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What is the most up-to-date, flexible version of Windows 2000?

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First of all, it should be noted that I'm not intending to use this system for anything critical or secure. I'm just interested in having some sort of old system to play around and experiment with, either in a VM or on an old laptop, and in learning how secure/modern it's possible to make it.

I've been following the instructions of these posts in order to upgrade a Windows 2000 SP4 install to be as current as it's possible to be, complete with extended kernel and extended core. I have reached the point where Windows Update is accessible and I can download and install updates, including DirectX 9 and Windows Media Player. I've saved all of the executables I've used into a zip file, so that I can install them in order on a fresh VM.

I have two questions at this point:

1. If I download all remaining Windows updates from the online service, will this essentially bring the system up to being 100% current with all available security updates, or are there other things I should do?

2. If I do get a 100% current system, is there a way to "cache" this progress, either by saving the updates themselves or by slipstreaming them into the install ISO, so that I can be sure that if I were to reinstall the system from scratch later down the line, it would reach the same state? I was very surprised that Windows Update was even reachable from Windows 2000, and worry that it may disappear.

Really I'm looking for the most straightforward way to go from a completely blank VM or computer to a clean, trim, up-to-date install of Windows 2000 that is ready to have user software installed on it. I am aware of HFSLIP, but I'm not sure how to use it or whether it supports the extended kernel stuff; if it does, I will look into doing stuff with it.

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The HFSLIP 2000 FullPack is the best slipstreaming option around:

It includes many updates not available through Windows Update, including post-EOL updates and XP Embedded updates. IE6 SP1 and DX 9.0c are also integrated.

Just a few notes:

-it works in Windows 10 but UAC should be disabled

-run nLite for driver slipstreaming before running HFSLIP

However, I currently recommend excluding the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 cab as a program (Vegas Pro 10) broke with the integrated version.

You run the HFSLIP script after extracting it, where a set of folders is created. The HFSLIP FullPack has the same folder structure IIRC, so extract everything to the applicable sections and everything should work fine.

The extended kernel and core cannot be integrated.

Someone made an nLite addon for the extended core. Not sure how it fits in with the HFSLIP 2000 FullPack since that updates some of the kernel-mode files as well. I guess you could use the alternative way of using nLite by feeding it a file explaining file changes (look for posts from late April 2019 in 2000 USP 5.2 thread) or someone could make a package compatible with HFSLIP:

The extended kernel could also be integrated in the same way I guess, but its customiziability poses a problem.

Edited by win32
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Brilliant, thanks for the info.

When you say the extended kernel/core cannot be integrated, do you just mean for the slipstreaming process? Can I still install it after, once Windows is fully set up? I've found that having XP application support is quite useful.

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I checked Windows Update after having installed from a slipstreamed ISO and it said that there were still updates available for the system. Is there any way of adding these to HFSLIP so that they are included in the ISO?

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What are these updates? If you were to look up their KBXXXXXXX numbers, you could find them on https://twilczynski.com/windows/updates/ and add them to the "HF" folder (IIRC, it's been a couple of months but I think it's the right folder).

However, those were probably excluded from the HFSLIP package as they may have been superseded by newer updates or outright buggy.

Edited by win32
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Ah, I see. So unless a new unofficial update is released for Windows 2000 at some point in the future, the current state of HFSLIP should be comprehensive and I should never need to connect the system to Windows Update at all?

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12 hours ago, X6Herbius said:

Wow, this is a very comprehensive guide. Thanks!

@X6Herbius win32 is really the source of all that, but I organized it into a very clear and procedural format that anybody should be able to use to get W2K up and running. All the steps should be correct as I followed them myself.

My Win2K is as functional (probably more function, except for Office 2010) than Windows XP, really. There's not really a whole lot I can't do on it.

I have modern web browsers, modern (XP) software, and everything is just very nice, smooth, speedy, and stable. My hunch is Microsoft booted this off the market quickly so that people wouldn't have adopted 2000 en masse and stuck with it forever. But I guess that sort of happened with XP anyways...

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