By Andrea Chan
SLAC has relied on the Windows NT 4.0 operating system for
several years, both for the Windows server infrastructure and for the
operating system of Windows client computers. Unfortunately, Microsoft has
ended support for Windows NT 4.0 Workstations as of June 30. SLAC has
therefore been in the process of migrating to Windows 2000 Server for
Windows infrastructure and Windows XP Professional for client computers.
The SCS Windows Infrastructure Group, which provides
support for central servers and services, completed the migration of SCS
servers to Windows 2000 Server in December 2002.
Although there is a lot of work involved in moving to a
new version of an operating system, there are also many benefits offered
by Windows XP:
• Better software and hardware compatibility
• Improved reliability
• Better support for mobile users
• Better security
• Improved management of resources for central and local
Since Windows XP is a more robust operating system, it has
higher hardware requirements than Windows NT 4. The minimum hardware
recommendation is a Pentium II with 400 MHz, 256 MB RAM and 5 GB hard
drive. While systems with less than the minimum requirements can still run
Windows XP, performance may be slow if the hardware does not meet these
What Happens to Systems that are not Migrated?
Now that Microsoft has ended support for Windows NT 4
Workstation, new security patches will no longer be available. If serious
security vulnerabilities occur, there is a risk that these systems will
need to be disconnected from the network.
Microsoft support for the Windows 95/98 and Windows NT
3.51 operating systems has also ended. In addition, Windows ME and Windows
XP Home Edition are not secure. Therefore none of these operating systems
are allowed on the SLAC network.
Status of the Migration
Local administrators are in the midst of migrating their
department’s computers to Windows XP. As of the end of June 2003, about
half of SLAC’s 1,800 Windows client computers have been migrated.
Therefore, with the cooperation of the user community, the Lab should be
able to finish the migration by the December 2003 target date. (See:
If your computer has not yet been migrated, your local
administrator will arrange with you to do this at a mutually convenient
time. Since this requires a reformat of the hard drive, your local
administrator will go through a checklist with you to note the local
settings from the existing system (many of which can be restored after the
It is recommended that user files be stored on the network
drives. If you have files that exist only on your local computer, this is
a good time to work with your local administrator to store them in the
proper locations (either your group directory on the ‘V drive’ or your
home directory on the ‘Z drive’).
Since there are higher security risks in using a Windows
NT 4 Workstation now that Microsoft has ended its support, we would like
to ask users who still need to be migrated to give some priority to
working with their local administrators. If you have questions about the
schedule for migrating your Windows NT 4 client computer, please contact
your local administrator.
For those who wish to learn more about the capabilities of
Windows XP, classes are being offered by SCS, see:
A list of frequently asked questions has been prepared.
For further information, see: