Suggestions for Preparing to Install
WINDOWS MILLENNIUM EDITION
as an UPGRADE
Revised January 3, 2004
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by Gary Woodruff
© 2001-2004 by Author, All Rights Reserved
Or: For those who like fooling around with their computer and absolutely positively have to know they are clean and ready for the Millennium Upgrade. The average user will probably not need to do anything other then to make sure any AntiVirus program is disabled! This is my compilation, but I used suggestions from my fellow Desktop Systems MVPs. See the Desktop Systems Home Page.
Remember that the $59 Millennium Upgrade Version will only upgrade a Win98 installation. The $109 Upgrade Version will upgrade back through Win95. Both will clean install, but with Windows ME an upgrade is best so that you have the fewest problems with device drivers.
I suggest you look at the text files in the root directory of the Millennium Upgrade CD. They are a good resource for the install. They include: TIPS.TXT, SETUP.TXT, and CLEANHD.TXT.
If you are concerned with hardware compatibility issues, check them out here first: Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility List.
Also: Millennium starts by copying all of its CAB files to your hard drive, so it may complain about lack of space on C:. If you don’t like the idea of having the CAB files on C:, first do a copy of the whole win9x folder from the CD into a folder on a different hard drive partition, together with SETUP.EXE, and run the install from there. Leave them there after the install, as Millennium likes to have its files at hand.
SPECIFIC UPGRADE SUGGESTIONS
- Fix all known problem issues present in Win98. The operating system upgrade will not likely fix existing problems. It may fix some minor problems, but will not help major ones. If it is time for a clean install, go ahead and install Win98 and then upgrade it to Win ME. This is also a good time to delete (using the Add/Remove Programs applet in Control Panel) any programs that you do not use or that have become antiquated. Get rid of any unnecessary programs now!
- If you want to use MS Fax, make sure you already have it installed. You will get an error message if you try to install it in Millennium. You can force an install, but already having it in place is best. (EDITOR’S NOTE: This advice also applies to the Microsoft DSS-80 Sound System. You cannot install it on Millennium and have everything work. You can only get that by installing it on Win98 first, then upgrading to Win ME.)
- Flash the latest BIOS. This may not be as important as with Win98 SE with its shutdown problems, but is still a good idea if your BIOS is more then two years old. If you have not flashed a BIOS before, follow the update instructions from your computer or motherboard manufacturer exactly. This update can do serious damage to your computer if not done correctly. Better, if it is your first time, to take it to a technician or have a competent friend come over and help. If in Doubt, do not do this yourself!
- If you have upgraded Internet Explorer, you may have the IE Repair Tool available. If you do, run it to make sure IE is in good order. You can look for the Repair Tool at the following locations:
- IE 5.01 = Add Remove | IE 5 and Internet Tools | Add/Remove | Repair
- IE 5.5 = System Information | Tools | Repair IE
- and of course the Add Remove option is still there for 5.5
NOTE: It is also suspected if you have upgraded to IE 5.01 or 5.5, or to the new Windows Media Player 7, you may be better off uninstalling them and reverting to the default versions in Windows Millennium Edition. This may keep file version conflicts from occurring.
- In the past, I suggested at this point updating your Video Driver. However, Millennium makes this process so much easier that I now suggest you do this after the upgrade. After the upgrade, with the new driver ready, you can just go to Start | Settings | Control Panel, select System, then click the Device Manager tab. Click the + next to Display Adapters, highlight your adapter, and click Properties. Select the Driver tab, click Update Driver, and follow the instructions.
- Shut down the Screen Saver. Right click on an empty spot on the desktop, select "Properties," then click the "Screen Saver Tab". Select "None" for your screen saver. While you are at the Screen Saver tab, check to be sure that Power Management settings are all set to Never.
- Manually delete the Temp files. Remember, if you do this manually, that some applications use the Temp directory during an install and other items may end up here by accident. It would be a good idea to look at what you are deleting and move anything in question to another folder to scrutinize later before deleting. Folders to clean this way include:
- Temporary Internet Files from IE. Open IE, go to Tools | Internet Options | General Tab. You can also do this from Explorer by going to C:\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
- Recycle Bin. Right Click the Recycle Bin and delete Files. With Norton Utilities, delete Norton Protected Files from here as well.
Alternatively, use the Disk Cleanup Tool. Open My Computer, select the drive, right click on its icon, and select Properties.
- I then run ScanDisk, EasyCleaner, RegClean 4.1a, and Windows Disk Defragmenter to make sure there are no errors, and that all the files are located in one place. (You can substitute your own favorite utilities.) Do this before the Millennium Upgrade and update EasyCleaner to version 2.0, since older versions of EasyCleaner will remove Registry keys required for Millennium’s Help system to run, effectively breaking it. RegClean 4.1a needs updated before using with Millennium. Also Symantec states you should upgrade to their new versions of Norton Utilities for Millennium. In other words, do not use this type of utility until they are updated specifically for Millennium.
- Norton AntiVirus still works with Millennium, as does its AutoProtect feature. The Norton Protected Recycle Bin and SpeedDisk in Norton Utilities (now Norton System Works) also work fine. Again, Symantec says you should update to their new versions for Millennium. At this late date it is probably not a good idea to try to keep an older version running, so I would heed their advice. I am most comfortable removing these utilities completely via the Add/Remove Programs applet in Control Panel, then installing the new versions after the upgrade. You may also run into an issue with Symantec’s program GoBack. It is a good idea to remove GoBack as well (via Add/Remove Programs, as above). In some cases you may have to go to their site and use their removal tools to prevent additional issues. Historically, Symantec has had issues with Upgrading and addresses these on their site.
- If you are familiar with SCANREG, run SCANREG /OPT /FIX from a real DOS prompt from one to four times in succession. This will fix and compact your Registry, always a good idea and particularly well-advised just before Upgrading.
- Launch MSCONFIG. On its General tab, uncheck the "Process Startup Group" box. This will keep any stray application from running and interfering with the upgrade. (Remember to recheck this after you are finished.) Sometimes ME Setup will say mysteriously that it has still found a driver running that will get in its way. Do not worry, let it reboot to inhibit whatever it is, then run setup again and it should upgrade fine.
- To disable Norton AntiVirus, you have to go to "Options" "Auto-Protect tab," uncheck "Load Auto-Protect at startup," "OK" out, and answer Yes to "Do you want to unload now" to keep it from reloading when SE reboots during installation. You can restart AutoProtect after the upgrade, but go to Norton AntiVirus and uncheck "Scan System files at Startup" under "Startup Scan," as it should no longer run. This will probably happen automatically during the upgrade, but it will not hurt to be ahead of the game. Also, check your BIOS to make sure you do not have BIOS AntiVirus protection enabled. Other AntiVirus programs may have similar features that need to be disabled. See your documentation for instructions.
Your system will be squeaky clean and ready for the Millennium Upgrade. It normally takes from 25 minutes to an hour, depending on the system.
Remember to go to the Windows Update site soon after the install and make any updates available.
System Restore is found at Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore. A new Restore Point is automatically created if you have room on the install partition upon completion of the upgrade. Remember this if things deteriorate soon after the upgrade.
When I upgraded to Millennium, all my settings made the trip as set. It would be a good idea to check any settings you normally make, such as Security settings, View as a Web Page, etc., soon after the upgrade. In my original install, I had Scheduled Task turned off. Millennium turned Scheduled Task back on to enable Automatic Updates and PCHealth Scheduler for Data Collection. I turned PCHealth off in Scheduled Task, and then under "Advanced" selected "Stop Using Scheduled Task" to put things back as I had them before the Upgrade. You may choose to leave these features running.
If you have Norton AntiVirus installed, you may also get a warning shortly after the install about how your files have changed. Choose "Inoculate," NOT "Fix." Newer versions tell you what to do if you have just installed a new Operating System. However, be careful because if you do the wrong thing it plays havoc with your system file dates.
It is a good idea, after the install, to delete everything from the Windows\applog folder so task monitor gets a clean start. You can still use SCANREG /OPT /FIX periodically to keep your Registry healthy. (Run it from Start | Run.) It runs much faster and will reboot after running.
Remember to turn back on:
- Your Screen Saver and any Power Saving settings you normally run.
- Recheck "Process startup Group" in MSCONFIG.
- Reenable your AntiVirus AutoProtect feature.
- Check for and upgrade your Video drivers.