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Firefox 13+ in Windows 2000

Discuss various technical topics not related to Mozilla.
tomasz86
 
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Post Posted June 4th, 2012, 3:59 am

I am writing this for everyone interested in running newer versions of Firefox in Windows 2000:

1. Always backup your Firefox 12 (or lower) folder.
2. Download the installer of a newer version of Firefox.
3. The installer will deliberately refuse to install on Windows XP SP1 and below with the error message, "Sorry, Firefox can't be installed. This version of Firefox requires Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or higher". To get around this, you need to add this entry to the Registry:
Code: Select all
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\Setup.exe]
"ApplicationGoo"=hex:56,00,00,00,52,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
  00,01,00,00,00,4a,00,00,00,3c,fd,06,00,05,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,28,0a,00,00,\
  02,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,72,00,76,00,69,00,63,00,65,\
  00,20,00,50,00,61,00,63,00,6b,00,20,00,33,00,00,00,00
Copy and paste it to Notepad and save with an extension ".reg" (you need to have the "hide file extensions for known file types" option unchecked in Folder Options). After that you can double-click on it to add the entry to the Registry.
4. You can now run the Firefox installer.
5. In order to get Firefox working, you need to download the latest version of Known DLL Wrappers/Force Compatibility (KDW/FCWin2k) utility, unpack it and copy the customised uxtheme.dll file to your Firefox directory. Using the uxtheme.dll from a Windows XP installation will not work as it uses a bunch of dependencies that do not exist on Win2k.
6. Download and install the latest ENU version of the Unofficial Updates Rollup (UURollup).
7. Reboot your computer for the changes to take effect. This is very important as you will run into dependency problems when using some of the features working on Win2k.
8. After you reboot, you can now run the latest version of Firefox!
9. When you run the latest version of Firefox on Win2k, you MUST disable "Hardware Acceleration" in Tools > Options > Advanced > General. If you don't do this, you will likely see strange graphical glitches on the screen that will cause the browser to not work correctly. This is recommended prior to installing Firefox 13+ on Win2k.
10. In order to use Firefox automatic updates you should install this addon. For details please check information and cautions provided by xabolcs later in this topic. You can also install this addon in Firefox 12 and then let it update itself to the newest version available but you still must perform steps 5-7 or you will not be able to start Firefox after it has been updated.

That's about it for now. Additional detailed explanations is that you will need a unofficial kernel extension (such as BWC or WB) and the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 libraries to run applications compiled using Visual Studio 2010. The unofficial kernel and the libraries associated with it are included in the UURollup itself. Dependency problems that causes incompatibility issues on Win2k are also fixed in it.

Of course this applies only to the English version of Win2k. There are some ways to do the similar thing for other language versions but it is a little bit more complicated. I will try to provide detailed instructions later.

Be advised that by doing this, YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN. The workarounds that I provided above are NOT supported by Mozilla and you must USE THE NEWER SOFTWARE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I want to thank ppgrainbow who helped write and improve the above instructions.
Last edited by tomasz86 on August 6th, 2012, 12:12 pm, edited 9 times in total.

freibooter
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2012, 7:29 am

Out of pure curiosity: why and where are you still using Windows 2000?

Considering that even extended support ended two years ago and that there are several known and unfixed security flaws, running a Windows 2000 set-up as a production system connected to the Internet seems, well, rather reckless.

If you just like tinkering with old OSes for the hell of it and are aware of the risks involved, though, all power to you. I still remember installing Windows 2000 with Microsoft Bob in a virtual machine just for the nostalgia. :)

tomasz86
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2012, 5:44 pm

I like Windows 2000 specifically for a few reasons:

1. It's the last M$ system targeted only at professional users. It means:

- no eye candy (no themes, no shadows, no bells and whistles, etc.).
- less newbie annoyances (think of "Tour" or the infamous search dog in WinXP)
- more advanced system settings are not hidden from the user (think of "control userpasswords2" in WinXP).

2. Super light UI. Win2k's Explorer is very simple and light compared to the ones from XP and later.

3. Stability. It has been always known for being rock stable.

4. Very low system requirements. It may run even on Pentium 166MHz / 64 MB RAM. It requires very little disk space compared even to XP. You may say it doesn't matter with 1TB HDDs widely available but I use SDD and older 15 000 rpm SAS drives which have low capacily (36-60 GB) and being able to squeeze the system partition to ~8 GB leaves the rest of the space for applications and other useful data.


As for the updates:

1. Official updates ceased in July 2010 but there are a few "custom" M$ official updates available which were released after that date and leaked to the Internet.

2. Many XP updates can be used directly in Win2k. It applies to almost all registry only updates (like time zone updates or fraudulent certificates updates, etc.) and some other too where system files are the same for 2K/XP so you can just replace the older versions. Most of the other updates have been already ported by people like WildBill and BlackWingCat who modified Win2k system files accordingly to the fixes done in the XP security updates. They have also added new APIs to many system DLLs, etc. If you look at the Windows 2000 Updates page you can see that it covers everything from 2003-2012 and is still being updated.

I myself haven't got skills to modify system files directly so what I've been doing is concentrated more on creating update packages like UURollup in which almost all these unofficial updates are included so it's much easier to install then 50+ single files.
With UURollup installed I'm able to run most of the applications that normally require Windows "XP or higher" like the newest Flash or Java, newest versions of Web browsers (Fx 13, Chrome/SRWare Iron 19, Safari, etc.) and many others. M$ Office 2007 works too.

But yes, you're right that I just like "tinkering with old OSes" :wink: Any normal person would probably just give up :oops:
Last edited by tomasz86 on June 5th, 2012, 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pixel
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2012, 5:52 pm

Install XP ->System->Advanced->Performance->Adjust for best performance
Tada, old UI

Windows XP recommended requirements are 300 MHz, 128 MB of Ram.
Last edited by Pixel on June 5th, 2012, 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomasz86
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2012, 5:55 pm

@Pixel
Yes but why bother if you've got the same thing in Windows 2000 by default?

Switching to XP at the moment doesn't really make sense (only 2 years of support left).

Grantius

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Post Posted June 5th, 2012, 6:30 pm

tomasz86 wrote:@Pixel
Yes but why bother if you've got the same thing in Windows 2000 by default?

Switching to XP at the moment doesn't really make sense (only 2 years of support left).


What kind of hardware are you using? For anything HT/Multi core windows 2000 is very slow compared to XP.

And what about new drivers for devices? Antivirus?

At least you can use a brand new motherboard with XP.
Micro gaming box: AMD A10-7800 APU, 8gb RAM M350 ITX case (size of a book), Ubuntu 15.04/W10TP
Tablet/Laptop: Asus Transformer T100, Intel Atom 2GB RAM, Windows 10TP x86, Nightly 32bit
Mobile:Note 3 with CM12, Nightly FF

tomasz86
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2012, 6:51 pm

I use Athlon II X4 631 @ ASRock A55 Pro (FM1 board). There are unofficial drivers available for AHCI/RAID (AMD/Intel) and graphic cards (AMD/Intel/Nvidia).

I don't think there's a problem with performance on a multi-core CPU. HT - yes, you're right but (as far as I know) a multi-core CPU is no different than a multi-cpu setup from the OS' point of view and Windows 2000 has always been ready to work even on a 32 CPU servers (see Win2k Datacenter Server). There's no difference in the kernel between each Win2k edition.

It's true that the spectrum of choice for AVs is limited but Avast 7 still officially supports this OS.


Some time ago I ran some benchmarks to compare the performance of Win2k and Win8:

CrystalMark 2004R3
Windows 2000
Image
Windows 8
Image

CineBench 11.5 (CPU)
Windows 2000 - 2.86
Windows 8 - 2.84

7-Zip (compression)
Windows 8 - 03:11
Windows 2000 - 03:15

Grantius

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Post Posted June 5th, 2012, 9:37 pm

tomasz86 wrote:I use Athlon II X4 631 @ ASRock A55 Pro (FM1 board). There are unofficial drivers available for AHCI/RAID (AMD/Intel) and graphic cards (AMD/Intel/Nvidia).

I don't think there's a problem with performance on a multi-core CPU. HT - yes, you're right but (as far as I know) a multi-core CPU is no different than a multi-cpu setup from the OS' point of view and Windows 2000 has always been ready to work even on a 32 CPU servers (see Win2k Datacenter Server). There's no difference in the kernel between each Win2k edition.

It's true that the spectrum of choice for AVs is limited but Avast 7 still officially supports this OS.


Some time ago I ran some benchmarks to compare the performance of Win2k and Win8:

CrystalMark 2004R3
Windows 2000
Image
Windows 8
Image

CineBench 11.5 (CPU)
Windows 2000 - 2.86
Windows 8 - 2.84

7-Zip (compression)
Windows 8 - 03:11
Windows 2000 - 03:15



I can see what you're doing as an experiment, however doesn't using so many "unofficial" mods make it less "rock stable" then XP would be with official, tested drivers?

Sorting through hundreds of modified updates, patches and drivers seems like a troubleshooting nightmare to me.

Each to their own though, most likely be having this same convo in 10 years time about me running Fx84835266735 on Windows 7 :P
Micro gaming box: AMD A10-7800 APU, 8gb RAM M350 ITX case (size of a book), Ubuntu 15.04/W10TP
Tablet/Laptop: Asus Transformer T100, Intel Atom 2GB RAM, Windows 10TP x86, Nightly 32bit
Mobile:Note 3 with CM12, Nightly FF

mightyglydd

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Post Posted June 5th, 2012, 10:03 pm

tomasz86, a link to those
"custom" M$ official updates available which were released after that date and leaked to the Internet.
would be appreciated and if you have a way to make ClearType work you'd be my hero!
# KeepFightingMichael

tomasz86
 
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Joined: June 4th, 2012, 3:39 am

Post Posted June 6th, 2012, 12:07 am

@Grantius
I agree that experiment is an appropriate word. Of course there is always a risk that some of the files may be unstable but on the other hand most of the unofficial updates are just M$ fixes ported to Win2k files. There isn't much risk involved in those. The situation is a little bit different in case of the unofficial kernel and other additions like the 32-bit icon support introduced by WildBill where new functions have been added. Still many people test them and bugs are quickly fixed.
As for the drivers there aren't that many unofficial drivers needed, ex. on this machine I only use BlackWingCat's unofficial AHCI drivers. The rest of the installed drivers are official (many manufacturers still support Windows 2000).

You're right that sorting and managing all these unofficial files is a pain but this is the so called dirty work which I've been doing ;) People can just download the already compiled package (ex. UURollup) which installs everything automatically with one click.

@mightyglydd
Here you are:
http://www.ryanvm.net/forum/viewtopic.p ... 480#121480

I don't recommend installing the "IE6.0sp1-KB2482017" as it breaks the 32-bit icon support. The other three are fine.

I have a CRT monitor on my main machine so I don't use ClearType here but I think this exact version of Gdi++ works very well:
http://ge.tt/4Ri4BuF/v/01

What's important is that contrary to many other modifications this one seems to work for all fonts, i.e. it will work for many languages including different alphabets, Chinese characters, etc. The other ones I've tried usually worked only for the English alphabet and were very far from perfect. It's also very light and doesn't really affect the performance. You can choose one of three rendering options - light, middle and heavy. You can also modify them through the .ini files but you need to know what the options stand for (I don't so I just leave them untouched).

By the way, I've been working on a simple website where all information, files, guidelines, etc. related to Win2k will be gathered in one place. It should be ready in a few days.

Grantius

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Post Posted June 6th, 2012, 12:56 am

tomasz86 wrote:@Grantius
I agree that experiment is an appropriate word. Of course there is always a risk that some of the files may be unstable but on the other hand most of the unofficial updates are just M$ fixes ported to Win2k files. There isn't much risk involved in those. The situation is a little bit different in case of the unofficial kernel and other additions like the 32-bit icon support introduced by WildBill where new functions have been added. Still many people test them and bugs are quickly fixed.
As for the drivers there aren't that many unofficial drivers needed, ex. on this machine I only use BlackWingCat's unofficial AHCI drivers. The rest of the installed drivers are official (many manufacturers still support Windows 2000).

You're right that sorting and managing all these unofficial files is a pain but this is the so called dirty work which I've been doing ;) People can just download the already compiled package (ex. UURollup) which installs everything automatically with one click.

@mightyglydd
Here you are:
http://www.ryanvm.net/forum/viewtopic.p ... 480#121480

I don't recommend installing the "IE6.0sp1-KB2482017" as it breaks the 32-bit icon support. The other three are fine.

I have a CRT monitor on my main machine so I don't use ClearType here but I think this exact version of Gdi++ works very well:
http://ge.tt/4Ri4BuF/v/01

What's important is that contrary to many other modifications this one seems to work for all fonts, i.e. it will work for many languages including different alphabets, Chinese characters, etc. The other ones I've tried usually worked only for the English alphabet and were very far from perfect. It's also very light and doesn't really affect the performance. You can choose one of three rendering options - light, middle and heavy. You can also modify them through the .ini files but you need to know what the options stand for (I don't so I just leave them untouched).

By the way, I've been working on a simple website where all information, files, guidelines, etc. related to Win2k will be gathered in one place. It should be ready in a few days.


Wouldn't mind a link to that actually.

Speaking of old PC's I replaced a hard drive in a rack server for a brewery/winery about 5 years ago. They had the vats all controlled via computer. Computer in the sense that they had it all running on a desktop 486 with Windows 3.x which had an old beige monitor that had a giant sign taped to it saying "DO NOT UNPLUG OR TOUCH"

They did have some pretty kick ass server equipment though, must have been too drunk to code drivers for newer windows or Linux :P

EDIT: How does Daylight savings work nowdays on 2000 by the way?
Last edited by Grantius on June 6th, 2012, 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Micro gaming box: AMD A10-7800 APU, 8gb RAM M350 ITX case (size of a book), Ubuntu 15.04/W10TP
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Mobile:Note 3 with CM12, Nightly FF

mikedl

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Post Posted June 6th, 2012, 12:59 am

Very impressive thread. Glad it got stickied.

Nice work, tomasz86.
"It may be that there are true demonstrations; but this is not certain. Thus, this proves nothing else but that it is not certain that all is uncertain, to the glory of skepticism." Pascal's Pensées

tomasz86
 
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Post Posted June 6th, 2012, 1:58 am

@Grantius
I'll provide the link as soon as the site is ready as it's still half-done at the moment. Do you mean time zone updates by daylight savings? The newest update (KB2698707) will be included in the upcoming unofficial Update Rollup 2 which is a package of over 260 official updates and hotfixes. At the moment the newest unofficial time zones update available for Win2k is KB2657025 from Feb 2012.

EDIT: By the way, newer versions of Thunderbird can be installed in exactly the same way as described in the beginning of this topic.

mightyglydd

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Post Posted June 6th, 2012, 10:00 am

tomasz86 wrote:Here you are:

Thanks tomasz, I'll give it a try on the weekend :)

Edit: So I've extracted the zip to Desktop(?) and got a Gdi++ folder, when I click on gditray.exe (in the quick launch bar) it says GDI++ Controller 'Could not load gdi++ dll' :-k
# KeepFightingMichael

the-edmeister

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Post Posted June 7th, 2012, 1:36 am

Thanks for the info.

I have been running TinyXP on my main PC since the Firefox Nightly's were first broken for W2K back in July 2010 for a few weeks (fixed in late Aug, IIRC), but I do miss W2K. I'm gonna grab those files and get W2K loaded again from a Norton Ghost clone I made just before I switched to TinyXP.

BTW, I was the member who suggested that this thread be made a sticky. This topic has been broached a few times in the last 6 or 7 weeks and this is the most informative thread I have seen about W2K and Firefox 13.

Ed
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Mine has wandered off and I'm out looking for it.

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