HOW TO: Manually Remove Windows 2000 and Restore Windows 95 or Windows 98

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Article ID: 250456 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q250456
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
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SUMMARY

This article describes how to remove a Windows 2000 upgrade and restore Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98.

NOTE: The procedures that are described in this article are not a method of recovering a Windows 95 or Windows 98 installation. This procedure requires you to reinstall Windows 95 or Windows 98 and all your programs.

The following topics are contained in the "More Information" section of this article:
  • Is the file system FAT/FAT32 or NTFS? If NTFS, see the "Removing NTFS" section.
  • Do you want to save files? See the "Renaming Folders" section.
  • Is Windows installed in the Windows folder? See the "Renaming Folders" section.
  • You have all your files backed up. See the "Removing Windows 2000 Files" section.
  • Do you need to free up space to install Windows 95 or Windows 98? See the "Freeing Up Disk Space" section.
If you backed up all of your data before you installed Windows 2000 or you do not have any data that needs to be retained, you can reformat the hard disks in the computer and reinstall Windows 95 or Windows 98. To reformat the hard disk, see the "Removing NTFS" section in this article.

WARNING: Formatting a disk deletes all the files and data. Format a disk only if all of the files that you want to keep are backed up.

Identify Which File System being Used

    1. Double-click My Computer on the desktop.
    2. Right-click the disk you want, and then click Properties.
    3. Look for the File System entry.
    NOTE: If the disk is using the NTFS file system, your options for returning to Windows 95 or Windows 98 are limited. Windows 95 and Windows 98 do not read or recognize NTFS, and you cannot convert the disk to use the FAT or FAT32 file system. The bootable disk you use and the drive on which you want to install Windows 95 or Windows 98 cannot use NTFS.

    Microsoft does not support any third-party solutions for converting NTFS to FAT or FAT32.

    If the drive is using the FAT file system, you can install any operating system. If the drive is using the FAT32 file system, you can install Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2) or later.

  1. Check how much disk space is available. Check your Windows 95 or Windows 98 documentation to determine the amount of disk space that you need.
  2. Create or find a Windows Startup disk that contains CD-ROM drivers so that you can gain access to the computer's CD-ROM drive.

    NOTE: If you cannot gain access to the CD-ROM drive, you may need to copy your Windows 95 or Windows 98 installation files to your local hard disk. This requires additional disk space.
  3. Start your computer by using the Windows 98 or Windows 95 Startup disk. Verify that you can read the CD-ROM drive, and then run the sys c: command from the command prompt.

    NOTE: This command transfers the boot files to drive C and copies the boot sector. After you run this command, you can no longer start Windows 2000.

Renaming Folders

If you install Windows 95 or Windows 98 on the same drive on which Windows 2000 is installed, you need to rename the following folders to prevent possible conflicts in Windows 95 or 98.

NOTE: If you reformat the hard disk, you do not need to rename any folders.
  • The Program Files folder For example, type the following command at the command prompt:
    ren c:\progra~1 c:\files.old
  • The Windows folder For example, type the following command at the MS-DOS prompt:
    ren c:\windows c:\windows.200

Removing NTFS Drives

To remove the NTFS file system, reformat the hard disk to use the FAT or FAT32 file system.

You can do this by using the Recovery Console tool on the Windows 2000 CD-ROM if your computer supports a bootable CD-ROM or by using the four Windows 2000 Startup disks. Reformatting or repartitioning a disk deletes all the data on it, so make sure you back up your data.

To use Recovery Console to reformat a drive, follow these steps:
  1. Start the computer by using the Windows 2000 CD-ROM or the Startup disks.
  2. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen is displayed, press F10.
  3. In Recovery Console, choose the appropriate installation and log on by using your Administrator password.
  4. Type map, and then press ENTER.
  5. Note the drive you want to reformat.

    NOTE: The drive letters may be different in Recovery Console than in Windows 2000.
  6. Type format x: /fs:fat32, where x is the letter of the drive you want to format and FAT32 is the file system you want to use.
  7. Type y to confirm your choice. When the formatting process is finished, type exit to restart the computer.

Freeing Up Disk Space

If you are running low on disk space, you can delete the following files and empty the following folders:
  • Empty all Windows 2000 Recycle Bins.
  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer, delete all temporary internet files and clear the history files.
  • Delete the Pagefile.sys and the Hiberfil.sys files.

Removing Windows 2000 Files

The following files are hidden files that are located in the root folder of the drive that is used to start the computer. Typically, this is drive C, which is the first drive letter that is available for hard disks. To remove the Windows 2000 system files, follow these steps:
  1. Start Windows Explorer.
  2. On the View menu, click Folder Options.
  3. On the View tab, click Show all files, and then click OK.
  4. In the root folder of drive C or the boot drive, delete the following files:
    • Boot.ini
    • Ntbootdd.sys
    • Ntdetect.com
    • NTLDR

  5. On the drive on which Windows 2000 is installed, delete the following files if they exist:
    • Hiberfil.sys
    • Pagefile.sys

  6. Delete the following folders if they exist:
    • Windows
    • Program Files
    • Documents and Settings

Running Windows 98 or Windows 95 Setup

To run Windows Setup, boot your computer by using the Windows 98 Startup disk or a bootable disk that contains your CD-ROM drivers. After you gain access to the CD-ROM drive, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after each line
sys c:
x:\setup.exe
where x is the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive. There should be a Setup.txt file on the Windows 95 or Windows 98 CD-ROM that explains how to run Setup. There are additional instructions for Setup in the Getting Started guide that is included with Windows 95 or Windows 98.




REFERENCES

For additional information about installing Windows, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
221829 How to Install Windows 98 on a Computer with No Operating System
193902 How to Install Windows 98 Into a New Folder
187632 How to Create a Windows 98 Startup Disk that Supports FAT32
232681 Windows 98 Second Edition Updates Setup.txt File


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Article ID: 250456 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 5.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbhowtomaster kbsetup kbupgrade KB250456

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