I have xp installed on my C: drive (80gig) and I have just been given another drive (20gig) with Win 98SE already installed. I now have both drives installed in my machine (C: and D:) and if I wish to run 98 I can do so by entering the bios and temporarily changing the drive to boot from. However, it would be much easier if it were possible to have a boot screen with XP as default if no action in (say) 10 seconds and 98 as an alternative choice. I know this type of boot file is created automatically if 98 is already installed and then XP is installed later but is it possible to create such a file with my set up? If so how?


So you want to install windows 98 over xp ... hmm .. you can do so by booting from windows 98 cd .. installing windows 98 and then you'll have to repair windows xp installation ... all will go fine afterwards..

Thanks but I don't want to install 98 over XP - I already have 98 on my D: drive and XP on my C: drive. I just want to be able to load either (with XP as default) from a selection screen rather than go into the bios every time I want 98.

You can't John, as the boot files and boot sector just won't be adequately configured. You'll need to reinstall 98 over the top of the installation on your D: drive, following the procedures in the article I linked. Then perform the other modifications mentioned.

Windows is designed in such a way that earlier versions need to be loaded first, and this procedure is designed to get around that limitation.

Yes this can be done. You will need a 3rd party boot manager which seems to be the best solution for what you want. Vcom makes one osl2000 boot manager is another. I am sure there are several others you may want to search and you may stumble upon a free one. Seems odd xp will not give you the option on start up which os to boot to. Speaking from my personal experience with dual drives the only way I got mine to behave was first install xp then windows 2000 pro. I tried the other way and just turned every thing to garbage. Just my 2 cents.

helloimtim, you must have made mistakes when you tried. installing XP and 2000 Pro as a dual boot should be a straightforward procedure.

A boot manager is not needed for this. The procedure I linked is simply a refresh install followed by editing the boot file. Windows XP already has a multi-boot structure in place as standard. Without a different OS previously being present, however, the only entry in it is the one for XP itself.

The procedure I mentioned will result in a dual-boot choice at startup, and eliminate the need to make changes in BIOS. It will retain installed software and data on the 98 drive and alter any necessary entries in the 98 Registry which indicate drive letters which have changed.

It was a strait forward procedure. I clean installed both drives. Even tried 2000 on drive c and xp on drive d. Your not the first to mention this. By all rites It should of been 2000 first and xp second. Made no sense to me or a few other fellow "geeks". Guess it just goes to show how computers can tend to have a mind of there own. Goodness knows I tried the other way countless times and ways. Mine for whatever reason just wanted it backwards. I have seen others have to do the same thing. Not as uncommon as one would think. As far as the 3rd party boot manager, I still believe it would work super for him. Ultimatley its there choice to do whatever needs to be done to make things work best for them. I just offerd another option. More than one way to skin a cat dont ya think??

Thank you for all your responses. All the methods sound a bit risky however!. Catweazel - you advise reinstalling 98 but the link you refer to seems to talk about reinstalling XP! I was hoping that I could just edit the boot.ini file but this not seem to be possible!

The process of reinstalling XP over the top of itself creates the multi-boot menu and structure.

Reinstalling 98 over the top of itself reapirs any potential problems which may arise because drive letters have changed. These two Windows versions treat drive letters in different ways.

Another common question. You will need to find a 3rd party boot loader, and setup arguments to get both drives to be able to be booted from. Although, i think you can do this with Windows built-in boot loader, I would Google Windows 98 and XP dual booting.

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, networking, learning, and sharing knowledge.