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Dual boot Win98 SE and Winnt 4

qubiac asked
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I have a delicate problem.
My computer that is installet with a dual boot Win98 SE (Second Edition) and Winnt 4 Wks will no longer boot up in Win98 SE.

How can I boot in Safe mode in Win98 SE?

First when I boot my computer I can shift between Win98 and Winnt, but when I choose Win98 it just starts as usual, but that don´t work, so I have to switch to Safe Mode.

Any solution?
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Assuming that it does try to boot into Win98 but then dies.
Select the Win98 boot, then hit F8 to get the Win98 boot menu. Choose safe mode.


I tried to hit F8, but nothing happens.
I even tried to hti F5 to load without any drivers, but again, nothing.
I even tried to hold the shift key when Win98 starts up, but again nothing.
It just hangs.
The way I get into Safe Mode with Win98 on my quad boot machine is select the Win98 option in the list and as soon as you press enter, press F8 immediately (and a few more times incase the timing matters, but I never had aproblem with that yet). That sould bring up the F8 options that you are wanting.

If this isn't the correct situation that you are talking about, then reject this answer and possibly explain a little more detail and I will see what I can do.
it would sound as though you have written a data bit across your mbr that should not be there, try loading a boot manager such as pqboot or commander and see if you dont get the options you need,if all else fails,,format/mbr to restore the boot record to default, let me know if i can help you, been doing dual os a while now (christalnet@msn.com)

I'd be willing to be that WIN98 is upset about the MBR change.  When you go into Safe Mode,  Open MSCONFIG --> Advanced Options,  force compatability mode disk access.  With this box checked,  hit OK to close MSCONFIG and it should reboot into normal mode.

I suspect that this will get you into normal mode, but then we'd have to figure out how to get it out of compatability mode.  Just post back if that gets you in.

Also, FORMAT /MBR isn't a legal command,  as far as I remember.  It would be a similar one that I know... but DON'T DO IT!!! NT will not boot if you do.

One more thing,  if you want to bring up the menu,  select Windows on the NT boot menu with the arrow keys.  Put your right index finger above the enter key and your left above the CTRL key.  IMMEDIATELY after you hit the enter key hit and hold the CTRL key.  It should bring up the 98 startup menu.


Providing NT was installed after 98, the boot sector will be fine from that point of view (but another program may possibly have modified the boot sectors, e.g. a virus)

NT is 'W95 Happy' meaning it's booting process can handle both OS fine (this also extends to W98, but W98 is also 'NT Happy', but I haven't had any luck in this department)


I have tried it, but it doesn´t work.
Though I will try the other solutions that I have got from Wardog.
We´ll se if it works.

just use a boot manager and you won't have to concern yourself with what is "happy" or not, the boot manager will get you the options you need. problems like this are why we sit down and write programs for you to use with other os's

Allow yourself to boot into Win98 as best as it will allow. When you get to the desktop, launch a DOS box. From the root of your C:\ drive, type the following;

attrib -r -h -s MSDOS.SYS

Next, use either notepad or edit (from DOS) to edit MSDOS.SYS. Under the [Options] section add a new line. It should look exactly like this;


After you save the file, type the following command from the DOS box at root of C:\,

attrib +r +h +s MSDOS.SYS

Finally, exit the DOS box and restart the PC. Now, when you choose the Win98 OS, you should get the menu of boot options that will include SAFE MODE.


Well, I can´t access the DOS shell, because I can´t boot into my Win98. It just hangs when I´m booting up.


The computer locks as soon as you try the WIN98 option? Okay,  there's several reasons for this.  If you converted the boot partition to NTFS 98 won't boot.  Also if the files IO.SYS, BOOTSECT.DOS, MSDOS.SYS, or COMMAND.COM , or BOOT.INI were corrupted it won't either.

MSDOS.SYS and COMMAND.COM aren't the victims because they would generate error messages where the other two wouldn't necessarily do so.

IO.SYS could be copied from a WIN98 startup disk to C:\.

BOOT.INI should have the correct ARC name for Windows listed in there.  It looks something like "Windows = "C:\"",
but check your NT documentation to make 100% sure that's correct.  (Been a while since I've used NT4)

BOOTSECT.DOS is an image of a Windows boot sector,  and can't just be recreated. To fix this you would need to rerun setup for Windows 98.  Unfortunately,  while it is supposed to see NT on the drive and set itself up without hosing NT's boot sector,  I'd have my recovery disks for NT updated and ready just in case.

This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)


Now it works, I found tried once more to hold down the SHIFT-key as I choosed to boot up into Win98.

The problem was an GFX driver that was incorrect installed. But now it is fixed, and it works great!

Thanks all for your help.


Special thanks for foulc.

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