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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Evaluating Existing Desktops

In order to take maximum advantage of a Windows 2000 environment, it is incumbent upon us to upgrade the existing desktops to Windows 2000. While this may be the most straightforward approach, it hardly qualifies as the easiest, most cost effective, or least difficult solution. In this section, we will look at some of the issues which surround the desktop solution.

Existing Hardware

If the Windows 2000 server requires a substantial investment in hardware, so does the desktop version. In most instances, desktops more than a couple of years old will have to be retired. One thing you can do is to run a batch file similar to the one listed below to perform a rudimentary inventory of information, it can easily be included in a logon script to automate the data collection.

rem you can create a network share and redirect the output to that location
rem as well.
rem for instance: >>\\servername\sharename _\%computername%.txt

if exist %computername%.txt del %computername%.txt
echo %username% >%computername%.txt
echo %computername%>>%computername%.txt
net time >>%computername%.txt
ipconfig /all>>%computername%.txt
dir >>%computername%.txt
mem >>%computername%.txt
net start >>%computername%.txt
net stats server >>%computername%.txt
net stats workstation >>%computername%.txt
net config server >>%computername%.txt
net config workstation >>%computername%.txt
rem the lines below are more valuable for servers
net accounts >>%computername%.txt
net user >>%computername%.txt
net share >>%computername%.txt

echo hosts file contains the following>>%computername%.txt

if exist %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts 
type %win-dir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts >>%computername%.txt

echo lmhosts file contains the following>>%computername%.txt

if exist %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\lmhosts 
type %win-dir%\system32\drivers\etc\lmhosts >>%computername%.txt

Existing Software

While in most cases Windows 2000 can run the same software that ran on NT, a very interesting wrinkle develops if the previous desktop solution was a Windows 9.x environment. So if you are upgrading all your desktops to Windows 2000 professional (or XP) and you are migrating from Windows 9.x machines, then you could run into programs that simply will not work in a Windows 2000 environment. At this juncture, you could leave the old machine (not upgrade it at this time), configure a dual boot solution (the users love to dual boot), or contact the vendor about an upgrade to the software. I have seen a few scenarios where the bad application did not have an upgrade because the company went out of business. In this situation, you are searching for a replacement program (and the users will be upset because they love the old application). This can be a real challenge, as desktops are sometimes very unmanaged, and there can be hundreds of dumb little programs that the users have collected over the years. This does give you a chance to standardize on applications, and desktops—if you have strong management backing.

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