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anyone got a dual boot system - a few questions

Posted on 2002-04-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Hi there, I need to use XP (primarily for remote diagnostics) but don't want to get rid of win98SE just yet. I decided to implement a dual boot system, but as I have no direct experience of this it makes me a little edgy. I would be very grateful if you could answer these preparatory questions:

1)     Providing I install XP after win98 is there any problem in putting XP on my D drive. Am I right in thinking the MBR (stored on the primary partition) will indicate to the boot manager where the respective installations are stored – allowing me to choose at startup

2)     If I install XP on a separate drive (or partition) will they function as entirely separate installations and not throw up any conflicts
3)     Providing I use the same file system I understand that there is no problem sharing files between operating systems. What is the situation with programs though? Would I need to reinstall any programs that have dll’s in my original system folder (eg office) – or could I just drag shorcut’s over from my c-drive. Also would I just be able to redirect outlook express (and outlook) to the relevant dbx and pst files and share mail and outlook resources between installations.
4)     if I reformat and reinstall c – will it erase the master boot record  and render the second installation (XP) unusable
5)     Is there any way to revert afterwards, removing XP from the second drive and returning completely to a conventional boot up situation


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Question by:elliot2002
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emery800 earned 50 total points
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Hi elliot2002!
Dualbooting is not difficult it is just using a little patience. I will answer your questions in order let me know if you have any other questions, Dave
1. Your second OS (in this case XP) should be on its own partition. You are correct in that it will bring up a menue and you can choose which OS you want to boot to. The default after installation will be set to XP and it will have a 30 second time out to allow you to choose. You can change this default if you desire in XP and you can also change how many seconds before it boots automatically to the default.
2. The answer is yes! They will operate as two seperate OS and have their own program files folder, which it will install on the partition you installed the OS on.
3. It is recommended that you install the applications in XP again to support this OS. You can point your e-mail program to the PST etc. You can drag some shortcuts but they should be minimal and it should be those that don't require certain dlls etc. to run, as for office it should be reinstalled and you can change the my documents folder path so you are working out of the same folder on both OS's. This is what I do.
4. Yes, you would either have to do a repair of the XP or reinstall it or copy the root files out of "C" and have them backed up to copy back after the format.
5. Yes, however, recognize that root files would be on "C" to support XP, but if you did a sys c: on "C" then it renders XP unusable and you could delete the XP files and anything you had on "D" to support it.
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by:emery800
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I forgot to indicate that you should do a custom install of XP and when you run it, you would say no to upgrade current OS and then select a clean install and check where it is going to install and make sure you select "D". Dave
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by:elliot2002
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Cheers mate, you answered them all perfectly - excellent timing too, I was just about to go ahead and install. Now I will be able to relax!

Just one thing - what exactly does the sys c: command do?

thanks,

Bowen.
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by:emery800
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If your running wither 95 or 98 versions as the first OS and you boot to the command prompt with a bootdisk and run sys c: it copies the system files back to the computer and makes it look like the only system on the machine is the 95 or 98. It overrides the the files necessary for w2k or xp to show or boot. :>) Dave
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by:elliot2002
ID: 6957833
Thanks again,

I will now proceed,

atb,

Bowen.
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by:emery800
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Good Luck! Thanks, and take care! Dave
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