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Independent/encrypted dual-boot of Windows

Looking for some software that'll hide two different installations of Windows from each other.  If there's encryption, that would be a bonus, but the main intent is to be able to have some type of boot loader hide the two OS' from each other.  Even more to the point, if it could hide them so that both Windows believe they are the C drive, that would be as good as it gets.

I would think that there would be two (or maybe 3) partitions, and the boot loader just allows the OS to see whichever partition you select, but it would be unaware of the true disk layout as a whole.
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How to Hide Boot.ini Entries from Displaying

You can hide additional installations of Windows from being displayed in the boot menu, but still gain access to them when you need to.

To hide menu items from the Boot.ini file, so they will not be accessible:

   1. Remove the read-only attribute from the Boot.ini file.
   2. Use an editor to edit the Boot.ini file.
   3. Place the following entry above the lines you want hidden:

      [any text].
      This will hide all entries below the [any text] heading.

   4. To restore the entry and make it accessible again, remove the [any text] line.
   5. Save the file and reapply the read-only attribute.
   6. Restart your computer.

For example, the 3 bottom entries below will not be displayed or accessible the next time the system is restarted. Simply remove [any text] to gain access to this installation.

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\NT351SVR="NT Server 3.51"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\NT351SVR="NT Server 3.51 [VGA mode]" /basevideo /sos
[any text]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT35="NT Wks 3.51"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT35="NT Wks 3.51 [VGA mode]" /basevideo /sos

The encryption you suggest or require is NOT necessary in dula or multi-boot scenarios.  if you want to, for example, dual boot windows 98SE and windows XP, you just install 98SE to a directory called WIN98SE, and then you install XP on the same C drive, and install it to a directory called WINDOWS -- and the two OSs coexist perfectly without any trouble at all.

However, I suspect you are trying to installl XP and vista on the same system, and the problem here is only VISTA -- it FORCES you to install it on a separate partition.  So this is not a big ordeal.  Say you have a 300 GB hard drive, you assign 120 GB to the windows XP partition, and the remaining 180GB to the vista partition.  YOu install XP first on the first partition -- C drive -- and then you install vista on the second partition -- D Drive -- and they will coexist perfectly.  Be advised, vista will NOT coexist on a partition with another OS, and that is BY DESIGN, and you cannot "hide" that from the operating system.

If you are isntalling MAC or linux, or ubuntu, or the likes, they also require their own partition.  So follow the same as for vista above.  The REASON I suggested to keep the XP partition to 120GB is because you can format it FAT32, and no matter what happens to the disk you will AL:WAYS be able to recover all the data from a FAT32 parition, even with basic win98 or DOS utilities.  That is what you want to do.
Just know that you cannot completely succeed because all OS use the exact same disk sector to begin with, so there can be no 'perfect' hiding.

> hide two different installations of Windows from each other

You do not specify version. A good old method is to have Win9x loaded and then load up one from the NT family (such as XP).  You need format the latter for NTFS, for the Win9x does not know how to use ntfs, so it will never see a drive formatted ntfs.


NTFS volumes are not recognized by Windows 95/98/Me. This is only a concern when the system is set up for dual or multi-booting. FAT32 must be be used for any drives that must be accessed when the computer is booted from Windows 95/98 or Windows Me.

An additional note to the previous statement. Users on the network have access to shared folders no matter what disk format is being used or what version of Windows is installed.

FAT and FAT32 volumes can be converted to NTFS volumes. NTFS cannot be converted to FAT32 without reformatting.
SunBow, I think you are missing the point here, maybe I misread you.  If the one "C" partition is formatted FAT32, and the other NTFS, it is clear that BOTH OSs can boot from that -- either win98SE or XP on the C drive FAT32, and either vista or XP (if 98 is on C) on the D drive.  Both coexist fine, and "effectively" do not see each other, the only thing shared by them is the boot loader on C.  Perhaps vista is unlike XP in that it can boot from a fat32 partition but run in an NTFS partition on another D drive, as can XP.  I don't know because I don't know anyone who has tried it.  But if vista coexists with XP, which it does, and requires its own partition, then the separation of boot volume from OS volume that is true of XP must also be true of vista.  Anyway, he has not said which OSs he wants, so all of this is moot, until he does, isn't it.

I think we are agreeing, in that an NTFS XP can be hidden from Win98, or win95 (Win9x).
I had Win9x on 2nd drive, which was d: when XP booted, where XP was on 1st drive of c:
When boot.ini redirected to the Win9x system, it showed files for its OS on c:, unable to view the XP drive at all, even though it was the one that was booted from. D: invisible - even available for another partition or for a CD.
I also agree on mootness, since most questions lately are for just XP.
WHile my vote goes to having separate HD for each OS, it is possible to have each OS in a different partition of same drive, or, if similar OS, having multiple OS in same partition, different directories. I do not recommend the latter as there are too many things that can become conflicts or cause for confusion

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