Win2000 and gaming - bad idea?

Iain Lambert

Screenwriter
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Jun 7, 1999
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I'm sick to the back teeth with the instability of my Windows Millenium machine, and also there is a free cut-down version of Maya on several magazines this month that I would love to use but is NT/2k/XP only.

However, along with generic Windows apps that clearly work on both I play a fair number of games (Midtown Madness 2, Shogun:Total War, Counter-Strike, Quake 3 and Grand Prix 3 are the main ones) on the machine. Are there any nasty compatibility problems I need to be aware of? Having Millenium I'm already used to the idea that my old DOS games don't work any more.

I'm also about to put Redhat 7.3 on my other drive; that wouldn't cause any hassle would it? The system is already dual booting ME and Mandrake 8.2, but this latest 'drake is so horrible that I'm replacing it with the Redhat.
 

Rob Gillespie

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Windows XP is better for gaming Iain. I've got a few older games which wont even install in W2K and yet run quite happily in XP.

The dual-boot should be fine. How are you handling the boot loader? Grub? Lilo?
 

Brad_V

Second Unit
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Mar 8, 2002
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I have Windows 2000. Has played all the newer stuff I've tried. "Newer" being Quake Arena, Nocturne, Blair Witch, stuff like that. Also older stuff like... hmmm, haven't played them in so long I can't think of the names!

I don't know why XP would be any different for games since they are both basically the same thing underneath -- except XP has the extra registration annoyances and things which is why everyone I know uses Win2K when deciding between the two.

I don't know what it is with Millenium. It *should* be a slightly-upgraded version of 98, but I have yet to see it be more stable than 98. Win2k... man, finally things don't crash. I'm so used to 98 that I keep expecting things to crash when I start taxing the system like they used to, but they don't.
 

Iain Lambert

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Rob, if it weren't for the registration issues and some minor quibbles about the Teletubby look of the GUI, I probably would go with XP. As it is though, its really not something I'd like to do. I see that Midtown 2, UT and Half-Life are billed as running on 2K, and with Q3A fine (thanks Brad) the only thing that really concerns me is Shogun. The Site lists only 95 and 98 with no NT, but that may be because its pre-ME, 2K and XP. Certainly getting it running even on ME involved a couple of driver updates and several megs of patches, so this might be 'interesting'. Fansites do list it as 2K compatible, though, and I can always build a dual-boot for it later with '98.

On the Linux front, Lilo is running fine, so unless there is a really pressing need to go to Grub I'll stick with what I know works. Actually, Linux runs Q3A and UT rather well anyway, even if they are hassle under Windows.
 

MikeAlletto

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Mar 11, 2000
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Win2K works fine. Counter Strike is the oldest game I've got that I still play and it works great. I refuse to go up to XP because of their facist copy protection scheme. I just jumped to 2000 maybe a month ago from 98SE and its been rock solid and fast. I just dropped another 256MB stick in there also so now I'm up to 512.
 

Iain Lambert

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Thanks for the vote of confidence - with 384Mb I think I'll be fine with 2K, at least on that front.

I'll be taking a full backup to CDs of the current install (I think I have some ghosting options in Nero), but I believe that 2K should be happy on a FAT32 partition. Does anyone think I'll get a big improvement from an NTFS reformat however?
 

Chris Bardon

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you make XP look like 2000 etc? Thinking about giving it another shot myself, but that would mean formatting and a LOT of backup work...
 

Rob Gillespie

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Does anyone think I'll get a big improvement from an NTFS reformat however?
You don't need to reformat. Open up the command prompt and type:

convert c: /fs:NTFS

Of course, it's a one-way conversion.

You may notice a small change in speed one way or the other (NTFS doesn't automatically mean faster or slower speeds) but we're talking like... minor. The best thing about NTFS is that it's a lot more secure. It's also more efficent with larger partitions.
 

Dave E H

Supporting Actor
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Apr 23, 2002
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W2k is pretty solid - even for gaming. I'd recommend it - it's able to handle all the games I've thrown at it.

I'm going to XP on most of my machines - at least all my laptops - it just rocks for laptops.
 

Wayne Bundrick

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There's one bad thing about convert c: /fs:NTFS and that is you end up with 512-byte clusters instead of the more practical size (typically 4K) you would get with a fresh format. If you're doing a fresh install of XP or 2000 and you plan to use NTFS then it's better to format using NTFS during install rather than converting later.
 

Kimmo Jaskari

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Wayne is right. The converted file systems will work just fine but also be more prone to fragmentation than one created from scratch with format.

As for game compatibility, I've been using 2K now for quite some time and it works just fine. Once you get it installed you should fire up the Microsoft update site and download the compatibility update package (after you've gotten all the tons of security fixes and IE 5.5); that allows you to right-click on an icon for a program and select the "compatibility" tab. There you can select to run the program (game) in a "compatibility layer". The few times I've had problems with something ancient it has helped (but it's no guarantee of course).
 

Iain Lambert

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Jun 7, 1999
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Thanks everyone. Since I plan on reformatting and rebuilding my Linux partitions in the next week as well (you'd never guess that its a bank holiday weekend in the UK this weekend), I might as well go with a reformat on the re-install of Windows as well.

Acutally, thats a good point. At the moment my Linux partition very helpfully mounts my Windows partition as a drive, so I can transfer files across. I'm right in thinking it will read NTFS as well aren't I?
 

Peter Gizzi

Agent
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Mar 23, 2002
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Iain, nope. That's the only drawback to NTFS on a dual-boot system. You will not be able to read the mounted windows partition.

pg
 

Iain Lambert

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Jun 7, 1999
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Thanks Peter. I guess I'll keep it FAT32 then. The security thing isn't a real issue, as there isn't anything I don't want my wife seeing on the drive.
 

Mike St.Louis

Supporting Actor
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Sep 22, 1999
Messages
518
A slightly unrelated question.

Does anyone know if "The Sims" will run under Windows 2000 or XP? It says on the box that "NT is not supported". I don't want to plunk down cash if the game won't run.
 

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