I currently have two 80gb hard disks. The second hard drive is for Linux, which will remain the same for this, but the first hard drive is what I want to change.

On the first hard drive, I currently have 3 partitions: A 2gb FAT16 partition with IBM DOS 5.0 on it, a 73gb NTFS partition with Windows XP Home SP2, and a 5gb storage drive which was originally used to transport things between XP and Linux, but has fallen out of use since I installed DOS, and can simply use the DOS FAT16 partition for such transport.

Here is my boot.ini

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

Here's the setup I want instead:

Partition 1: 10gb, FAT32, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Partition 2: 68gb, NTFS, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2
Partition 3: 02gb, FAT16, IBM DOS 5.0

The problem is that DOS will not install on anything other than the first partition on the first hard disk. I was wondering if it would work to move the files over to another hard drive, and change boot.ini, or if DOS would simply not be able to handle this.

I want 98, but I'd like to be able to keep real DOS around for learning purposes. Is it possible to get DOS working on a different partition? If so, how do I go about doing it, and what boot.ini will I need for the final setup?

Hi there. I'm looking for IBM DOS specificly. I have a copy running on a production machine but cannot find the disks anywhere. I would like to emulate this in VMware so we can dump the old pc. We use it with a Bosch Robotcontroller and the software that runs on it requires PC DOS 5.

Any help would be appreciated

That configuration is not likely to happened because you need to set the partition "active" to be bootable and having more than one active partition will cause system errors. Only way I would imagine for this configuration of partitions to be bootable in true MS-DOS 5 is via MS-DOS 5 boot disk. Win98SE uses MS-DOS 7 and all system files (command.com, dblspace.bin drvspace.bin etc) are of different version than MS-DOS 5, so simple multi-boot with Win98SE would not be true MS-DOS 5, although it would virtually be the same, with difference of some program (and driver) compatibility. For instance, I had ISA sound card whose DOS driver wouldn't work with Win98 command.com, but would with win95 command.com.

Other problem would be NTFS and FAT32 partition (in)visibility in MS-DOS 5. FAT16 partition would be designated with drive letter "C" for it would be the only visible partition (NTFS and FAT32 partition will be considered as unpartitioned space while in MS-DOS 5).
While in Win98SE, "C" drive would be FAT32 partition, and FAT16 would be "D" drive. There is a NTFS support for Win98SE, but it is not implemented in the original installation. After installing the NTFS support, NTFS partition would appear as "E" and would become accessible. But all this letter shuffling would cause problems if you attempt to use same program installations for Win98 and XP, or MS-DOS and Win98.

To create such partition configuration follow these steps:
(reboots are necessary to implement the disk changes)

1. use windows XP installation disk to create those 3 partitions.

2. format the partition 1 as NTFS and other 2 as FAT32.

3. Cancel the Windows XP installation.

4. Boot from MSDOS6.22 floppy disk and use FDISK utility to set the 2nd partition "active".

5. Reboot the machine using same floppy and format that partition by typing "format c -s -q".

6. Reboot without floppy and install Windows 98SE.

7. Exit to MS-DOS mode and use FDISK tool to remove the 3rd partition and create one in it's place by not selecting large disk support (prompted first when starting the tool).

8. Reboot the machine and format the FAT16 partition.

9. Reboot the machine using MS-DOS 5 installation floppies and install the MS-DOS. (only visible partition will be FAT16 one)

10. Reboot using Windows XP Installation CD and install windows XP with multi-boot option.

This way you will have the desired HD configuration, but true MS-DOS 5 will require booting via floppy. You can edit the config.sys and add line:
to avoid constant floppy disk accesses.