On its Web site, Microsoft provides a growing range of compatibility tools, information, and links to third-party data. Probably the most significant tool is a standalone compatibility test, the Windows 2000 (Win2K) Readiness Analyzer (i.e., chkupgrd.exe), which Screen A shows. Chkupgrd.exe packages most of Win2K Setup's first-phase code into a 2.6MB executable file that you can run on Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 9x systems. On execution, the tool unpacks into 6MB of code and data and runs a series of tests to identify whether your system is compatible with Win2K Professional (Win2K Pro), which devices require updated drivers beyond those on the Win2K Pro CD-ROM, and which applications you need to upgrade. Chkupgrd.exe has a limited database of compatible and incompatible applications, and it won't run on systems that have a dual-boot setup between Win9x and Win2K Pro or NT. However, if you can use the tool, you'll find that it's a tremendous help.

Additional resources available on Microsoft's Web site include the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL—http://www.microsoft.com/hcl/default.asp), which Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Lab (WHQL) maintains. Devices that the HCL identifies as Win2K Pro-compatible have passed WHQL testing. (Unfortunately, the list mainly includes the devices whose drivers are on the Win2K Pro distribution CD-ROM.) Also available on Microsoft's Web site are a software compatibility database (http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/upgrade/compat/search) and a list of systems requiring BIOS upgrades (http://www.hardwareupdate.com/en/upgrade).