Hi there,

I am going to help a friend soon upgrading their system to win2000 - and it currently has win98 on it.

It probably has 1 hard drive, and they can't fdisk using tools like partition magic (the time period to purchase/get the software is too small).


My question is:

Is it possible to upgrade from Win98 to Win2000 on the same hard drive, keeping the files and setup of Win98? In other words, creating a dual boot so they can boot and choose to select to go back to win98 or go to win2000 ?

hopefully someone has a reply for me :)

Unlike Windows 98/Me, Windows 2000 and Windows XP have partitioning tools built-into the setup program. Therefore, you can perform an upgrade over an existing Windows 98 operating system. You can also select a different partition to install on. You can also delete partitions and allocate unpartitioned space. Unfortunately, what it cannot do is split an existing partition while saving existing data (basically, shrink the partition).

Unfortunately the only program that I'm aware of that can shrink an existing partition while keeping existing data is PowerQuest's PartitionMagic. I'm sure there are others out there - just none that I have ever used. Check download.com as I'm sure there are a few that offer free trials and such. Even then, I would make sure I was using the DOS version of PartitionMagic as it's not too great to play around with partitions while inside Windows even if you're not dealing with your System drive. There are too many things that can go wrong.

In any case, back on track. Unfortunately, the only suggestion I have without purchasing PartitionMagic is to back up important Windows98 files to external media. Then, Windows 2000 Setup can be used to partition the drive. If your friend really wants a copy of Win98 on their system, use fdisk to partition instead, then install Win98 and then Win2000. Otherwise, just use Windows 2000 to partition the drive and install.

As a last note, I highly highly discourage installing a Win2k upgrade over an existing Win98. Results would be a highly unstable OS.

It should be absolutley possible I haven't done this in some time but I think when you start to install Windows 2000 you will be given the option to keep the existing operating system as installed. This will given you a menu at start up which will allow you to select which O/S you want to boot. It is important to note that you won't be able to use the NTFS file system if you want to keep windows 98 so make sure the FAT 16/32 file system remains intact.

Good Luck


That's true Redshift, but only if you have a 2nd partition (or free space you want to partition) that you're willing to overwrite with Windows 2000 (while keeping your existing Win98 partition)

If the hdd is one large partition with Windows98, there's no way through the Windows setup to shrink that partition to make room for a second partition for Win2000.

I hope I explained myself clearly.

I am aware of the powers of Partition Magic, it is a great tool and it was worth the money for my own network. (i.e. I run SuSE, FreeBSD, Win98, WinXPpro on this 200 gb hd)

Unfortn. they are in a different situation. I did suggest winxp, but due to their specific situation with inhouse software, modifying hardware or getting xp is not possible.

I will try to mailorder partition magic and see if some company can deliver it tomorrow to them.

Thank you all for the feedback, I think an additional partition would solve some problems.

By the way, 1 drive, 1 partition, is it possible to have winxppro installed besides win98 and have both functional ? If I remember correctly, yes. But It has been a while for me.

1 drive 1 partition I do NOT recommend. I remember reading somewhere that multiple OS's on a single partition is somewhat possible though. But I would never do it. Your best bet is to get PM, shrink the existing Win98 partition, and create a new empty partition. Then install Win2k in that space.

Well Dani, it is possible to have multiple OS's on one partition, but as you said, it is a very bad idea. If you wanted to do it, all you'd have to do is change the Operating Systems files folder. For Example, instead of C:/Windows , you can make it C:/WindowsNET C:/Windows98 ect ect. It is an absolute bad idea to do, but if you want to do it, thats how.