dual booting multiple installs of Win2k

wdev99 used Ask the Experts™
I would like to be able to dual boot between multiple installs of 2000 on two drives. The reason is that my original drive is what I use for web development, email, etc. and it is very full. The other install of Windows 2000 on a second drive would be optimized for video work (no network connections, no internet, etc).

I've tried installing this way without using another booting program. During bootup it shows two Win2k to choose from but the 2nd install on the 2nd drive will not work. Have also used Bootmagic but no luck. Given all the setups I've tried would not doubt that I missed something.

Is this possible?


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How did you install the second Win2000? Did you run a Repair on the first Installation? Running the repair on the first install it is the pimary master drive may rectify this.

This is a in depth look at "Repair, Recovery, and Restore"
The download is actually a MS Word Document with the info

Here is a description of a couple of repair options.

The following is from the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Differences Between Manual and Fast Repair in Windows

or do


"3920 » How do I perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 2000?

If a repair does NOT cause your computer to operate normally, you may wish to try an in-place upgrade, a last resort before reinstalling. The in-place upgrade takes the same time as a reinstall.

To perform an in-place upgrade:

1. Boot the CD-ROM (or boot disks).

2. Press Enter to install a copy of Windows 2000.

3. Accept the License Agreement.

4. If setup does NOT detect a your installation, an in-place upgrade is NOT possible.

5. When prompted to repair the existing installation, press R. Setup will perform an in-place upgrade"


"4508 » What does a Windows 2000 in-place upgrade change and not change?

I described performing an in-place upgrade in tip 3920 » How do I perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 2000?

When you perform an in-place upgrade:

1. Service Packs, hotfixes, and IE upgrades are rolled back.

2. Default registry values are restored.

3. Default permissions are reapplied.

4. COM and WFP are reregistered.

5. Plug and Play devices and the HAL are re-enumerated.

6. Drive letters are changed based upon the current drive and partitions. See Q2324048 - How Windows 2000 Assigns, Reserves, and Stores Drive Letters.

The following is NOT changed:

1. Installed components and programs.

2. Passwords.

3. Third-party registry entries.

4. The computer's role.

NOTE: If you upgraded your computer from Windows NT 4.0, profiles were stored at %SystemRoot%\Profiles. The in-place upgrade creates a \Documents and Settings folder and changes the registry profile to point to it. To fix the problem, use the Registry Editor to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList. For each user, there will be a SID sub-key and a Value Name of ProfileImagePath. Change the string value to point to %SystemRoot%\Profiles\<UserName>."

The Crazy One
Top Expert 2007
1) Did this ever work ?

2) Are you using IDE or SCSI drivers ?

3) win2k can easily do multiple boots if you install it correctly, and choose the other drive/partition as the install directory.

4) You may have problems if the drive is formatted with FAT32 over 32 GB in size.

Also  - Did you check your boot.ini file.

Please post it here, and we may be able to see the problem.

I hope this helps !



1.  Hasn't worked
2. IDE drivers
3.  Going to reinstall on the second drive
4.  all NTFS

Found some info about changing the boot.ini file.  After I do my reinstall, will check it and make the changes if necessary.  let you know in about a day.

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Seems like your missing something rather simple. All you need to do is do a fresh install onto the second drive and or partition.

Then you need to ensure that your arcpath is correctly setup. The arcpath information is contained in the boot.ini file.

check out this page for a little info on ARC and boot.ini




The arcpath is used by NT and 2000 to tell the OS where its boot / system files are.

You should have an entry in relating to your first drive and a second one relating to the second drive.


The other responses did have things to consider.  SysExpert's response though moved me in the right direction first due to mentioning the boot.ini file.

Now working with both drives. The machine was prebuilt and the manufacturer put some sort of "hidden" FAT partition before the original OS partition.  Realize now that I should have mentioned this in the first place.  Deleted that and reinstalled windows (there went the warranty!) on that drive then reinstalled on the second drive. Booted just fine.

Since I had not considered the hidden FAT partition I wish I could divide the points. Thanks to everyone who responded.

Top Expert 2007

I am glad you got this resolved.

If you decide to distribute points you can accept a comment as an answer or

You can open up new questions with points for each expert with a subject like " For xxxnname" for help with...
, and notify the experts here of what you did and perhaps even provide the links,


You can put in a request to                    
to distribute the points in any manner you think is proper, or to refund your points.

This is especially true when you think you have received good information from more than one person, or answered it yourself.

Also see  http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/cmtyQuestAnswer.jsp

     I hope this helps !


I have sent an email requesting that SysExpert receive 100 points and that huckey  receive 50 points and CrazyOne receive 50 points.



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