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Dual Boot Operating Systems

Posted on 2003-11-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I have a new Dell laptop with Windows XP...the network at my office requires Windows 98. I want to add Windows 98 so that I can utilize the computer at work. Is it possible to partition the drive to add 98 without formatting the whole drive? Some say yes; some say no.
Question by:rwl
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9719460
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 1200 total points
ID: 9719462
PartitionMagic® allows you to create, resize, merge and convert partitions on your hard drive without destroying data. Award-winning PartitionMagic is the world's leading hard-drive partitioning software for PC enthusiasts.

Partition Manager

Partition Manager from Paragon provides easy and safe partitioning functions to even non-professional users.

With Partition Manager you can reclaim wasted disk space, organize your data, add new operating systems, speed up file system performance.

In the past, partition modification was risky and time-consuming task. Users had to backup all files, create new partitions, format them, may be reinstall operating system, and restore data. With Partition Manager you just select what partition modification should be done. All will be done automatically without  data loss.

System Commander

System Commander 7 provides the ultimate OS management and full partitioning in one integrated package!

 Supports every PC-compatible OS!
 Automatic preparation for adding OSes
 New - user selectable graphics
 New - installs from any Windows, including Windows XP NTFS.
 Free! Partition Commander 6 - Safe resize, create, move & copy for Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP, Linux and DOS partitions.
 Undo partitioning with exclusive BackStep technology.

Partition Commander

Partition Commander lets you reclaim hard disk space, organize your files, add new operating systems (OSes), and in many cases speed up hard drive access speeds. Best of all, you don't have to be an expert. Partition Commander automates the process - guiding you through step-by-step. Where you have a choice, helpful suggestions are made available - the rest is handled automatically!

BootIT Next Generation

BootIt NG is a partition and multi boot manager with a powerful and simple to use set of tools for partitioning, imaging, and multi-booting your computer.  It combines the features of several standalone products costing hundreds of dollars more.

Here's a list of some of the features you'll find in BootIt NG:

Windows XP Compatible!
support for large hard drives (2 TB) and partitions (1-2 TB).
non-destructive resizing and conversion for FAT/FAT32.
non-destructive resizing for NTFS.
creation and deletion of partitions/volumes.
undelete partitions/volumes.
FAT/FAT32 formatting
copying and moving of partitions/volumes.
support for Linux Ext2/Ext3 and ReiserFS file systems.
Imaging (including directly to CD-R/RW or DVD+R+RW-R-RW)
booting any partition on any hard drive  
booting from the CD ROM drive
booting multiple operating systems from a single partition.
create over 200 primary partitions (if desired).
user id and password protection.
free upgrades (1.00-1.99) (registration-key versions only)  
and lots more....

zBoot Manager

zBoot Manager is an effective boot manager and partition manager, which allows you to easily install and use multiple operating systems on a single hard drive.

Acronis PartitionExpert

Resize, copy, and move partitions without losing data*
Create and delete partitions of any type
Format partitions*
Automatically optimize hard disk space usage
Convert FAT16 <=> FAT32, Linux Ext2 <=> Ext3 partitions without losing data
Change cluster size, automatically or manually**
Browse through the detailed information about all hard disks, partitions and file systems
Hide or make visible partitions of any type
Previewing changes made in partition layout before applying them to disk
Supports large disks over 180 Gb


Ranish Partition Manager
Partition Manager is a freeware program that partitions hard disks. It will help you to install and dualboot Linux and multiple copies of Windows. For example, it will let you to run Win ME, Win 2k, and Linux on a single box. Also, using Partition Manager you can copy, move, and resize disk partitions.

Partition Resizer
The popular freeware partitioning program is back! The first free program to resize and move partitions without data loss, is now more complete, with support for disks up to 2TB of size.

New features include:

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LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9719470
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9719486
If XP is using NTFS then you are pretty much out of luck unless you use one of those utilities above to partition with and then if you use PartitionMagic or System Commander they have a boot manager and you would need to use it to do the dual boot

Other boot managers.

Boot Managers


XOSL free

Boot-US free

Master Booter



Multiple Boot Manager


Smart Boot Manager

Ranish Partition Manager Free

BootMagic comes with Partition Magic

System Commander

zBoot Manager

ADDAWINS (For multi booting Win9x OS's only) 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9719500
Another possiblity is using one of these

Virtual PC

VMware Workstation
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9719506
Ummm Sunray just so you know those two links are presuming XP hasn't been installed yet. In this case XP is installed. :)
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9719509
Oh shoot !!! I have to read well before posting

LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9719518
If XP is using FAT32 then you can install Win98 on the same partition which isn't recommended.

First you would need to rename the Program Files folder

I have never found a supported way to accomplish the subject task, but here is a procedure that 'mostly' works:

1. Close ALL programs on your desktop.

2. Use Regedt32 to navigate to the following value names and change the data values to reflect the new location:



3. For Windows 2000, also modify:


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\SFC\CommonFilesDir

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\SFC\ProgramFilesDir

4. MOVE the current Program Files folder, and sub-folders, to the new location.

5. Search ALL shortcuts, *.lnk files, on the current \Program Files drive, for \Program Files content. For each shortcut returned, right click the shortcut and press Properties. Change any affected Target: and Start in:.

6. Use Regedit to search for Data that contains \Program Files\ and change any affected data values.

7. Shutdown and restart your computer.

The reason this 'mostly' works is that some installation programs do NOT check the ProgramFilesDir and CommonFilesDir registry entries.

NOTE: On Windows 2000, the CommonProgramFiles environment variable is set from the CommonFilesDir value name and the ProgramFiles environment variable is set from the ProgramFilesDir value name.

NOTE: On Windows 2000, you can limit your *.lnk search to the Documents and Settings folder and sub-folders, plus the SystemRoot%\Profiles folder. On Windows NT, use the SystemRoot%\Profiles folder. If you are doing this for your network, search any server based profile location.

Then when you install Win98 do not let it install into the WIndows folder force it to intall in another folder that you name. Maybe something like Window98

Author Comment

ID: 9719577
Wow, thanks for the quick there one or two programs that you recommend over all the others?
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9719614

Expert Comment

ID: 9719653
surely using PM to partition the harddrive.

make sure that u have set the boot records correctly

if installing WinXP before Win98, after installing win98
the boot record can only recognise win98, but not winXP.

so u have to install win98 before winXP, then a boot menu
will be automatically generated after installation

Author Comment

ID: 9719764
XP is already installed...are you saying that 98 will not install on a separate partition?

Author Comment

ID: 9719807
or I mean to say boot. Will 98 be recognized?
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9719839
You will need to do it using a boot manager which comes with PartitionMagic. YOu just need to create a FAT32 partition with PartitionMagic and then use the Boot Manager to hide the XP partition then Install Win98

Expert Comment

ID: 9719852
partition..... get a fat32 part to install 98 on, install, make a backup of the boot.ini.

run winxp repair to enable xp to boot again.

copy the c:\bootsect.dos line of the old boot.ini to the bottom of the new boot.ini as a choice.

If you want to retain your current XP installation, use Part Magic to convert the part from ntfs to fat32. then follow steps.

Expert Comment

ID: 9720352
sure it is,  easy if you have partition magic , it will partition a section of your hdd for you make it empty space and allow you to install 98, but some times this can cause problems with xp i tryed to have a dual boot with xp and lunix, what a pain, it messed up something on the xp partition and i had to repair it. but after that it was smooth sailing. hope you will be able to make your lap top a dual boot as eaxy as i was able to. you will need a boot loader though...i'm pretty sure i saw it talked about in above posts

Author Comment

ID: 9721198
very good info...i will give it a try!
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 9723806

Expert Comment

ID: 9746051
you can try partion magic OR fips for free...

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