Microsoft Windows NT (pre-merge)

From Audiovisual Identity Database

For other uses, see Microsoft Windows (disambiguation).

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Windows NT 3.1

(October 12, 1992-October 5, 1994 (end of production), December 31, 2000 (extended support))

Codename: "NT OS/2", "Razzle"

Screen: Same as Windows 3.1's startup, but the rectangle is light gray and the text is carved in the rectangle. "NT" is added next to "MICROSOFT WINDOWS".


  • On preliminary developer releases, "PRELIMINARY RELEASE FOR DEVELOPERS" is seen in a stencil font, covering up "Version 3.1". The rectangle is also light gray.
  • Beta releases of Windows NT 3.1 contained the text "BETA - " (pretty much the same thing as "PRELIMINARY RELEASE FOR DEVELOPERS"). Following it would be the beta release month and year (OCTOBER 1992, MARCH 1993).
  • Server operating systems contained "ADVANCED SERVER" below the text.
  • On Windows NT 3.5 builds 612 and 683, the logo was changed to a tilted white flag with the Windows logo in it.

Technique: None.

Sounds: Same as Windows 3.1.

Availability: Very rare; and is only seen on computers running on Windows NT 3.1.

Windows NT 3.5x

(August 1, 1994-December 31, 2001)

Codename: "Daytona"


  • Workstation: On a white background, we see the flag logo in CGI. Underneath, in a narrow serif font, is "Microsoft WINDOWS NT WORKSTATION". At the bottom is written, in the same font, "Version 3.5".
  • Server: On the same background, the Windows logo is replaced with several black waves. Underneath is the same text from before, except the text reads "SERVER" instead of "WORKSTATION".


  • On Build 756 of Windows NT 3.5, an early version exists where the Windows flag is in 2D and the logo is in a scribbly teal background. The Server version also used the Windows flag, which was changed to the waves after this build.
  • On computers running Windows NT 3.51, the background is a shady pale green, and the bottom now says "Version 3.51".
  • On Windows NT 4.0 Builds 1141-1327, the bottom was once again changed, now being "Version 4.0".
    • Starting in build 1166, a large gray "Beta" is seen in the left corner rotated vertically. In Beta 2 builds, this was changed to "Beta 2".

Technique: None.


  • Windows NT 3.5-4.0 Build 1264: Same as Windows 3.1.
  • Windows NT 4.0 Builds 1273-1327: The sounds from the next screen.

Availability: Very rare. Only on computers running on Windows NT Workstation 3.5 or 3.51. It was also seen on early Windows NT 4.0 builds and the unreleased Microsoft Cairo.

Windows NT 4.0

(June 21, 1996-July 11, 2006)

Codename: "Shell Update Release", "Hydra", "Impala"


  • Workstation: We see the Windows logo with the text "Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 with Microsoft Internet Explorer" below it on a star-to-sky gradient background, with the sky half resembling the Windows 95 background. On the upper-right corner of the screen, we see the text "Copyright 1985-1996 Microsoft Corporation" under the then-current Microsoft logo. Below is the text "This product is protected by US and International copyright laws as described in the About Box.".
  • Server: On a white background, we see the waves from the previous logo on the top left, and the same text from before on the bottom right, except the text reads "Server", and we see a transparent infinity symbol.


  • An early version exists in builds 1345-1353, where it's almost the same as the final screen, but with a few differences.
    • A small "Version: 4.0" text is in place of "4.0" next to "Workstation"
    • The Windows logo has a trademark symbol (™) along with a drop shadow in addition to a glow effect. Only the latter is present in the final version.
    • The text "with Microsoft Internet Explorer" beneath "Workstation" is absent.
    • The registered trademark symbol (®) next to the Microsoft logo is barely visible compared to the final version.
    • Copyright notices are written in Arial font instead of Franklin Gothic.
    • Colors (particularly the Windows logo and upper part of the background) are slightly darker.
  • On Windows NT Embedded 4.0, there's a version where the logo is seen without the text "with Microsoft Internet Explorer" and "Embedded" replaces "Workstation". Below is the text "The product is protected by US and International copyright laws as appropriate.".

Technique: None.


  • Startup: A "soaring" synth/uplifting piano sounder throughout, combined with synth chimes and a flourish of futuristic synths at the end. This was composed by Matthew Felton.
  • Shutdown: Same as the startup sound, but in reverse.

Availability: Rare. Seen on computers running Windows NT 4.0, which wasn’t a popular version of Windows.

Windows NT 5.0 (early Windows 2000 beta builds)

1st Screen (March 17, 1997-February 11, 1998)


  • Workstation: Similar to the NT 4.0 screen, with some differences. The Windows flag logo is positioned further to the left, the "Windows NT Workstation" text is now gray and placed near the top-right, with the Microsoft logo and copyright information below it. Below them is the large "5.0", in semi-transparent white. The surrounding outline is now changed to the shape of a square passing behind the middle of the Windows flag and the right end of the "5.0" text. At the left of the outline, the "This product is protected by US and International copyright laws as described in the About Box." text is shown in blue within a four-line paragraph.
  • Server: Same as the previous screen, except the text now reads "5.0"

Variants: Several versions of the screen exist.

Technique: None.


  • Startup:
    • Builds 1515-1631: Same as Windows NT 4.0.
    • Builds 1671-1745: A rising synth (using a modified version of the Glider preset from the Korg WaveStation), followed by an arpeggio of sci-fi sounding beeps.
  • Shutdown: Same as the NT 4.0 shutdown for both beta versions.

Availability: Extinct. Seen on computers running Windows NT 5.0 builds from Builds 1515-1745.

2nd Screen (March 18-October 19, 1998)


  • Workstation: On a white background, we see the Windows flag logo inside a blue box, and we see some blue boxes next to it. We see the same text from the previous 4.0 screen, except the text reads "5.0", which is larger.
  • Server (build 1773-1814): Same as the previous two screens, except with a larger "5.0".
  • Server (build 1848-1911): Same as the Workstation screen, but the square with the Windows logo is black and "Workstation" is swapped with "Server".

Variants: There are several versions of the screen.

Technique: 2D animation.

Sounds: Same as Windows 5.0’s post-beta.

Availability: Extinct. Seen on computers running Windows NT 5.0 from builds 1773-1911.

Windows 2000

1st Screen (December 13, 1998-April 26, 1999)


  • Professional: Over a white background, we see the Windows flag from the next screen in the top-left corner (without the blue square behind) with other colored boxes in orange, green, and blue, with the blue square being a cloudy sky image. We see the same text from the next screen.
  • Server: We see multiple interlocked blue square outlines with the Windows logo seen off-center in one of them. Below is the text from the next Server screen, with "Built on NT technology".

Technique: 2D animation.


  • Startup: A shortened, sped-up and higher-pitched version of the post-Beta Windows NT 5.0 startup, with a synth choir pad.
  • Shutdown: A low-pitched, unidentifiable noise, sounding like wind blowing with digital effects.

Availability: Extinct. The normal version was seen on Builds 1946-1969 Windows 2000. The server version was used until Build 2031.

2nd Screen (February 18, 1999-September 13, 2005 (end of production), July 13, 2010 (extended support))

Codename (64-bit version only): "Janus"


  • Professional: On a white background, four squares are layered over each other in the same panel colors (red-orange, blue, green, and yellow). On top of the top square is the then-current Windows flag logo. Below the squares are the words "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional", arranged much like the fourth and fifth screens, with "Professional" on the bottom. Below this is the text "Built on NT Technology." At the top-right corner of the screen is the then-current Microsoft logo. At the very bottom of the screen, there is a gray bar, with the words "Starting up..." and a progress-style bar, and beneath that is a copyright notice.
  • Server Family: On a white background, three beveled blue squares are layered over each other with the square in the front having a white fill with the Windows flag on the center of it. Below the squares are the words "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Family" arranged together, with the "Built on NT technology" text at the right. We see the typical progress bar scrolling below.

Variants: On early beta builds of Server Family, the text was shortened to just "Servers".

Technique: 2D animation.


  • Startup (1983-2000.3): A piano arpeggio, followed by a 4-note string theme.
  • Shutdown (1983-2000.3): A different string theme based off the startup sound.
  • Startup: A rearranged version of the startup.
  • Shutdown: A rearranged version of the shutdown.

Availability: Uncommon. Can be seen on computers that run Windows 2000.

Microsoft Neptune (cancelled)


Neptune was planned to be the first version of Windows NT for home use until the project was merged with the Odyssey (planned professional release) project to form Whistler (Windows XP).

(December 10, 1999)

Screen: Essentially the same as before, but instead of the Windows 2000 logo, we see the left trails of the Windows flag with a rainbow gradient effect. To the right of it is "Microsoft Neptune" arranged like before, and below it is "under construction", all in gray.

Variant: When Fast boot is enabled, the progress bar will be green (much like in Windows XP Home Edition) instead of the usual blue. Additionally, the blue animation bar does not move.

Technique: 2D animation.

Sounds: Same as Windows 2000 and ME (Millennium Edition).

Availability: Extinct, considering this version was never released.

Microsoft Windows DOS
Microsoft Windows 9x
Microsoft Windows NT (pre-merge)
Microsoft Windows (post-merge)
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