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Partioning for Dual Win98/XP Boot

Last response: in Windows XP
February 25, 2002 1:46:17 AM

I'm trying to put Win98 and WinXP on one hardrive. To do this, I've elected to reformat my hardrive completely and setup new partitions using FDisk. But, I've ran into some complications.

There are three types of partitions as far as I can tell:

- Primary (required?)
- Extended (eh?)
- Logical (uh?)

I can't seem to figure out what each of them is for and what I should make. I'm only wanting two partitions. I want the first to be for Win98 (I heard the most recent OS [ie XP] should be installed last) and use Fat32 file system and XP the NTFS system. I perfer if neither OS could see one another but as long as everything works thats cool.

I'm also confused on how to setup a boot menu to select what OS I want on startup. Is there a 3rd party program I should look into? Or a special version of Fdisk that helps setup even further?

Confused and dazed.


P.S. Wild theory, if 98 finds both partitions and formats them using Fat32, will XP reformat it when I install it from 98?
February 25, 2002 7:02:13 AM

Partitioning ...

You don't need anything special to do this ... you simply need to understand how to partition a hard drive with FDISK.

First, change your boot order in the BIOS to select the floppy drive.

Next, boot with the start up disk, run FDISK, and create the primary DOS partition. Accept support for large hard disks on the page that will appear when you first use the tool.

Do not partition the drive with all the available space, or you'll end up with just one partition, and have to start over. If you want the partitions to be even in size, select 50% ,and type in the percent character with the number. After the partition is finished, give it a name with eight characters or less, such as DRIVE 1, or something similar that you can recognize.

After the primary partition is created, select the item on the FDISK menu that will allow you to make this partition active. Do not skip this step.

Next, use Esc to go back to the menu, and create an extended partition with the remaining disk space. You will automatically reach a point in the program that will ask if you wish create a logical partition in the extended partition, and this will allow the second partition to be given a drive letter.

If you do not allow a logical partition to be created in the extended partition, the second partition <i>will not</i> be given a drive letter, and you will be unable to install WinXP in the second partition.

You <i>must</i> reboot after creating the partitions.

I suggest that after you reboot, use FDISK again, and double-check the partition information.

I also suggest that any partitions you create be over 2GB in size or more.

Now, change your boot order in the BIOS to CD-ROM.

Boot with the Win98 CD, and install the operating system into the first, active partition. The OS installation disk will allow you to format the partition. The reason that I suggested a partition over 2GB is so the OS will automatically select FAT32, instead of FAT. And 2GB is the smallest partition size Microsoft recommends for WinXP.

Once this is done, boot with the WinXP disk, and install this operating system into the second partition. Again, you will have the option to choose the file system.

When the installation is complete, you will be see a boot loader on the screen immediately after the POST, which will allow you to choose the operating system you wish to use.

I further suggest that you do not allow the WinXP disk to format the second partition as NTFS. As this is your first dual-boot, it is advisable, at first, to run both operating systems in FAT32. Later, if you wish to run NTFS, it is not difficult to convert the entire file system from the GUI. If you are not familiar with WinXP, and have never used a Recovery Console, or if the installation fails, you might find it comforting to be able to re-format the partition from DOS ... which is something you cannot do if the partition is NTFS.

Before attempting this, please don't walk into it blindly. Read up on the procedure. Have a disk ready with the drivers, patches and updates you'll need for both operating systems and your hardware. Simply installing the operating systems is not enough if you wish to have some kind of stability. For example, DirectX will need updated in Win98, and both operating system should immediately have updated chipset drivers, video card drivers, etc.

The sequence that is used to install drivers and updates to the operating system is more important than many people realize.

<A HREF="" target="_new">Multibooting with Windows XP</A>

If you have a large hard drive, it may be a good idea to download the latest version of <A HREF=";EN-US;q263044" target="_new">FDISK</A> and place it on your startup disk.

<A HREF="" target="_new">Partitioning, Partition Sizes and Drive Lettering</A>

<A HREF="" target="_new">Radified FDISK Guide to Partitioning a Hard Drive</A>

<A HREF="" target="_new">Hard Drive Partition Procedure</A>

<A HREF="" target="_new">FDISK Simulation</A>

This page is equally valid for WinXP:

<A HREF=",9057,2662..." target="_new">How to Dual-Boot Windows 2000 and Windows 95/98</A>


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