by June 19, 2000 0 comments

2000–the latest release of Microsoft’s “ground-up” baby, Win
NT, is finally out. It comes in four versions: Professional, Server,
Advanced Server, and the yet-to-be-released Datacenter Server. Windows 2000
Professional is the equivalent of Win NT 4 Workstation, meant for desktop
use. It’s pretty good as a home machine and most games run properly.

Installing Windows 2000
Professional is pretty simple. The install process is similar to Win NT
installation. When installing off the bootable CD-ROM, the first part is a
text-based installation that copies appropriate files to the hard disk and
lets you manage your partitions, etc. After a reboot, the GUI install starts
and detects your machine’s hardware, lets you assign machine names and
network connections, and the time and time zone. After this, it installs and
registers a lot of files and components by itself. After a final restart,
you’re ready to start using the OS. However, unlike Win 9x and NT
installations, there is apparently no option for a custom installation. So
you’ll find things such as Accessibility options, Games, Miscellaneous
Sound Schemes, etc, installed and taking up valuable disk space.

In this article we’ll show
how to do a custom installation from scratch and how to get rid of installed
programs if you’ve already set them up.

Scratch Custom install

Windows 2000
Professional uses either WINNT.SIF or UNATTEND.TXT to determine how to
install itself. The contents of both the files are same. The difference lies
in the original medium from where the install starts. When the installation
is taking place from the CD-ROM, the WINNT.SIF file is picked up. However,
if the installation is taking place over a network, UNATTEND.TXT is used.
The CD-ROM contains a default WINNT.SIF file, but we’ll generate a
completely new one to suit our needs.

To set up an answer file (as
these files are known), we’ll use a tool provided on the install CD
itself. It’s available in \SUPPORT\TOOLS\DEPLOY. CAB. Extract the contents
of the CAB file into a temporary folder on your hard disk (WinZip 7 or above
can open CAB files directly) and run SETUPMGR.EXE.

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