This is my first time posting here, so be gentle.

I have one computer loaded with XP Pro, SP 2. I had one 60GB HD, and added another 60 GB as a slave. I have an old DOS-based game I wanted to run (Stonekeep). It runs best in DOS, but I've had it up in Win 95 and 98, but it's quarky.

I wanted to configure my system as a dual boot, with DOS and XP Pro. My reading tells me that I have to load DOS first, then XP. I've loaded a lot of stuff on my computer, and would hate to lose all of that. I do have an external 160 GB HD that I can back up to, but I'd like to avoid that. So, my questions are:

1. Is there any way to partition my HD and load DOS onto that partition without have to reload XP?

2. If I do back up the XP HD, then perform the DOS and XP installs, will the restore from the backup overwrite the DOS?

3. Will the restore reload all of my programs that I've backed up, or will they have to be reinstalled?

Thanks for any help.

suRoot commented: good stuff +1

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you mean bootorder of device channels, you still have to boot off of Master though? just select which ide cable it's on

ok when you install DOS onto a drive give it a partition of about 2gb it won't suport more depending on which version of dos, you will also want to install DOS-shell otherwise you'll be limited to creating files, coppying files changing dir, creating dir's and a few other kernal commands. Yes, you will have to back up your old files, can't you copy them to the other hard drive?

a few steps i know you'll have to do::

Crack out a 95 era Disk and boot up the PC (go to bios and make sure seek floppy is enabled and make sure floppy is the 1st boot drive)

When it's in type FDISK into the command
then you'll be giving various formatting options, go to delete partions and delete in the following order:-
Extended partitions
Logical Partitions
primary partitions (you may not have all of these but delete them all)

then go back to the first screen and make sure there are no partitions

select create partition and select primary DOS partition (or what ever it's called) when it asks you for size it will ask in MB so enter 2000 then you have a 2gig partition) now go find install instructions for DOS and DOS-shell when these are installed install XP make sure you select new partition on the XP install and don't remove the one you just created, also with the XP one it will ask you for format options, do the Quick format for NTFS unless you have a room to paint, it should at some point ask you for duel boot options, if it doesn't when you get into XP, right click mycomputer, properties, advanced startup and recover, and click edit then ask for help in here again so i can help with the settings

The issue of the partition resizer could come up as some point, but I wasn't too concerned about it yet. And I will backup my system before I start, just in case.

I haven't visited the multiboot site from MS yet, but will do so before I do anything.

I thought about installing DOS on my slave, but it's already been formatted for NTSF. I don't think that format will take DOS. I can reformat the slave and install DOS, but I wasn't sure if I could partition off a 2GB section, then have the rest of the HD space be NTSF.

Again, I will backup my system before doing anything, and I have considered just copying everything from the master to the slave. But I was concerned about the restoration of the slave to the master, if it would reinstall all of my programs, as well as my documents. If it doesn't, that would mean a ton of programs to restall, some of which I don't have the installation disks for anymore.

The rest of your instructions are pretty clear. Looks like I'll be busy this weekend.

yes you can make a 2gb partition, and make the rest NTFS, the BIOS is the only thing that knows it's just one hard drive, the bios tells the next layer up(windows/windows installer etc) that it's two different drives so it treats it accordingly ( acctually windows XP does know the difference however does treat it differently)

don't worry if you back it all up, you won't break anything and we can always help :D

is this:

you mean bootorder of device channels, you still have to boot off of Master though? just select which ide cable it's on

in response to this:

why can't you install dos on your slave drive by switching the boot sequence in the bios?

If it is, then actually you can on every pc I've ever touched. If you hit 'boot sequence', you can change it through hard drives 0 to 3, which correspond to every available plug on your ide buses. Master or slave on both cables. The drives then switch letters under windows.

don't worry if you back it all up, you won't break anything and we can always help

Again, thanks for everyone's help. I really enjoy tinkering with this on the weekends.

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