I've been using win2kSP4 since about 2004 when a hardware upgrade
rendered win95 uninstallable.
At the time, there wasn't any software that wouldn't install and run
on a win2k system... that situation didn't arise until around 2009,
give or take. Now, the (deliberate) lack of win2k compatibility is
quite rife and must be the majoe cause of win2k users either upgrading
to Linux or else giving in and "upgrading" to win7.
In all those years, I've had more issues over the installation
throwing a random wobbly (very few and far between) than I've ever had
with malware. I suspect this has been due to my two pronged, "Dynamic
Duo" approach to the problem of internet security where SpyBot S&D
stands in for 'Batman' and the free AV as 'Robin'.
I started with AVG Free, dropping it in favour of Avira when AVG
Free reached version 8 and became bloated out of all usefulness,
eventually ending up with Avast when Avira started interfering with
SpyBot's immunisation scan process (shortly before Avira started to
advise against SpyBot).
I've just checked the version I'm using of Opera and note it is
11.62. ISTR there were issues when it tried to upgrade beyond that
version so locked it down (i.e. disabled the automated check for
updates - the automated install option I'd already disabled).
The main advantage win2k has over winXP and its idiot offspring is
the lack of further updates meaning two less services running (no need
for BITs and the autoupdate service to be running). The other
advantage (when you don't need that crutch for disabled programmers
known as DotNet) is the leanness of the system, a mere 7000 files
(just over 1GB when all the $NT rollback files are removed after all
the post SP4 updates have been applied). This is about one third the
size of a freshly installed WinXP SP3 and a tenth of the 70 odd
thousand files for Vista and win7 (about a twentieth of the GB's in
those last two).
What this means is that the SpyBot and MBAM (quick) scans have far
less crap to trawl through so don't require a lot of time to verify
the system is still malware free (4 minutes 40 seconds and 50 seconds
respectively versus 45 and 5 minutes on similarly specced XP
Full MBAM and Avast scans, although more protracted, nevertheless
still run much quicker than on XP and above. IOW, running such
security tasks on win2k are far less onerous to do on a regular basis
than on winXP so therefore less likely to be postponed to a more
Since win2K's successors aren't any more secure intrinsically, just
loaded with different vulnerabilities with around 3 and 10 times more
content for vulnerabilities to exist in, the key to security is the
optimal use of a basic AV and SpyBot S&D with a third On-Demand
Malware scanner as a sanity check on both (I use MalwareBytes Anti
Malware Free for this) along with Opera as the only sane choice of
alternative web browser to IE (It's the quickest and most secure
Regarding your query over security, the answer is, with well
considered security measures in place, as advised above, if anything,
you'll be more secure than when using XP or above versions of MS OSes.
Your major concern will be in regard to what software (or the latest
versions) that are still compatable with win2k. As long as you can
find suitable software that still meets your needs, you're good to go.
 Win95 has a 1GB ram address bug which makes its installer
erroneously announce insufficient ram when 1GB or more is installed.
When faced with this issue, I knew damn well that XP was _NOT_ going
to be a consideration (festering PoS that it was) and, likewise for
win98 (although I did give it a brief trial to verify that its own
bugginess would be too much to endure beyond the mercifully brief
interludes with customers' machines so afflicted). This only left
win2k as my final MS based option to try.
For some strange reason, I'd gotten it into my head that win2k was
the NT equivilent to win95 versus win95osr2 with winXP being analogous
to win95osr2. In reality, it was more like win95osr2 versus win98
except 'with knobs on'. I nearly fell out of my chair when the win2k
install completed and finally booted to the desktop. I t was an utter
joy to behold since it retained the nice clean lines of the win95osr2
it was replacing. I felt right at home.
 The big problem with an "All in one" "Man for all seasons" "Fit
and forget" security solution is the vulnerabilty inherent to all such
'monocultures' (whether it's crops, OSes or AV solutions).
Using two or more different 'brands' of such protection such as
SpyBot and any lightweight free AV product to act as 'Robin' to
SpyBot's 'Batman' minimises the monoculture vulnerability.
In short, my advice is to _never_ever_ be tempted to choose a single
product to guard against spyware/adware _and_ malware classes of
threat. The quality of malware today is such that a properly written
piece of malware will easily defeat and disable most of the 40 odd
commercially offered AV products available to the computer illiterate
public that MS are targetting as their cash cow.
 Avira Free was chosen, despite its rather scamlike reminder to
upgrade from the free version to the full fat version at every virus
database update because Avast, at that time hadn't sacked the idiot
responsible for making the UI look like a dark and cryptic mediaplayer
interface designed to satisfy gothic tastes.
It was only a couple of years back, when Avira started shitting all
over win2k and SpyBot users that I discovered that Avast had
re-written their GUI into the best one ever, imho, to grace an AV
product. I like the neat, secure and clean solution to disabling its
interference, er, protection when needing to run other antimalware
scans such as MBAM, SpyBot and, rarely, ComboFix.
Its worth noting that registration using the email address option
doesn't require the use of a real email address (hint:
is my default dummy for this purpose). It's
also worth noting that you need to uncheck the "Install Google Chrome"
option if you want to avoid the tedium of uninstalling this unwanted
 The scam like pop up window was so annoying that it prompted a
hacker to publish an effective method of disabling this
(counter-productive) "Feature" thus removing Avira's opportunity
altogether to 'sell' their full fat version. If they had taken the
more muted and subtle approach used by AVG and Avast, they'd have not
lost so much potential new business. In the end, they alienated the
very people they should have been courting, i.e. those with a clue and
in a position to advise others.
Regards, J B Good