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Last Updated December 10, 2003

Windows 2000 Post Installation Checklist

After you've completed the basic installation of Windows 2000, there are a few things you'll still need to do before you are actually finished. Here is our list of some post installation procedures you may consider before you start loading your applications and data on to your new system. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this checklist please feel free to e-mail us at 
Turn off personalized menus
Many people find Microsoft's new feature of personalized menus annoying rather than helpful. You can turn these off by right clicking on the task bar, and deselecting "Use Personalized menus"
Make sure your system time is correct
In a Windows 2000 Network, time synchronization with the local domain controller is crucial because it's used as part of the Kerberos encryption scheme. If your system time isn't correct, your machine may not be able to logon and authenticate properly. Take a minute to make sure the Regional settings and the BIOS clock are set correctly. 
Enable the Recovery Console
Having the Recovery Console installed before you actually need it will save you time and frustration if your system ever fails to boot. The Recovery Console can be pre-installed by running the "WINNT32 /CMDCONS" command from the Windows 2000 installation CD-ROM.
Configure the MMC
The new Microsoft Management Console is the universal interface for almost all Administrative tasks you'll need to perform. You can save yourself some headaches later by configuring the MMC with the options you want and saving the file so you can pull it up quickly.
Configure Recovery Options
Right click My Computer, select the Advanced Tab, and click the "Startup and Recovery" option. These options allow you to choose which course of action you want it to take in case of a system failure. You can configure Windows 2000 to automatically reboot, and write to an event log, and create a memory dump that will be useful in debugging the cause of the crash. If you aren't dual-booting several versions of Windows 2000, you can speed up the boot process by changing the "Display list of Operating Systems" value to 10 seconds (the default is 30 seconds.)
Install the Administration and Support Tools
On the Windows 2000 CD-ROM, you'll find a set of optional support tools in the i386\support\tools folder that may be helpful in configuring your installation, and troubleshooting issues. The utilities include the Application Compatibility Tool, the Security Administration Tools, and Help files for Error and Event messages. For Network Administrators, you'll find a more comprehensive set of support tools in the ADMINPAK.MSI file in the i386 directory on the Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server CD-ROMs. You will need to be logged on with Administrator privileges to install these components.
Install the latest Service Pack and Hotfixes
Microsoft's Service Packs contain hundreds of bug fixes and close security holes. The patches released between service packs are known as "hot fixes." You can have Microsoft's Windows Update website automatically scan your system and recommend critical fixes and driver updates by clicking the Windows Update icon on the Start Menu.
Make an Emergency Recovery Disk
If you didn't get a chance to make an Emergency Recovery Disk during the install process, now is your chance. Go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup and you'll see the new wizard for creating an ERD. You'll need a blank formatted 3 1/2" floppy disk. Label and date the disk, and store it in a safe place.
Backup the System State
As long as you are in the Backup menu when creating an Emergency Repair Disk, take a minute to back up the "System State", which includes the boot files and critical portions of the Registry. You'll see this as an option under the normal backup menu. The time to do this is before you begin installing applications which may be incompatible with Windows 2000 and cause your system to become unstable. You may also wish to create a full backup of this "clean" install in case you need to start from scratch at a later date.
Configure the Security Settings
Everyone's security needs are a little different, so you'll need to put some thought into what your risks are. We've put together a separate Windows 2000 Security Checklist that should help you decide what to lock down and how to do it.

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