Method #1: Use the same hard disk to install and dual-boot Win9x/Me on a Windows XP or 2000 computer that uses NTFS
Last reviewed: July 2005
You can install Windows Me, 98SE, 98, 95 on a XP, 2K, NT PC that already uses only the NTFS file system. You can then select either Windows from a Boot Menu during boot up. No third-party boot utility is used here.
The method described here (Method #1) uses a single hard disk though you must create a FAT or FAT32 partition after the NTFS partition. You can use free space (if any) at the end of the disk, or convert an unused/unessential NTFS partition. Otherwise you need a third-party partition utility to ceate the FAT/32 partition without loss of data.
If you prefer to use a second hard disk please go to this page (Method #2).
It's important to follow the instructions exactly as stated on this page.
Summary of procedure: (Advanced users)
A XP/2K (NTFS) + Win9x dual-boot must be based on the PC's system partition being a FAT/32 Primary partition (on the Primary Master). A Primary partition should be created after the NTFS partition. The new Primary is Formatted using FAT32 or FAT, and made Active. A Win9x is installed on this Active Primary FAT/32 partition. Then a new Windows XP/2K installation is aborted as soon as it has created a new XP/2K boot sector on that FAT/32 partition (plus placing its boot files, including Bootsect.dos, there). Finally, XP/2K's temporary (installation) Boot.ini on the Win9x partition is corrected to reflect the two fully installed Windows. Finished.
When booted to Win9x, the NTFS partition(s) will be ignored. This means the Win9x partition will be the C: drive (as is normal). All Win9x software will function in the normal manner. The XP/2K NTFS partition(s) will not be visible.
When booted to XP/2K, Windows XP will retain the original drive letter (usually C:) for its boot partition. All installed software will continue to run correctly. This is an advantage of creating a FAT/32 partition AFTER the NTFS partition(s). The Win9x partition (FAT/32) will be visible and will be allocated the next available drive letter (sometimes after the CD letter). This is not a problem as Win9x software will not be run from XP/2K.
If, for some unknown reason, the procedure does not work, boot from the XP/2K installation CD. Press R (and then C for 2K) to enter the Recovery Console. Log on to the XP/2K installation. At the prompt, run fixboot C:, where C is the drive letter allocated to the (first) NTFS partition. Then run bootcfg /rebuild.
You will also have a Rescue Boot Disk that will let you boot XP/2K.
• For some users the new FAT/32 (Win9x's) boot partition must begin before a certain physical distance from start of hard disk. This is 2 TB for Win98+ if the system fully supports INT13 Extensions (supported by all new PCs for some years). Otherwise, 8 GB for Win98/Me, or 2 GB for Win95.
• On fast PC systems, some versions of Win95 may not install, or may install and then refuse to run. Read Win95b,c on Fast PCs for a possible fix.
• Remember Win9x will not see an NTFS partition, so some drive letters can be different under different OSs. Label all partitions from under XP/2K for positive identification if you have many partitions.
• If repartitioning, you must use a third-party utility or you will lose all data.
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