Dual Boot Operating Systems

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.
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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.

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

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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

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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.


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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)
Another possiblity is using one of these

Virtual PC

VMware Workstation
Ummm Sunray just so you know those two links are presuming XP hasn't been installed yet. In this case XP is installed. :)
Oh shoot !!! I have to read well before posting

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
rwlAuthor Commented:
Wow, thanks for the quick response...is there one or two programs that you recommend over all the others?
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
rwlAuthor Commented:
XP is already installed...are you saying that 98 will not install on a separate partition?
rwlAuthor Commented:
or I mean to say boot. Will 98 be recognized?
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
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.
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
rwlAuthor Commented:
very good info...i will give it a try!
you can try partion magic OR fips for free...
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