Win2k came before XP, and was technically Windows 5.0 XP came along, incorporated some of the features of Win95, and was Windows 5.1. If I look at the first two fingers of either hand, standing next to each other, the first finger represents Win2k and the middle or second finger represents WinXP. That's how close I think they are.
Now here is the thing. Neither Win2K or WinXP will install on a number of modern PCs.
It may look like it does (with XP anyway), but it won't run. Whether it is the huge hard
drives or whatever, I've tried this repeatedly, on different PCs, and it is a no-go.
But there is a way around this. I install and use a recent version of Ubuntu (a Linux
distro), and then add VirtualBox on top of that. Then I have no problem installing or
loading Win2k or WinXP as a VirtualBox client. Runs just fine, and I don't need to add
a ton of protection software to keep it safe, either. I made up my mind that I was not
going past XP, and in fact was sticking to Windows 2000 as long as possible, because
I do not like the authentication and verification processes that began with XP.
So what's my story then? Well, Microsoft has dropped support for Windows 2000, and
a number of applications that I run under it, such as FireFox, advise me to upgrade to
a later OS. That is not my intent. FlashPlayer tries to upgrade, but there is a process
in the XP kernel that is missing in 2k, so it fails. I imagine the number of separations
will increase over time. And I don't want to mess with trying to install and get XP
registered on a virtual machine. Too many related factors that might be changed in
the future that could cause it to refuse to run.
I'm not going to Vista, Win7, Win8, or Win9. Microsoft has soaked enough cash out of
me over the years, and I am not going to keep feeding it more and more money. When
Win2k gives out, it will be Linux for me from then on.
To help keep Win2k going, I was contemplating putting XP's kernel.dll in place of the one that goes with 2k. I may try that yet. But I thought it would be worth asking in case anyone else has tried it, and see what results they got. The problem with messing
with Windows in such a case, is that system files and some others can't be read or
written to while Windows is running. That can be gotten around with three images of
Windows installed, one to run, one to read from, and one to copy to. Unfortunately,
Linux and VirtualBox do not provide ways to read and write directly to VDI folders and files of the clients that get installed using tools that they provide. The read and writes
are by having a suitable child of VirtualBox running, with the other images chained in
as shared folders.
I tried a google search to see anybody had tried something like this, and the closest I
got was a post to these forums about could an XP kernel be copied over itself, likely from another source. Like I said, it takes three images to make this happen, but the
answer to his problem was something else entirely. Now let's see what sort of
answers my question inspires.
Saying Thanks in advance is considered poor taste, so let's just say I appreciate your
possible efforts to answer my question.
Oh, about 95% of WinXP applications run on Windows 2000. Most of the patches and
such for XP came out for Win2k as well. Win2k takes no registration beyond the code
needed when installing it, and I have found that it is still for sale at different prices
from different sources. One source was $36, and another had it at about $160. Might
be worth looking into. The big challenge might be getting SP1 to SP4, but a way
around this is to go for USP5.1, which was an inclusive set of patches, not all of which
came from Mocrosoft.