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.
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
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 desktopsif you have strong management backing.