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Dual Boot PC - 95/NT

Posted on 1998-08-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have recently had a new PC delivered with NT preinstalled. The system is on a FAT partition and the rest of the HDD is a NTFS partition. I have installed DOS 6.2 in order to load Win '95 as I need it for certain applications which can't run on NT. The NT system is still there but how do I mobe to a dual boot system and convert the NTFS partition to a FAT partition so that '95 can use the second partition.
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Question by:duckers
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020350
You might consider picking up a copy of Partition Magic.  I have it and have never had any problems.  It allows you to convert between NTFS, FAT, FAT32, and even HPFS without any loss of data.  It also comes with a program made by IBM that allows you to have more than one OS, considerably more.

Good luck!
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by:omsec
ID: 1020351
It should be possible to re-set the File System without the need some special program, since Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 - Setup (setup.exe) can set this. I only posted this as a comment instead of an answer, because I haven't done this. But when I installed NT 4.0, I saw you could format big Hard Disks (means in that case 2GB up) as NTFS, so why shouldn't the user can set this back to FAT ?.

If you want a multi-OS computer, you need to know, that each Operating System writes to the Master Boot Record. So, once you have set all drives as FAT, you should first install Ms-Dos 6.22, then the CD-ROM-Driver for Dos (MSCDEX) and then Microsoft Windows 95. And then as last install Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 (Workstation). This is how I've done this, and it works well

hoping this could help a lil... :)
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by:omsec
ID: 1020352
oh sh... now I selected answer...sorry reject it if it's not usefull
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by:duckers
ID: 1020353
omsec, thanks for your comment but could'nt see a setup.exe file in my winnt directory
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by:shchuka
ID: 1020354
No, this is not as simple as it seems.

First, a note to thresher_shark, what microsof calls NTFS partition and uses for NT is nothing else but an HPFS partition, used for OS/2 by IBM 5 years before MS released NTFS.

Second, when you're running setup.exe for windows nt, yes, it lets you format a drive as NTFS - but it warns you that it will erase ALL data from the harddrive it's converting.  I don't think you can convert NTFS to FAT without formatting it, since the structure of data on the physical media is different for these partitions.  In order to have a double-boot with 95/NT and have all the disks to be recognized by both systems, you need to do the following:

1. Reformat the NTFS drive as FAT (do not do FAT32 - NT doesn't understand it!)  Yes, everything on that partition will be lost, therefore you need to save what you need before you do that.

2. Install Win 95 firsrt (this is a requirement - 95 must be already installed when installing NT).  If win95 offers to convert partition to FAT32, answer NO (see comments in 1).

3. Install NT and when presented with a choice: format NTFS, format FAT, leave as is - select leave as is - do not reformat the partition.

NT will install a boot manager so that when you're rebooting the machine, it will give you a choice of what system to boot.

Good luck.
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by:mikecr
ID: 1020355
Shchuka is absolutely correct, if you want to have a dual boot then you need to install Windows 95 first and then run Winnt.exe from the NT cd. You can type Winnt with a /? and it will give you the installation options. You need to pick /b for a floppyless installation.

Good luck!

Mike
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by:MATTCEI
ID: 1020356
Don't forget to type the LOCK command in DOS-BEFORE-WIN95 before running NT's WINNT.EXE,or when NT reboots during setup,WIN95 will
(dutifully) prevent it from 'DIRECTLY ACCESSING HARD DISK'.
Also a good idea to start WIN95's SMARTDRV before WINNT.EXE - NT setup will run much faster.
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by:mbushnell
ID: 1020357
I have wrestled with the same problem before. The answer is this: You can Dual Bott a machine that already has NT on it, but it makes the system much less stable, and unreliable. I suggest you do this, and in order, FDISK your drive into 2 separate FAT partitioins. The reason for this is simple. When dual booting, 95, and NT do not share space well, and become more unstable quickly if on the same partition. So partition into two partitions. Then you must restart with a boot disk. I suggest making a boot disk that also loads your cd rom drivers. After rebooting, type from the a: prompt- format c:\s\q This will format your c partition quickly and make it a bootable drive. Then reboot from c. Now load your cd rom drivers to the c drive, and reboot again. Now here you can either install 95 from the CD, or make a directory called c:\win95. Then copy of the contents of win95 from the cd to c:\win95, and run setup from there too. After 95 is setup, and devices are running correctly, install NT using the Install floppies, and choosing it to be loaded to your second partition. Make sure not to choose NTFS as 95 does like work with it well. Hope this helps.
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by:mbushnell
ID: 1020358
In the directions above I meant for you to type from the a drive format c:/s/q
Sorry if this confused anyone.
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by:duckers
ID: 1020359
mbushnell
Thanks for your effort, What I really want to do is not have to reinstall my NT system whih was working OK. All the systems files are now there for NT and 95. All I need I suppose is an example of the startup files needed for the dual boot system. Then when IU have done this, under NT I should be able to convert my NTFS partition to FAT.
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by:dankh
ID: 1020360
Duck,

    It is possible to reformat Fat into NTFS, but you CANNOT convert NTFS to FAT, period.  You have to delete the NTFS partition and reformat it as fat.  To delete the NTFS partition, insert your NT setup disks or cdrom and boot.  You will go through the setup process and select to delete the partition that has NTFS.  
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020361
You can with a special program...
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by:duckers
ID: 1020362
I have now solved the problem but not the way I wanted to do it. I will award the points to mbushnell if he sends a pseudo answer in.
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by:duckers
ID: 1020363
I have now solved the problem but not the way I wanted to do it. I will award the points to mbushnell if he sends a pseudo answer in.
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by:gaestar
ID: 1020364
First thing to know : it's impossible to convert ntfs to fat without losing your datas.  If you want convert ntfs to fat, you can do it with the three nt setup boot disk.  Boot with the first disk and read instructions.  When you are on the third setup boot disk you will be able to change all the partitions and reformat them like you want. ( it's impossible to do it with fdisk because fdisk doesn't recognize the ntfs partition ).  If you do it, don't forget to create a boot dos disk and to have a cd rom driver.  Choose to do two partitions in fat.
After, you can start with your boot disk and install win 95 on the first partition.  When it's done, do the same thing on the second partition with windows nt.  Nt will allow you to choose at the start up if you want to boot in 95 or nt.  Therefore it's strongly recommended to install 95 first and nt after.
When you install nt, format the second partition in ntfs or wait the end of the installation and convert fat in ntfs with the command convert d: /s or /f ( i don't remember ) or do it with the disk administrator in common tools.  Don't forget you will not be able to read the ntfs partition from win95.
Easy no ?
Good luck

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by:duckers
ID: 1020365
gaestar - you should have read my last comment
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by:dr00py
ID: 1020366
Haven't you guys (and girls) never heared about Partition Magic (sorry thresher_shark, you must be the only one)
It has the ability to reset a NTFS partition to FAT without loosing the data wich is on it !!!!!
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by:dr00py
ID: 1020367
Haven't you guys (and girls) never heared about Partition Magic (sorry thresher_shark, you must be the only one)
It has the ability to reset a NTFS partition to FAT without loosing the data wich is on it !!!!!
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020368
I know, as far as I'm concerned, that's probably the best solution to your problem, since it's completely reversible, and is $40 - $50 really that much?
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020369
How did you solve the problem anyway?
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by:duckers
ID: 1020370
I used fdisk to delete the ntfs partition. Then reformat it as FAT16. I then had to install NT4 over my existing version. I wan'ted to avoid this an just edit the startup files. The two systems now both sit on the first partition which is formatted with FAT16. The boot manager for NT automatically detects that you have 95 installed and you get the option of which operating system dueing the os4 launch.
Many thanks though for all you input
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by:MarcelM
ID: 1020371
You may consider installing Select-It from Quarterdeck, which allows you to install any operating system using any file system. All your problems will be solved.

-MM
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by:duckers
ID: 1020372
mm read the comments
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by:etep
ID: 1020373
You must format you disk in FAT mode with the Windows 95 boot disk or with the DOS boot disks.

If you have windows 95, you must install Windows 95 before installing Windows  NT4.0 .
If you have Windows 98, you can install Windows 98 after Windows NT.
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by:duckers
ID: 1020374
etep read my last comment!
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by:theh95
ID: 1020375
As soon you converted the drive to NTFS you can not convert it back to FAT.  You have to using fdisk command to removed the NTFS, and then reformat it to FAT so your windows 95 could read it.

I setup my PC into daul boot between Win95 and NT last year.  My fisrt step is install win95 first, then installed NT.  After installed the NT, my PC will pop up a screen for me to chioce Windows NT or Windows 95.

I hope this could help you.

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by:duckers
ID: 1020376
theh95 - please read my previous comments
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by:datn
ID: 1020377
Duckers, You should have done what mbushnell suggested in his comment about separating the two OS's. Having them both on the same partition will eventually cause you many headaches and inevitably a reinstall of both. Most likely, Win95 will crash first, thus causing NT to do the same.
Secondly, you said you didn't want to reinstall WinNT. How come you fdisk your NTFS partition and reinstalled NT under FAT? The answer to your question should have been to use Partition Magic 3.0 like drOOpy and thresher_park suggested. All you had to do was to create a small (about 2MB) active partition for Boot Manager and then select which OS to run. Then, you could have used PM3.0 to convert HPFS to FAT for Win95 to see.
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by:strongd
ID: 1020378
Everyone has told you just about everything that is possible.  But you keep rejecting their answers.  There is no easy way to do this..............Reject Microsoft they're the ones who are causing your problems.
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020379
That's because he's figured it out and is waiting mbushnell to submit an answer for the points.
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by:duckers
ID: 1020380
thanks shark, wish everyone would read the history
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020381
:-)
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1020382
duckers,

You are still accepting the wrong answer.  You stated that you wanted to perform this conversion without reinstalling your NT system.  It seems after reading this ENTIRE thread that thresher_shark is the one that suggested the *correct* answer to you and you chose to reject it in favor of one that did not really meet your stated objectives.  Partition Magic would have worked as long as you resized the NTFS partition to 2 GB or less before converting it to FAT16 and installing Win95.  In fact, Patition Magic would have provided you with a boot manager that would have allowed you to manage your boot selection also.  Since mbushnell hasn't submitted anything in this thread since Aug. 7th you can probably figure out that thay are no longer monitoring it!  Why don't you give the points to thresher_shark so we can get this thing off of the available questions queue!


Tom
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thresher_shark earned 70 total points
ID: 1020383
After reading the above comment, I thought I might as well just submit a pseudo-answer.  If you would rather continue waiting for mbushnell or if you think someone else provided a better answer, reject this one.

You really should buy Partition Magic.  It really is a great program.  I converted my whole hard drive from FAT16 to FAT32 without any problems.  It also lets you run multiple OS's, which would probably help in your case.

Thanks.
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by:mbushnell
ID: 1020384
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. It seems you have been very busy here, and waiting for me to answer. My thoughts on all of this are that allot of the people here seems to like Partition Magic. Thats all fine, but if a person wants to do this the right way, without a bunch of miss and hit options, then the way that I explained is the only way to do this and have your 95/NT system work without any problems. Like I stated before, when 95 and NT share the same drive you will run into nothing but problems. You had stated that you wanted to keep your NT intact, well there both on the same drive, and to get the boot stuff correct, you should separate them. There is no way safely to do that. I know this does not answer what you want, but my original answer still stands. I have had my 95/NT machine running great for some time now. With no errors at all. Good luck. And thanks you for the points, I hope I solved any problems you have, and hope to help in the future if you need.
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by:mbushnell
ID: 1020385
I forgot, your question was how to convert the NTFS partition to Fat. Sorry, no safe way to do this! Try FDISK on the NTFS partition, then reformat it using Fat. Good luck. The you should be able to load 95 there. But you should not have to load Dos in irder to do this. You should be able to make a boot disk that loads your cd rom drive, and then should be able to load 95 from there. If this does not help, let me know. I can find the exact directions on how to load 95 after NT and make it dual boot if really needed. But I would not recomment it. It is very tricky, and you may end up having it all mess up, and having to start over again anyways. Good luck.
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1020386
mbushnell,

It is impossible to install a Win95/WinNT dual boot that does not share the same boot partition without installing a boot manager.  I guess that brings us right back to Partition Magic, System Commander, or similar.  I have run Win95/WinNT dual boot on *many* machines without the problems that you have claimed happening.  In addition, duckers had already stated that the NTFS partition was his system partition (the one with NT on it).  If he converts this to FAT16 and then puts Win95 on the existing FAT16 boot partition then the two operating systems DO have their system folders on two separate partitions.  From what I am seeing the answer that was given by thresher_shark WOULD have worked.  In your effort to get the points from duckers you scared him right off the easy (and perfectly safe) answer and ended up making the poor guy reinstall NT.  If I was duckers I would be upset and looking for a way to have you give me some points for causing me the extra trouble.  How many points is a couple of hours of unnecessary wasted time worth?

Tom
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by:mbushnell
ID: 1020387
tbaffy,

Please read his latest statment, it states that his system drive is Fat16, and the other partition is NTFS! I realize that if you fdisk, and format a system drive that you have to reload. Duh!
I was not saying that anyone elses answer was wrong. If that's what you want to think.
I merely gave an option to duckers, and he chose mine as the best answer that he liked. If that makes you upset then to bad.
I was not trying to STEAL points from anyone as you put it. I just told him what works for me, as you all do. There is no need to get sore, and start throwing slop towards people. If you are after points thats your problem.
I know all about boot partitions, read closer to the comments ok. Basically all I am stating is that a dual boot system runs better when they are separated on 2 different partitions. I should know. I work as a technician for a comapny in their IS department. And I currently support 300+ systems. All running 95/NT. I work on these systems on a day to day basis, with many different problems, and configurations. My goal was to help. Duckers chose to follow my suggestion, as I am sure that many have followed yours. If it did not work to satisfaction there is nothing I can do but offer other possible solutions to the problems.
It was my understanding that experts exchange is here for techs to help techs. Not to be considered a competition.
If this response offends you, sorry, but you have no reason to get all uptight about this. It is not even your problem that is being addressed.

Remember, after all, we are only human, not perfect!
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020388
duckers - Now that mbushnell is back, feel free to reject my "answer."  Although there seems to be some disagreement as to which way of doing this is best :-)
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by:duckers
ID: 1020389
thanks everyone. we have all benefited from this one i think.
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020390
duckers - If you would have rather given the points to mbushnell, that would've been fine with me...  A 'D' is a touch low, don't you think?
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1020391
mbushnell,

It is a moot point.  Thresher_sharks answer was accepted as it should have been.  I just get very irritated when I see a good answer and people try to say it isn't acceptable, then offer an inferior alternative.  Thresher_sharks answer accomplishes _everything_ that you stated was important in your post without having to reinstall the NT operating system.  Your post obviously scared duckers away from this alternative and created extra work for him.  I would like you to explain to me where thresher_shark's solution is not acceptable, and what added benefit the reinstallation of NT accomplished for duckers?

Please be careful about throwing around qualifications as a means of justifying your answer.  If you carefully look at mine you will see that I have also been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and who cares).  Being an admin grunt in a 300+ node shop is great, but it also tends to make you see the entire world in the way that you do things there.  That is valuable, but it is also a narrow view of the technology.  That is why people like me are often called in to point you guys in the right direction.  The assumption that "I should know" is often the refuge of those that are more concerned with their reputation than their substance.  I would be reluctant to use this phrase in the future it you really want credibility.

If you really want to show your substance then answer my previous question and tell me where thresher_shark went wrong, and give me the real justification you had for telling duckers that he needed to reinstall his operating system.  He could have accomplished all of this without that mess by simply doing the conversion that thresher_shark suggested and installing Win95.  He would have needed to perform an emergency recovery of his NT boot configuration which is a trivial process and much simpler than doing a full NT reinstall.


Tom
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020392
>> Thresher_sharks answer was accepted as it should have been

Although a 'D' in my book is unacceptable :-)
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1020393
thresher_shark,

I agree, but unfortunately I can't do anything about that.  I have a feeling that duckers was just a tad bummed out about having to reinstall, and that was reflected in the grade.  I know you aren't the one that caused that but I think you are the one that is paying the price.


Tom
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1020394
I don't really care either... If someone doesn't like my answer because there is a bad grade on my "Last ten grades" list, they have the problem, not me :-)

Thanks.
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by:mbushnell
ID: 1020395
tbaffy, and thresher_shark,

You two really need to get a life ok? I mean really, lets look at this whole situation.
1) If you look at the comments, and answers, you will note that NOT at any time did I say, THRESHER_SHARK's ANSWER IS WRONG! I merely gave an option!

2) As for me giving an inferior solution? Fine, you have your opinion, I have mine. White, Black, 1/2 full, 1/2 empty!!!!! You get the picture. I gave a possible solution, right or wrong by anyones books, it does not matter. If the final outcome is victory,(meaning the quest was met) then it's over, done, complete.

3) NOTE: I never once told drucker "DO NOT LISTEN TO THRESHER_SHARK" You may want to read this whole area again! If you still feel the need to pursue this since it is done!

4) Benefits of reinstalls. Well if you truly have been doing 95, and NT technical work for as long as you suggest, then I am sure you have had your share of re-installs. And if so, I know you have noticed the better performance after it was done. With 95 you should know as well as I do that a normal 95 install only lasts for about 6 to 8 months before the registry is hosed, and a re-install is applied. And as for 95/NT dual boot. If you are as good as you  make yourself to be, you will also know that they should be loaded onto separate partitions. Due to the fact that if both are on the same partition that they tend to mess each other up after a while. If you have not run into this before, you either do not work with it much, or have only seen it(dual boot) on one machine!

5) Qualifications: Well I am sorry if me putting my work related experience on here bothers you, but do you really think that it bothers me? Well it does not. I am gainfully employed, and self employed.(I own a small computer store as well)  And I am proud of what I do, and yes, I am good at what I do. I am NOT saying I am the best, not by any means am I saying that. But I do have confidence in my abilities, both in a network environment, and single systems. So think what you want!

Final note: I started using this experts echange as a way to try to help other techs, and get help when needed. Thanks to you I will no longer associate my self with this "competition". I could care less about points. As for that matter, who wants em? Better yet, I will give them back to druckers. He can do with them as he see's fit.

What a shame. I thought I had come across something that was long over due. A place were professional tech's could come to help others, and get help. But as all the great ideas out there, it seems to have been turned into some type of competition, and went away from the original idea!

DRUCKERS, please respond, I will return your points to you so these to cry babies can finally get resolution here!

Thanks, Matt
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1020396
mbushnell,

I would first like to apologize for my treatment of you here.  I have been at this site for a little while now and I have found thet there are a lot of people who are only interested in collecting the largest point totals possible.  I guess that when I read this thread, my impression was that you were trying to discredit the answer that thresher_shark had given.  This often makes me mad when I see what I feel is a good answer being undermined by faulty reasoning or bluster.  You may be correct in the assertion that you were never trying to discredit thresher_sharks answer, but that is still the impression that I get from reading the thread.

Please also note that thresher_sharks solution does result in NT and Win95 on separate partitions, just as you suggest.  This single point is probably the major source of my frustration with your answers.  It seemed to me that the basis of your argument against this approach was based on this.  In essence your solution and his solution are exactly the same in this regard.  That is why I do not understand the continual reference to this.  That is also why I have been upset.

Although you are certainly correct about the need to reinstall Win95 on occasion, that is simply not a realistic necessity on a brand new system.  Duckers has stated that this system is new and had NT preinstalled.  What possible benefit do you see in reinstalling an already fresh install of NT other than practice?

As for half-full/half-empty, please try to realize that my criticism of your approach isn't hollow.  There is some technical reasoning behind it and most of all it is based on what I consider to be an inconvenience that is caused to another person.  Also pleas note that I am not trying to disparage your real-world experience.  I too have worked in similar situations.  I also know as a fact that this environment tends to make you think in a direction that matches what you do at your installation.  There is usually more than one way to skin a cat.

Once again I apologize to you.  I have approached this matter badly and my choice of words could have been less confrontational.  I will try to be more diplomatic in the future.  If you would deem to accept my apology then I feel that there is something to be learned here for both of us.


Tom
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Expert Comment

by:mbushnell
ID: 1020397
tbaffy,

I appreciate the apology, and offer mine as well.

This has been a lesson well learned by both of us.

Good luck!

Matt
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