Dual Boot


Old 11-02-02, 07:18 AM
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Dual Boot

Good Morning from Fombell, PA. I am in the process of replacing my old pc. I purchased a dell dimension 2300 series, pentium 4 @1.80GHz, 256MB,SDRAM Memory with a 40GB Ultra ATA-100 Hard Drive (7200RPM). It comes pre-loaded with Windows XP Home Addition. My problem is some of the software I currently run on Windows 98 is not compatable with Windows XP. I have heard that you can partition your hard drive, and create a "dual-boot" system. My old pc had a 10g hard drive of which 70% of the space is utilized, so space shouldn't be a factor. I am somewhat computer literate although I have never attempted anything like this. My question is it feasible to do this and what is the procedure?
John L Hawkins
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Old 11-02-02, 08:07 AM
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It is quite common to dual-boot machines and it is well supported by XP, just like it was in NT and Wink2k. I presume that this is a green field machine (new, and with no software that can't be easily restored from CD.)

First, there are 3rd party tools, like System Commander, that will handle this for you. You may be able to install one on this machine and then add one or more OSes at will. I did not have much success when I tried one, but that was a while ago. The products exist, I presume that they work. This may be your shortest path to what you want.

If you don't want a 3rd party package controlling it, then you'll probably want to wipe the machine and partition the drive. On one partition, you format for FAT32 and install Win98. This will become C: when in Win98, and the other partition will not be visible to it. Install your games etc in this partition.

Then, install Win XP on the other partition. It will automatically set you up for dual-boot. Let it format using NTFS, which is far more reliable in the face of accidental power down than is FAT32. WinXP will see both partitions, so you can see data files from both sides.


This sort of thing always carries some risk. I give no warranty on this info. It should work. Make sure that you have all original disks and software keys before attempting any of this!!

Frankly, I think you should seriously consider upgrading to modern versions of the software that won't run on XP. You'll really like XP once you get used to using it. And you'll love never having to reboot your computer. Again, YMMV.

Good luck.
Old 11-02-02, 10:33 PM
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Actually, Windows XP comes with a feature called "Program Compatibility" that lets the software running think its running on Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 or NT. TO do this, locate the .EXE software executable. Right click and hit properties. Click on the "Compatibility" tab, and check "Run this program for". Now select yoru operating system that meets the requirement of the software.

By doing this, the software things that the system is Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 or NT. Depends on what you choose.

If that dosen't work, than dual boot is a good option. But if XP is on there, you will need to format drive, because you need to install WIN 98 first and then XP.

Hope I've helped.
Old 11-03-02, 12:09 AM
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I'd recommend approaching the "run in compatibility mode" technique with caution. I didn't mention it because I've been burned a couple of times trying to get older SW & HW to work.

Both times it appeared that incompatible drivers were installed -- XP is nothing if not a chameleon and I'd bet it fools many "which OS?" test algorithms written before NT came out. Both incidents resulted in eventual system failure and rebuild.

It's high risk in my opinion.

P.S. For those who are interested, the SW was ATARI Anniversary Edition and the HW was Microtek Scanmaker X6. Both companies should be ashamed of themselves for failing to update these in a timely manner. I should be ashamed of myself for beating my head against the wall and trying to get them to work.

Microtek has explicitly stated that they will not update the parallel port version of this scanner at all. Of course, I now use an Epson scanner.
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