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Installation of Windows 2000 Advanced Server

Working complete PC
Blank Diskette
Student Diskette, "New Boot A Ver 2.0+"
Student CD-ROM, "Room 6359"
Student CD-ROM, "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server OEM"
The student will become familiar with:
The Windows NT family installation process,
Planning for installation,
Preparation for installation,
Alternate methods of launching the installation,
Performing the full, clean installation.
The student will learn how to perform a full, clean installation of the Windows 2000 Server operating system. The student will learn how to configure and use the Windows 2000 server operating system. The student will also learn how to launch the operating system setup from the Windows 2000 OEM installation media as well as from a DOS prompt including how to create the Windows 2000 Setup diskettes which can also start the installation process.
Windows 2000 Server Installation Preparation

This is the first in a series of tutorials intended to accompany many exercises, modules and lectures of the Microcomputer Service and Maintenance 3 course as well as the Microcomputer Networking and Maintenance 1 course. The complete listings of these tutorials in order for each class is at the bottom of this page.

Before installing a Windows 2000 Server the operation should be carefully planned to avoid configurational problems in the future which could render the installation useless to the point of having to reinstall all over again.

Here are the minimal planning steps that should be undertaken prior to installing Windows 2000 Advanced Server:

The Microsoft Hardware Compatibility List

All hardware on the system fom the motherboard and its chipset and the processor to the hard drives should be checked against the HCL at Microsoft's website to be sure that they have been tested with the OS. Windows 2000 has been around long enough that most equipment has had drivers written for it by now, but that does not ensure that the installation process will succeed without crashing. It is better to have all components particularly the motherboard that are approved on the HCL.

Here are the Windows 2000 Server minimum system requirements:

ProcessorPentium(I)133MhzPentium MMX 166Mhz
Hard Disk1GB2GB
CD-ROMNot Required1 from the HCL
Floppy DriveNot Requirednon-USB prefered (check the HCL)
NICNot Required1 NIC from the HCL
Pointing Device1 from the HCL1 from the HCL

The Role of the Server

There are essentially four typical roles of a Windows 2000 Server that is planned for installation:

  1. A new network's first server: The first server, a Domain Controller.
  2. An existing network's additional server: A subsequent server, a special purpose server called a member server.
  3. An existing network's fault tolerance support server.
  4. An existing network's new child domain controller.

Installing the network's first server as the Primary Domain Controller is simple enough, but decisions made at this point can severely impede future growth and development of the network. The scope of this study falls beyond that of the PC repair technician and lies within the scope of the Microsoft Certified System Engineer course track.

Installation of a subordinate role server or fault tolerance server must be coordinated closely with the system administrator who is fully familiar with the network's existing infrastructure and who possesses the administrative rights to add servers to the network. Again this subject matter falls within the course work of the MCSE certification classes.

The Network Type

Generally speaking Windows 2000 Server itself is quite an investment and can influence further investment in hardware. The reason for employing Windows 2000 Server is to implement a Client/Server network, otherwise all of the expenditure is simply not worth it. In the event that an existing peer-to-peer network exists to which the server is being added, then it is strongly recommended to upgrade the entire network to a Client/Server network and implement a domain controller with the server.

Storage and Backup Plans

Any mission critical server should be designed with both fault tolerance and backup systems implementation. Any machine that functions in a business environment is understood to jeopardize profitable performance of the business when it is compromised (crashed or down). As such fault tolerance in the form of hardware or to a much lesser extent software RAIDs should be considered. ATA/IDE RAIDs are effective although limited means of at least mirroring the boot partition, and a bootable floppy can serve as an adequate backup of a compromised system partition, but it is the users data that is of the most critical importance. This information should be kept on at least a separate mirrored set of drives (two more drives totalling four) if not on a striped with parity set (three more drives totalling five). As the number of drives exceeds the standard ATA specification it is probably best to consider dual SCSI controllers and drives at the very least if not fully hardware level RAID SCSI controller cards for maximum performance and reliability. See Designing Mission Critical Servers for details on working with such controllers.

Tape backups are dreadfully slow and there seem to exist no fully compatible industry-wide standards for these devices. Businesses however, seem to still prefer tape backup devices despite these short comings. Modern high capacity, high reliabiliity tape backup drives can run many thousands of dollars and the technician can count on having to implement and operate these backup systems. It is recommended to become thoroughly familiar with the particular system the system is using and to recommend alternative backup systems for new servers including CD-R/RW drives and DVD±R/RW drives and software. It is critical to set up a system, perform a backup, then restore the backup before the system goes online to be sure that the backup system actually works.

Server Services and Protocols

Based on the choices already made in the above points, if the server is to be a domain controller, then Active Directory will need to be installed on the server. If it is the first server of a new network then it will also need DHCP, DNS, and possibly WINS. If it is a member server its role should be clearly defined already such as the DHCP server, or a file server that will hold the central customer data base separating it from the domain controller which does all authentication and runs DHCP, DNS, etc. See the installation of a first server tutorial track at the bottom of the page for more details on the nature, installation and configuration of these services.

If this server will be supporting older Windows clients including Windows 3.x, Windows 95, or Windows NT these operating systems depend on NetBEUI to some degree and the server will need to run NetBEUI. With these clients a WINS server would be a good service to run also. If the clients are currently clients of older Novell servers then they may currently be setup with the NWLINK IPX/SPX-compatible protocol. Part of the installation and/or upgrade to Windows 2000 server, client upgrades and configuration changes may need to be considered, but the server can run and support the NWLINK IPX/SPX-compatible protocol.

Licensing Mode

When installing the server in the real world the licensing mode and legal application of the losftware liceses is a critical issue. The server must be installed with the ocrrect legal licensing or the company being in copyright violation could literally be sued for quite a large amount and pay legal fines and penalties as well. Microsoft offers two different licensing modes: Per Seat and Per Server. In using the Per Server licensing mode, the number of concurrent connections is paid for at the server, meaning that the server's price reflects how many concurrent connections it will support. For example, a Windows 2000 Server 5-User license means that the server will support a maximum of five authenticated users logged on simultaneously at any given time. The cost is around $350 (at the time of this writing). A 50-user license copy of the server, may cost as much as $3000 dollars but will support 50 authenticated logged on users at a time.

Using the Per Seat licensing mode means that the cost of the cleints is paid for at the client machine rather than at the server. In this scenario each client must have a Client Access License or CAL installed in order to be recognised and authenticated by any Windows 2000 Server. Each CAL costs about $200 dollars.

Here is a scenario in which the difference in the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) to the company will be clear. If the company needs to purchase and install 10 Windows 2000 Servers to support 50 Clients then the 10 copies of 50-user server will cost $30,000. But 10 copies of plain (5-user) server will cost $3500. Add the cost of 50 copies of CALs = $10,000 to this and total cost using Per Seat is $13,500 a significant savings by using this licensing method and a major part of the server installation planning for a Microsoft network. Remember that any compatible Windows Client that has a CAL installed may access any number of servers as needed, this is where the savings is happening.

Server and Domain Names

If the network is a new one then consider the ultimate ramifications of the names of the server and the domain. These names have a 15 character limit and cannot contain weird characters like: ><[]:;|=,+*"? These are legal but not recommended: ~!#$%^&(){} The best characters other than letters and numbers to include would be dashes or underscores. If the network has a naming convention use it. If the network does not have a naming convention then start one. ARCO Inc is a startup company but the owner has expressed a strong desire and belief that his company will have branch offices across the U.S. within a few years. Even if his plans fall short it would not hurt to name servers by their city or region and function: "ARCO_MIA_EXCH01" being Arco Inc's first Miami based Exchange Server or even "MIA_DC01" for the Miami office's first Domain Controller. Remember also that there are those professionals who advocate short names mainly due to the fact that the domain name and the server's names end up having to be typed into network pathnames more often than any other single names on the network so having to constantly start a UNC pathname with: "\\ARCO_MIA_EXCH001\..." can get irritating quickly whereas: "\\MARS\..." or "\\DC1\..." are less likely to cause carpel tunnel syndrome. These are fine as long as they are well documented as to their roles and they do not get duplicated by accident.

The domain name is not directly tied to the Internet but it can end up so. Convince a new company to research and register a domain name with the Internet authorities even if they do not immediately plan to actually run a website using that domain name, just to have it set aside and available to use, if they do decide to run the website in the future. The cost of reserving a new available domain name is $70 every two years which is a pittance expence for a start up company. If is already taken try several variations like:,,, etc until one is found available. Then contact the Internet authorities and reserve the domain name and pay the fee. At that point the domain can be named the same so if the domain name registered ended up being for example then the domain can be named also. This allows for a trouble-free and seamless addition of live Internet web services to the existing network. Otherwize remember that even if renaming a domain is possible, it has the potential for creating far too many headaches to be practical so choose the name of the domain well before beginning the installation.

Additional Notes Prior to Beginning Installation

In preparing for the installation of Windows 2000 Server it is highly recommended that a "clean" installation be performed versus an upgrade of any kind. For upgrading to Windows 2000 Server see Upgrading to Windows 2000 Server. For upgrading to Windows 2000 Professional see Upgrading to Windows 2000 Professional.

In the case of performing a clean installation the additional information that must be input during the setup of Windows 2000 Server consists of:

Preparing the System for Installation

When constructing a new server from custom hardware, all components having been verified at the Microsoft HCL at their website, the system should be constructed and tested using DOS, if for nothing more than to be sure that the system works at all and to be able to surface scan the hard drives. Once the system appears to boot normally and all surface scans (even of brand new drives, nothing man made is perfect), then the installation of the server software, Windows 2000 Advanced Server can begin. In a later exercise the appliance of a service pack "cold" (prior to installation) will be studied. The latest service packs available should always be used since these contain "known issue" (Microsoft jargon for bugs) fixes. One of the known issues may be that the installation crashes with the motherboard you have chosen!

One last server preparation note: if commissioned to set up a server and the user refuses to purchase an anti-virus software package for you to set up on the system before testing backups (which anti-viruses can easily inhibit) and bringing on line, then get it in writing that you are absolutely and firmly NOT responsible for the dooms day that awaits them...not "if", but "when"...

See Slip-streaming A Service Pack in Windows 2000, Dealing with ACPI in Windows 2000, Designing Missions Critical Servers, Building a Windows 2000 Advanced Server Cluster, Post-installation Procedures on Windows 2000 Server.

Booting the System with the Windows 2000 Install CD-ROM

The system was prepared for the installation outlined in this tutorial by first partitioning and formatting FAT32 and running scandisk with surface scan. After this the drives were "wiped" (writes zeros to the entire drive). After this enter the BIOS and set the boot sequence to first the CD-ROM drive, then the hard drive. Any other setting in the BIOS should be done at this point. A good starting point for any system is to load BIOS defaults. This way if some peculiar setting has been made by somebody this can be eliminated from affecting the system in the future if the BIOS gets cleared (by a dead battery, for example). The system should have the Plug-n-Play feature of the BIOS enabled to take advantage of the OS and its driver's ability to allocate resources. Many drivers will not work if this feature is disabled. The HDD was installed as the Master of the Primary ATA Controller and no other drives are present during the installation in this tutorial. This system will be a first server on the network and will ultimately be the Domain Controller for a small LAN. A mirror drive will be installed later and be configured for this function.

At this point the Windows 2000 Advanced Server CD-ROM can be inserted into the CD-ROM drive and the system can be rebooted. The installation disc used is the "Windows 2000 Rollout" package which contains Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows 2000 Advanced Server. A small menu prompts for the letter of which operating system will be installed. Upon hitting the [Enter] key the full installation process begins...

Procedures - The Text Portion of the Windows 2000 Server Setup

1. The Windows 2000 installation process begins with the Setup program making a preliminary investigation into the system hardware. This is the same for all versions and packages of Windows 2000 and the following is displayed on screen as this takes place:

Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration...

2. After this the Windows 2000 "minikernel" loads and presents the following screen:

 Windows 2000 Setup

  Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver...         

3. The message at the bottom is displayed for a few seconds during which time the user can press the [F6] and will be allowed to insert a floppy disk with the drivers for any hard disk controllers that Windows 2000 cannot access normally during this phase of the installation process. In this case the ATA/IDE controllers are industry standard compatible and this action is not necessary.

After the message disappears the Windows 2000 "minikernel" loads all of its standard drivers and components and then proceeds to the next screen:

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

   Welcome to Setup.

   This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft(R)
   Windows 2000(TM) to run on your computer.

       To set up Windows 2000 now, press ENTER.

       To repair a Windows 2000 installation, press R.

       To quit Setup without installing Windows 2000, press F3.

  ENTER=Continue R=Repair F3=Quit                                              

4. This is the first screen that identifies which Windows 2000 package is being installed by the title in the upper corner. Since this is a new clean install and we have no need to bail out yet, we would hit [Enter] to proceed to the next screen:

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

   Setup has determined that your computer's startup hard disk is new
   or has been erased, or that your computer is running an operating
   system that is incompatible with Windows 2000.

   If the hard disk is new or has been erased, or if you want to discard
   its current contents, you can choose to continue Setup.

   If your computer is running an operating system that is incompatible
   with Windows 2000, continuing Setup may damage or destroy the existing
   operating system.

    To continue Setup, press C.
     Caution: Any data currently on your computer's startup hard disk
     will be lost.

    To quit Setup, press F3.

  C=Continue Setup  F3=Quit                                                    

5. This screen only appears if there is no partition table (our case), the partition table is corrupt (better to wipe it than leave it like that), or the partitions are unrecognized by Setup (Linux, OS/2, etc.).

Otherwise, this screen will not appear and the installation process will proceed directly to the next screen:

 Windows 2000 Licensing Agreement

  F8=I agree  ESC=I do not agree  PAGE DOWN=Next Page                          

6. The EULA is displayed in the above screen. It is a legal document and you must agree to it for the OS to end up running on your system. It is recommended that all users of this software read it all the way through at least once in their lives just so you know what Microsoft is making you agree to (they could be demanding our first born!)

Press [F8] to proceed with the installation which takes the process to the next screen:

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

   The following list shows the existing partitions and
   unpartitioned space on this computer.

   Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select an item in the list.

    To set up Windows 2000 o nthe selected item, press ENTER.

    To create a partition in the unpartitioned space, press C.

    To delete the selected partition, press D.

 3091 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi
        Unpartitioned space                    3091MB                

  ENTER=Install  C=Create Partition  F3=Quit                                   

7. There is no turning back later if the partitions are created incorrectly at this point. The system will be a Domain Controller which means it will have to use NTFS. Our drive is fairly small and it is not recommended to make a C: drive small but the C: drive will be completely isolated from users and another D: drive will be created for data and user access.

To do this the choice [C] has to be pressed here otherwise, Windows 2000 will take the entire drive as the C: drive automatically:

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

   You asked Setup to create a new partition on
   3091 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi.

        To create the new partition, enter a size below and
        press ENTER.

        To go back to the previous screen without creating
        the partition, press ESC.

   The minimum size for the new partition is      4 megabytes (MB).
   The maximum size for the new partition is   3087 megabytes (MB).
   Create partition of size (in MB):  1500 

  ENTER=Create  ESC=Cancel                                                     

8. With the cursor behind the size of "3087" backspace over it and then type in the desired size; here we used 1500. Then press [Enter] which will take you back to the previous screen:

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

   The following list shows the existing partitions and
   unpartitioned space on this computer.

   Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select an item in the list.
     To set up Windows 2000 on the selected item, press ENTER.

     To create a partition in the unpartitioned space, press C.

    To delete the selected partition, press D.

 3091 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi
     C:  New (Unformatted)                    1500MB                
         Unpartitioned space                  1591MB

  ENTER=Install  D=Delete Partition  F3=Quit                                   

9. The new partition is highlighted so we can press [Enter] to proceed to install Windows 2000 Server on this partition. This takes us to the following screen which only appears if the partition has just been created (if it was an existing partition the following screen would be skipped):

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

   The partition you selected is not formatted. Setup will now
   format the partition.

   Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select the file system
   you want, and then press ENTER.

   If you want to select a different partition for Windows 2000,
   press ESC.

     Format the partition using the NTFS file system   
     Format the partition using the FAT file system

  ENTER=Continue  ESC=Cancel                                                   

10. Since this server is going to be a Domain Controller Setup should be instructed to format it as NTFS. Although the partition's file system can be changed after the installation is complete with the CONVERT command, CONVERT is very "dirty" and leaves a mess on the drive which can adversely affect such structures as dynamic drive mirrors or data recovery utilities. Since this is undesirable, the installation should go in with a fresh NTFS file system that will not end up cluttered with junk. Hitting [Enter] with the NTFS choice highlighted launches the next screen:

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

                 Please wait while Setup formats the partition.

       C:  New (Unformatted)                    1500 MB

                        on 3091 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi.

   Setup is formatting...



11. The two previous screens will obviously not appear if the installation is going into a partition that already existed and was already formatted and functional. After the format process is complete the first major file copy begins automatically and looks like this:

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

            Please wait while Setup copies files to the Windows 2000
                            installation folders.
                   This may take several minutes to complete.

   Setup is copying files...


12. Windows 2000 setup will automatically proceed through the next 2 screens and reboot the system with no input from the user:

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

        Please wait while Setup initializes your Windows 2000 configuration.

  Saving configuration...                                                      

 Windows 2000 Server Setup

   This portion of Setup has completed successfully

   If there is a floppy disk in drive A:, remove it.

   To restart your computer, press ENTER.
   When your computer restarts, Setup will continue.


             Your computer will reboot in 7 seconds...

Procedures - The GUI Portion of the Windows 2000 Server Setup

13. Upon reboot the system will now launch Windows 2000 via its native boot sequence. A boot menu is not necessary on this system since it was a clean install so NTLDR proceeds to load Windows 2000 into memory which looks like this:

Starting Windows...

For troubleshooting and advanced startup options for Windows 2000, press F8.

14. As the text only portion of the loader finishes it initializes the full GUI Windows 2000 kernel which proceeds normally and looks like this:

15. At the late stages of the kernel load, the text mode portion of set up has preloaded settings so that instead of actually launching the operating system (which has not actually been installed yet, the full GUI mode installation routine launches instead. As it prepares for the install it looks like this:

16. Now that the operating system kernel and the installation program are ready the first screen of the installation wizard appears. Click Next:

17. The install wizard proceeds to install all devices that can run on standardized drivers:

18. The install wizard gives the user the opportunity to make regional selections here which will affect the keyboard layout for foreign language support as well as standard notation for time/date and currency. The default is Regional choice is U.S. so click Next:

19. Under normal circumstances I never recommend actually filling these fields out with authentic data since it can sometimes be read by hackers if the system goes on line. However, in a business setting it may be necessary to fill in the company's name but the owner or manager's name should still be kept out of this screen because it gets automatically filled in to almost every piece of software that will touch the computer:

20. Time to pay for it. Remember that possession of the installation CD-ROM does not constitute ownership of the software. It is the possession of a valid product key that constitutes legal possession (you never actually own should have read the EULA back in the text mode portion that you agreed to earlier) of the software. Enter the 25-character alphanumeric key and click Next:

21. This is one of the few "important" screens of the install wizard where one must understand exactly what the choices are and be sure that the correct choice is made. The Microsoft servers offer two completely different licensing methods for installation. The first method is called "Per Server" This means that the server will allow a certain number of concurrent connections to it and no more. Exceeding this will place the network out of the legal licensure limits that were agreed to earlier and you could run the risk of copyright enfringement. In general the purchaser of the software is the one who knows exactly what they paid for. In "Per Server" the purchaser may have bought a Windows 2000 Server "5 user license" That is a "Per Server" license that will permit five separate workstations to log on and use it at any single moment legally. You can have 10 different machines that do access it, but only five can do so at the same time.

In the "Per Seat" licensing mode the server software that you are installing has no fixed number of users mentioned in the license per se. Instead each client workstation has to have its own Client Access License (CAL) installed on it in order to gain access to the server. If these are not installed then once again the network will be in violation of the licensure agreement.

The advantage of using "Per Seat" versus "Per Server" is discussed above in the Planning section. It is also important to be aware that any server can be converted from one licensing scheme to the other ONCE in its active lifetime. If you want to switch it again, you will have to completely wipe the drive and install again from scratch. Not a wondeful idea having to recreate years of accumulated program data and settings and user data and settings. Set the licensing on our lab servers to "Per Server" and run the number of concurrent connections up to 20 (they won't be running long enough to get Microsoft angry!) and click Next:

22. This is not a big deal with a personal computer but naming a server is a big deal. See the Planning section above for details. For the class, use SVRx where x is your station's number. This screen is also asking for the Administrator account's password. This one is the most important single piece of information you will provide this entire installation. If you forget it, you will be reinstalling from scratch all over again (aside from looking like "not the brightest one on the block"). You can make it easy to remember for now and change it to something tough later. Be sure that the CAPS LOCK is OFF and use "admin" and type it into both boxes:

23. Just like any version of Windows there are optional components that can be chosen to be installed or not installed. The default choices for a Windows 2000 server provide minimal functionality and almost no actual server capacity. Depending on the intended role of the server components will almost certainly be needed out of here, but they can always be installed after the server is up and running which is what we intend to do here so just click Next:

24. (Note that if the system has a modem attached the "Modem Dialing Information" screen would appear at this point, see Installation of non-PnP Modem on Windows 2000 for details). The Microsoft networking paradigm has come much closer to the x.500 specification and the server's at one rare moment now and then will actually need to know the correct Time/Date. As such go ahead and set the Time/Date correctly at this point and get the Time Zone correct (You will have to change it unless you live in Tijuana);

25. Windows will now proceed to install all of the networking components selected in the previous screens:

26. Leave the networking settings choice "Typical" and click Next. (we will change the settings later):

27. In our example we are installing the first server of the entire network (all of he tutorials involve the step-by-step process of promoting it and assigning it all of the capabilities necessary for this task) but even if you are installing a lowly member server you can leave the default settings here and either promote it to domain controller or join it to an existing domain later. Click Next:

28. At this point the installation is off to installing another slew of components:

29. If all has gone well so far the installation wizard will progress automatically into this "Performing Final Tasks" screen:

30. When the Final tasks are done the wizard will dump you at this screen (so you dont feel left out) to which you can click the Finish button which will then advance the system to the first logon:

31. At this phase the system loads the netowrk drivers and come online on the network. This is necessary for the ability to present the logon screen and to be able to logon to a domain across the wire:

32. At this point the installation is complete and functional. Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del]:

33. In this screen provide the user name "Administrator" (it must be capitalized, user names are case sensitive) and the password that you hopefully did not forget from earlier and then click OK:

34. The system will authenticate the user name and password against the security listings and begin the final settings adjustments and load explorer.exe and the next thing after this screen will be the desktop and the installation is totally complete at that point.

35. Go ahead and get rid of the screen that show you how to use the mouse (good grief, they cant use a mouse and you want them to use this server!) and click "I will configure the server later > Next. Uncheck "Show this screen at startup" and close the Configure Your Server window.

Tutorial Tracks for both MSM3 and NET1 Courses

36. Once the Server has been installed as outlined here in this tutorial the student can proceed to delve into the various tutorials at this site on Windows 2000. All of these are intended to give the student ample study materials to accompany the class modules, lecture notes and exercises.

The students of Microcomputer Service and Maintenance 3 will be studying advanced storage technologies including RAIDs as well as the core functionality of the Windows 2000 operating system as it pertains to the learning and testing goals of the CompTIA certifications as well the mission and certification program of the college which is to graduate skilled technicians into the work force.

Here is the tutorial track for setting up the first domain controller of a new network:

Here are the tutorials that concern storage configuration and disaster recovery planning on the Windows 2000 Server (these accompany the class curriculum of MSM3):

Here are the tutorials that pertain to configuring the Networking features of the Windows 2000 Server (these accompany the course curriculum of the NET1 class):

Here are the tutorials that pertain to the advanced Networking features of the Windows 2000 Server (these accompany the course curriculum of the NET2 class):

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Copyright©2000-2005 Brian K. Robinson ALL RIGHTS RESERVED