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Create a Multiple-Boot System with Windows XP and Windows 98

Updated on December 28, 2012

Step 1:

Reformat your hard drive, using boot-up software such as Active Kill Disk (Get it free from http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm )

Getting Ready

You can't multi-boot with Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me because all these OS use the same boot file. So pick one

Make sure the hard disk is formatted correctly with the right File-system. For Windows XP you can use either FAT, FAT32, or NTFS. For Windows 98 you can use either FAT or FAT32. But Both must be FAT32 so you can access the other from one OS.

Step 2:

Install each operating system first Windows 98, then XP. This is the process I’ve followed
1. Installed Windows 98
2. Installed Norton Partition Magic 8.0
3. Created active extended partition (MAKE SURE UNDER BOOTABLE OPTIONS IT SAYS "YES" OR YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BOOT AGAIN!)
4. Insert Windows XP disk and install onto the new HD partition that you created

Finishing off
After you install Windows XP it should automatically create a boot.ini file which can be found at C:\boot.ini

To see an example of boot.ini see the bottom of the page.

My Mistake

My mistake was using Norton Partition Magic on Windows 98 to create a primary partition which couldn’t boot up, as if you install another primary partition on windows 98, 98 doesn’t boot up. I tried this mistake twice as I thought it was other factors like failure of Windows 98 installation being complete, but it showed that Windows XP couldn’t boot up, and the mess it created was frustrating. I booted up after making changes on Norton Partition Magic only to see a blank screen.. I finally fixed it and it was such a relief.

Example of what the boot.ini should look like

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect /nodebug /sos
C:\="Microsoft Windows 98"

Were you successful in creating a Dual-Boot with XP & 98?

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