue and work with us then I suggest you give microsoft support a call and work with them on the issue. I have worked technical support for years and lothe people who ask for help, but then carry the "I know everything so I dont need your help" attitude displayed in your last post.  HJT is not used just for spyware and can be used to locate other problem points that could be causing problems from a system standpoint. It will show if you have bad registry entries (usually registry entries that point to null locations, typically where a deleted program might have once been). there are several other applications out there that will also scan your registry and let you know the health status of it is. Usually, poor programs or people who dont follow the proper uninstall methods for various applications can cause the registry to become cluttered and slow.  I also do my fair share of consulting and test various applications on both my work and my home PC and have never had an issue with having to reinstall... as stated before, with proper maintenance and cleanups you should not have any issues with windows...
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Expert Comment

by:Longbow
ID: 13828508
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx
You can use VirtualPC to test softwares.
Have enough RAM.
http://www.vmware.com
VMware is not bad too but i never used it. Soon...
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Author Comment

by:pistonpilot
ID: 13828571
I use  a program called Registry First Aid.  

Bad Video Drivers.
Bad Programs.
Firewalls

The list is endless.  

Once you pollute the registry you're done.  

As to calling MS - it will be cheaper just to reinstall windows yet again.  This whole thing started when I defragged my drive.  No errors, I just couldn't load any new programs.  My response is to load SP4.  It bombed in the middle.   I did a repair.  No more SP4.  The laptop has been unstable ever since.

I fixed some of it, but I cannot SP4 it.  

I'm very open to suggestions from experts - I'm just tired of not getting paid for fixing my own system.  It's downtime I cannot afford.

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Expert Comment

by:mikeleebrla
ID: 13828607
"A laptop, as workstation is not a clean environment".---if you aren't going to use it as a workstation, then what do you plan on using it for?? obviously not a server since it's mobile.

"As to your last statement - about the os vs what is installed, the purpose of the OS is to provide a medium where I can install programs"---true,, if you install QUALITY programs then you will be fine.  I'll go back to the car analogy---what is the purpose of a car? to get you from point a to point b,,, BUT in going from point a to point B you damage the car (whether you intend to or not)  If you put crappy gas in your car and run it all over the curbs it will run like crap in no time. The same is true for your OS, if you install crap on it and take it to all kind of bad places on the internet then it will run like crap too.

as mentioned earlier all OSs have their pros and cons and if you dont take care of ANY os it will be a nightmare.  Windows has HUGE market share in both the client and server markets and gaining in both, Netware is going to less than 1% VERY soon.  So  if you dont like windows that much might i suggest you find another carrer or quit taking consulting jobs with windows OSs,,, opps, my bad, if you did that, you wouldn't be able to find any work.
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Expert Comment

by:RevelationCS
ID: 13828630
from the sounds of it from the last post, something was corrupted with the repair process... good rule of thumb when installing service packs is to tell it to create a backup prior to installing the current SP.... if the install fails, then you should be able to recover the backed up files by uninstalling the service pack... Doing a repair after a failed install of the SP as you did most likely corrupted the installation of windows (as it is not the correct method of backing out a service pack)... have you tried running 'sfc /scannow'? from a command prompt? Type sfc -? for additional information on this command... if this does not work with recovering corrupted system files then you will most likely be best to rebuild the system from scratch....
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Author Comment

by:pistonpilot
ID: 13828837
Yes, did all that.

I just got off the phone with DeepFreeze.  I may just bite the bullet, reinstall the laptop with the Redmond trash and then freeze it.

Kudos to the expert that suggested it.
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Author Comment

by:pistonpilot
ID: 13828860
Doesn't that say a lot when we can all acknowledge that we wouldn't find work if we were consultants for products other than Windows?

When my friends ask me what computer to buy, I tell them to buy a Mac.

When I setup servers for small businesses, I setup linux. I started setting up linux 3 years ago.

My oldest running linux installation without a forced reboot, is 3 years.  I have linux boxes out there running for a year a so many days without reboot.

Can any of you claim the same for a windows installation?
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by:RevelationCS
ID: 13828961
we have several machines that have not been rebooted since we last did patching on them (late last year)...
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by:RevelationCS
ID: 13828970
if you have gone 3 years without rebooting a linux box, is sounds as if you wernt applying any of the patches/updates that come out for various unix/linux systems on a regular basis... ;)  I work with Solaris and a few other variations of unix for my job and I have been suprised with the number of patches that come out per quarter and the time that it takes for these patches in relation to windows patches...
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Author Comment

by:pistonpilot
ID: 13828983
You're correct.  If it ain't broke, why fix it?
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Author Comment

by:pistonpilot
ID: 13829139
Not all distros need patching, nor do they provide constant patching.  I use an SMB product that is already hardened.  While there has been an update, 6.0 to 6.01 - I don't feel the need to upgrade a working server unless there is a real need or I have a window to do it.

Bottom line is that Linux works.  It doesn't require a reboot.  Microsoft servers require reboots.  No Microsoft Server could stay running without problems as long linux, AIX, Unix or Novell.

Is there really anyone out there that is going to argue that?
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Author Comment

by:pistonpilot
ID: 13829542
Thank you CrayLord

DeepFreeze has just become my new best friend.  

I'm going to reinstall 2000 Pro - the trash from Redmon and freeze it.

That program is just too good to be true.  It's not perfect - you still must lower the drawbridge to make changes but at least you can test things before commiting to the change.

Thank you Thank You Thank You
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