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Triple booting Windows NT 4, 98 and 2000.


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Hello.

I was wondering if it would be possible to triple boot these three operation systems. I know that:

- I would have to install NT 4 first, then 98 and lastly 2000.

- Seperate partitions would be needed for each OS.

- Windows NT 4 can read FAT16 and NTFS partitions.

- Windows 98 can read FAT16 and FAT32 partitions.

- Windows 2000 can read FAT32 and NTFS partitions.

Would it be possible to triple boot these OSes? I don't care if I can't access different hard drives when that system is off. But would it be compatible to use all three?

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I know that:

- I would have to install NT 4 first, then 98 and lastly 2000.

- Seperate partitions would be needed for each OS.

No. :no: (see below)

 

- Windows NT 4 can read FAT16 and NTFS partitions.

- Windows 98 can read FAT16 and FAT32 partitions.

- Windows 2000 can read FAT32 and NTFS partitions.

Yes :yes:

 

Would it be possible to triple boot these OSes?

Sure it is possible :).

Fake :w00t: that instead of Windows 98 you are installing DOS (which is what you are actually installing), the simpler would be to install in this order:

  1. - Windows 98
  2. - Windows NT 4
  3. - Windows 2000

Each windows setup will attempt (and succeed) to write to the disk it's own VBR invoking it's own bootloader, the difference being that the NT 4's one was designed in such a way to allow booting DOS (and conversely Windows 98) and that the Windows 2000's one was designed in such a way to allow booting of both NT 4.00 and DOS (please read again as Windows 98) whilst the Windows 98 (yet again DOS) only boots "itself".

There are obviously a number of third party utilities that may allow you to install the operating systems in every order you choose (i.e. fix the booting mechanism) but if you are starting from scratch it would be easier to install them in the given order.

 

I have run for years such systems, the point that is worth some time thinking about is how to setup the partitioning scheme.

 

Both NT 4.00 and Windows 2000 were designed to be installed (apart a few boot files) on Logical Volumes inside Extended partition.

Windows 98 was designed to be installed ONLY on First Primary partition.

Windows NT 4.00 has some limitations on the size of the volume in which it is installed and it's position.

Additionally there is an issue with NT 4.00 and Windows 2000 "sharing" a NTFS volume, Windows 2000 will ALWAYS "upgrade" the NTFS filesystem to it's own version and a few NT 4.00 tools will NOT work properly afterwards (namely CHKDSK) and the NT 4.00 NEEDS to be at least updated to SP4 or it won't even boot.

 

There are however a couple of tricks that allow the installing of Windows 98 (again set apart a few boot files) on a Logical Volume inside Extended.

 

My personal way to setup these three OS has always been the following (you will get a lot of different suggestions about this, it has been debated for years):

First Primary FAT16 containing all the boot files and an "emergency" Windows 2000 minimal install, size less than 2 Gb 

Extended partition containing:

First Logical volume inside Extended Windows NT 4.00 install, size 1 Gbytes, formatted FAT16

Second Logical volume inside Extended Windows 98 formatted FAT 32 size 2-4 Gbytes formatted FAT32

Third logical volume inside Extended Windows 2000 install, formatted NTFS

....

Last logical volume inside Extended "Common Data", formatted FAT16 size 1 Gb

 

The attempt here is to have all volumes get the same drive letter under whatever OS is currently booting, I always suggest this because IMHO it helps in not deleting by mistake a file on the "wrong" volume.

 

The alternative is to have separate Primary volumes (each with an OS installed) and using a third party bootmanager (such as grub4dos or XOSL) to choose which one to boot, in this case each OS will have "it's own volume" as C: drive, and the other volumes may get "different" drive lettering. (the DOS/Windows 98 boot would anyway to be on First Primary unless you would some more advanced re-mapping in grub4dos or similar)

 

Of course *anything* midway is possible.

 

It greatly depends on how much "dignity" you want to give to each OS, and how (or how much) you intend to work on one or the other, I mean if you use (say) NT 4.00 only sometimes 

 

You will need some detailed instructions to achieve this triple boot as it is not "easy-peasy", but it is entirely doable :).

 

Start by reading (no matter if you will use it or not) the XOSL Faq's, as they contain a number of key informations:

http://www2.arnes.si/~fkomar/xosl.org/faqhow/faq.html

 

 

jaclaz

 

 

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My personal way to setup these three OS has always been the following (you will get a lot of different suggestions about this, it has been debated for years):

First Primary FAT16 containing all the boot files and an "emergency" Windows 2000 minimal install, size less than 2 Gb 

Extended partition containing:

First Logical volume inside Extended Windows NT 4.00 install, size 1 Gbytes, formatted FAT16

Second Logical volume inside Extended Windows 98 formatted FAT 32 size 2-4 Gbytes formatted FAT32

Third logical volume inside Extended Windows 2000 install, formatted NTFS

So, correct me if I'm wrong, you would install Windows 2000 twice? And if I choose to do it this exact way, would I install the "backup" windows 2000 first or the NTFS one first?

 

I am starting to read the XOSL page you linked to me. I'm not going to install it this way but it is pretty helpful with information.

 

Lastly, I have EaseUS partition manager installed on my computer. Should I use that for making partitions? Or should I make partitions as I install each OS?

 

Thanks for everything.

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The order in which you install the two Windows 2000 instances doesn't make any real difference.

But normally you would install the "recovery" partition after having installed the main one.

Remember that in both  NT4.00 and Windows 2000 the "default" name for the "%Windir%" directory is "WINNT", what I personally use is "WINNT" for the NT 4.00 install and and "WIN2K" for the "main" Windows 2000 install (and I actually use "NT911" for the "recovery" install), this helps (for example in BOOT.INI entries) to quickly see which is which.

BTW, after the install of the "NT911" recovery 2K install I used to reduce greatly the size by deleting files I did not need, I guess that nowadays it would be easier/smarter to use nlite to make a very small install media.

 

I would not "trust" Easeus partition manager, not that it is not a good tool :), but it is simply "too new" :w00t: to be reliable (in the sense that all three systems use a cylinder aligned partitioning scheme and they are traditionally very picky with CHS addressing, whilst Easeus may decide to "adopt" the newere MB aligned scheme and/or create "queer" CHS addresses).

 

I would rather use the built-in tools (FDISK initially for the Windows 9x install and later the "inside setup" tools) and (if needed) some more low-level (or more "direct" and not "automagic") tools for MBR and VBR manipulation.

Typically I would use RPM (the Ranish Partition Manager) and grub4dos, while having handy (you never know) bootpart.

Additionally, if you are going down the way of installing Windows 9x to the logical volume inside extended you might need a couple more tools, Letter Assigner and/or COA2.

 

I know that I am flooding you with a load of information :w00t: , and that you will need to take some time to digest them :), don't worry, it seems more difficult than it is in reality, but you need to get a "general idea" of the possible issues (and corresponding solutions/workarounds) and to have a "plan" 

361gwd.jpeg

before getting to the "practical" part (and consider also how my memory might well be fading :ph34r: as these are things I did YEARS ago, so you will need anyway some patience and likely a few attempts).

 

jaclaz

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had all three installed on a single FAT32 partition. 98 was installed, followed by 2000. Then NT4 was installed on a separate harddisk (or CF card with FAT16 in this case), and after the install was done I copied the WINNT4 directory to the FAT32 partition, along with the patched file system driver from bearwindows site (this enables NT4 to access FAT32). Then I modified BOOT.INI to add an option for booting NT4. I may have had to add the drive letter in the NT4 registry too but I can't remember (I know I had to add it for NT 3.51)

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I have read most of this page over time. I plan on doing this triple boot really soon.

 

But a few last minute things to clear up:

1. I know Windows 98 must be installed on a primary partition unless XOSL is installed too. Would it work if, not needing any extra programs, Windows 98 was on a primary partition and NT 4 and Windows 2000 were on seperate logical partitions?

2. I have done successful dual-boots before, mainly Windows NT 4.0 and 2000. I know that there is more info needed for triple boots, so they are not as easy. But, more or less, can a triple boot be treated similarly to a dual-boot?

 

Thanks very much.

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1. Not really.

There is no need for XOSL, the trick is to rather to install on a primary partition and later convert the primary to a logical volume inside extended.

This can be done in a number of ways, nowadays I would use grub4dos for this, it is not particularly complex, once you get the hang of it and if you plan your partitioning accurately.

There are of course no problems in having it installed to a primary while the NT's are on other  logical volumes, the only "drawback" is that you will have 1 less partition slot available in the MBR (which is not a real issue if you do not plan to use other OS's needing primary partitions.

2. Essentially double boot and triple or n-boot are the same, you only have more items to choose from.

You may want to consider separate steps:

  1. dual boot between 9x and NT
  2. fake that you forgot about the 9x install and dual boot between NT and 2K
  3. fake that you forgot about both 9x and NT and dual boot between 2K and ...

if this makes it easier.

 You will find here a number of informations for simpler dual or n-boot setups:

http://thpc.info/dualboot.html

 

As hinted before, many of the "rules of the game" have been changed since the release of grub4dos with direct disk access, nowadays you can do *anything* or almost anything with this single utility.

 

jaclaz

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been "playing" with this for days - I have successfully installed Windows 98 with graphics drivers and a FAT32 partition. But when I insert my Windows NT4 CD, setup runs as usual, though eventually a message comes up saying that says something similar to "Setup must temporarily disable the operating system to continue with Setup. The current operating system will not be uninstalled or destroyed. You can re-enable the operating system by using Disk Management and marking the partition as Active."

Therefore, I pressed ENTER (the only option available) and progressed to the portion of Setup where I first had to restart the computer. I rebooted, the BIOS loaded, then nothing. The "Boot from CD" text appeared in the BIOS, then nothing else.

The text is actually probably quite different to what the message actually said, and I apologize in advance for that. But, all the words mean the same thing as the message said, that much I know.

Thanks a lot.

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I partitioned the Windows 98 partition simply using the Windows 98 Setup which made it a FAT32 partition. I made the partition using FDISK.

As for windows NT 4.0, making the partition wouldn't work, so I looked at other solutions. I know that there is Ranish Partition Manager and Partition Magic, which are both Windows 98 compatible. I burned both to a CD, but Ranish downloaded incorrectly and showed up as "0KB."

PartitionMagic didn't, but it was in ZIP format and 7-Zip, which I downloaded as well, showed up as 0KB on the CD. I used the Windows NT setup tool the first time, but Windows NT setup only recognized 8057 of my 38162 MB, 7 GB of what Windows 98 had been already using. So, with the remaining GB, I used the Windows NT 4 setup to make an NTFS partition.

I could try downloading Ranish Partition Manager again, and attempt to figure it out, though Partition Magic might be a bit easier to use.

Edited by ironman14
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I have to presume that you are missing the definition of the adverb EXACTLY. :(

EXACTLY how many partitions are on the disk?
Are they all primary, or some are primary and some are logical volumes inside extended, describe them EXACTLY?
On WHICH EXACT CHS each of them starts and ends?
EXACTLY how many sectors are in each of them?

How big EXACTLY is the hard disk?
etc., etc.

Do yourself a favour :), get the UBCD:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
and burn it to CD.

Then use the RPM in it.
I don't want to know where/how you found Partition Magic for download. :w00t::ph34r:

Then (if possible at all) do follow the advice of making the first, active primary partition a small FAT16 partition, believe me when I tell you that it will save you a lot of headaches, before or later.

Get also bootpart from here:
http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
there is a reason why Gilles Vollant (besides yours truly) says:

The only thing I highly suggest is : your active partition on your first hard disk must be a FAT16 primary partition. This may be a small partition.

BTW  as hinted earlier, it makes VERY LITTLE SENSE (unless you want some additional troubles) to install NT 4.00 on NTFS on a system that will dual boot with 2K or later, however, JFYI:

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/169500-chkdsk-refuses-to-check-ntfs-volume-under-windows-nt-40/

 

jaclaz

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I may not be of much assistance, but I will try to answer these questions to the best of my capability.

There is currently ONE partition on my hard disk. It is exactly 7005 MB and is a primary DOS partition formatted with the FAT32 file system. The remaining 31157 MB (as my hard drive is 38162 MB) are currently unallocated.

When I did my Windows NT 4.0 dualboot, my partition was exactly 5004 MB. I had formatted it with NTFS, unaware of the problems at the time being. I created the partition using fDisk, to avoid the 8057MB windows nt 4 space limitation. However, I knew that NT4 was unable to read these partitions, so I deleted the partition, and using the unallocated space, made a partition using all of it (5004 MB).

There are exactly 14,336,000 sectors on the Windows 98 drive, and 10,240,000 sectors on the NT4 partition (which I had to delete). I do not know how to find my CHS.

A couple questions just to verify:

1) Using the UBCD, is there any way I could use RPM on a CD at the same time? Like putting the 2 on one CD?

2) My remaining partition has a drive letter of C:\ and my CD Drive has a drive letter of D:\ . Could I make my CD drive have the letter E:\, then assign my C:\ drive the letter D:\ , to make my FAT16 partition my first partition (C:\)?

3) looking back at your first post, I saw that you would make your first, Primary FAT 16 partition one for installing Windows 2000 on. Can 2 FAT16 partitions coexist on the same drive?

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The UBCD contains a (relatively complex) menu system that basically loads a floppy image + a number of chosen tools.

It is much easier to make a new floppy image with a DOS and RPM than to "extract" it from the UBCD, I suggested because you reported failing to get RPM by itself.

 

You can try again, getting Ranish Partition Manager from here:

http://www.ranish.com/part/

I just tested the doanload of version 2.40 and had no issues in getting the file.

 

You were not paying attention (or were not in class) when the teacher explained MBR partitions. :w00t::ph34r:

Quick recap:

A MBR's partition table has 4 available entries.

These can be filled maximum with 4 primary partitions or with 3 primary + 1 Extended (containing *any* number of logical volumes). 

There cannot be more than one Extended partition on a disk.

There are of course no limits to the number of partitions formatted with a "same" filesystem.

The only real "need" is to have the DOS be residing on the first hard disk, on an active partition, formatted as FAT16 (for DOS up to 6.22) or as FAT16 or FAT32 (for DOS 7.x/8.x, please read as Win9x/Me).

You have to put things into it's historical perspective.

When Windows NT 3.1 and soon after 3.51 and 4.00 came out, people were running DOS 5.00 (or so), and later 6.00 and 6.22.

DOS up to 6.22 wants for "itself" an active primary partition and it wants it formatted as FAT16.

Additionally the built-in FDISK will allow only one primary partition and one Extended partition.

So (remember that we are talking of disks that were typically 300-500 Mb in size and lated grew to 1.0 Gb,  2.1 Gb or 4.3 Gb) NT was designed to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the extended partition.

The DOS would go to first partition (primary and active) together with a few "needed for booting files" from NT, i.e. NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, BOOT.INI and in some cases a SCSI driver NTBOOTDD.SYS, while the rest (large part) of the NT system would go on a logical volume inside extended.

BUT still, NT 4.00 had some limits to the size of a volume/partition, typically only the first 7.8 Gb of the disk would be accessible at boot time and the windows NT setup would not work if the first, active partition (what contains NTLDR and that MS calls, reversed "system") was not FAT16 and within 4Gb of size.

Consider how the size of files that need to go on the "system" partition is just a few kilobytes and that the "whole" NT 4.00 installation (on the volume that MS calls "boot", i.e. the one that contains \WINNT\System32) is around 100 Mb or so.

 

So, typically an "average" at the time 500 Mb hard disk dual booting DOS and NT would usually be partitioned in:

  1. a first, primary, active, partition 100 Mb or less with DOS 5.00-6.22
  2. a second partition extended, containing a logical volume inside extended sized 200 Mb or so for the NT 4.00 OS and another logical volume around 200 Mb for "data"

Since there were - since day 1 - issues (depending on the order on which what was installed and/or when some  other tools were used) bootpart was developed (it dates back to Windows NT 3.x times) to allow to "switch" between the NT loader and the DOS  IO.SYS booting or repair "botched" installs. 

 

Only later came third party tools (like Partition Magic) capable of making more advanced settings/changes to the partitioning scheme.

 

Then came Windows 9x.

A typical Windows 95 system with a same "average" 500 Mb hard disk with Windows 95 (OSR2+) installed would come with a single active primary partition, usually formatted as FAT32.

 

Most people that already had a DOS system and that already was dual-booting with NT 4.00 would of course want to try the new Windows 95, and so every kind of tool and approach were developed.

 

In such a scenario(s) there were not that much difficulties, systems with more than one hard disk were rare, you had only one disk, you always had a primary partition on it (that always got C:\ as drive letter on *any* OS and it was always formatted as FAT16, the very first version of Windows 95 did NOT have FAT32 support, NT was limited to either FAT16 or NTFS, if the volumes in the extended partition were FAT16 they got a drive letter in all OSes, if they were NTFS only got additional drive letters and were accessibly under NT, the DOS 6.20 or 6.22 and the Windows 95/DOS7.0 were resident on the first partition and the NT stayed on it's logical volume.

 

But soon came the new version of Windows 95 with FAT32 support (and that attempted to remove the dual boot with "previous DOS versions") and everyone wanted to test this new filesystem and even more tools were developed to make these OS easier to manage.

 

MS intention was clear:

DOS was the "only" OS available used by both the businesses and consumers.

Windows 3.x was it's graphical version.

NT was the New Technology for businesses (and for businesses only)

Windows 95 was the new GUI OS for consumers (and for consumers only)

Later:

Windows 98 was the enhanced new GUI OS for comsumers (and for consumers only)

Windows ME was the enhanced (only worsened) new GUI OS for consumers (and for consumers only)

Windows 2000 was the New Technology enhanced for businesses (and for businesses only)

Then they changed their mind an forced down the throat of everyone a "business OS" (XP is actually very like 2000 with some added bells and whistles besides a few actual enhancements).

 

But in any case, the idea was that you had only one OS, at the most (and limited to the few people that already had DOS and wanted to try a NT system) a dual boot was "allowed", in their mind, no machine should have ever dual booted a Windows 9x/Me with a NT 4.00, and the very day Windows 2000 was available, everyone should have ditched NT 4.00 replacing it with Windows 2000.

 

This is part of the reasons why making a Windows 9x/Me live together with BOTH a NT 4.00 AND a Windows 2000 needs some planning before and has a few limits that one must know when attempting to put these OS all together on the same machine.

 

To know how is currently (or at any time) your system partitioned (including CHS data) you can get PartIn9x.zip (for 9x use) and PartInNT.zip (for NT/2K use) from Symantec they are "Partition INFO" tools, they are "safe" because they are "Read Only":

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/

 

And you may want to review the Ranish "Partitioning primer" which for some reasons is unavailable online, but that can be retrieved through the Wayback Machine, like here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20050830030859/http://www.ranish.com/part/primer.htm

 

At the light of the above info, try thinking of how you think you would like to setup your system, and post your idea, and we will check together if it is doable, if it "hits" again one of the known limitations (or only it is likely to cause issues) and needs to be changed, and how exactly to make it. :)

 

jaclaz

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I insert my 5 cents: since ~Pentium 4 class computers I never used CD- or FLOPPY-based installation type on either NT 4.0 Workstation/Server or TerminalServer. I use only cloning from installation made in virtual environment (qemu, virtualbox, vpc, bochs etc. ). Because when I use "normal" installation process with modern hardware in ~100% cases it hangs on textmode (i.e. blue-screen ) setup stage. I think it is because modern CPUs are too fast and Windows NT setup environment is not aware of it.

Also read this "Windows NT 4.0 Large HDD Information" http://nt4ref.zcm.com.au/bigdisk.htm

I. e. generic atapi.sys driver (even from NT 4 ServicePack6a) does not support UDMA transfer modes and LBA48!

I have no other option to use UNIATA driver instead of ATAPI.SYS, however it is not guaranteed that such setup works.

I used modified installation CD for NT4 system.

 

Cloning also has some good drawbacks:

1. I could install NT in partition larger than 7.8 Gb (you need ntldr, ntdetect.com from windows 2000 or later)

2. I could install NT onto FAT32 partition (you need ntldr, ntdetect.com from windows 2000 or later, installed read/write fat32.sys) 

3. I could install NT after other OS were installed (XP, 98 etc.)

4. With some caution I could install NT on the same disk when other OS were installed (NT, XP, 98 etc.) since NT contains user profiles inside WINNT/WTSRV directory

 

So you need extract two folders ("Program Files" and "WINNT") from cloned hdd image into root folder of your disk drive that you reserved for NT4 and made a correct boot.ini entry, like this:

[operation systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WTSRV="Windows NT Workstation Version 4.00" /noserialmice

If you wish to correct drive letters order you can do it inside NT4.0 AdministativeTools/DiskAdministrator start menu entry.

 

Cloning also possible for Windows 95/98/Me and NT 3.51. :)

Edited by bearwindows
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The UBCD contains a (relatively complex) menu system that basically loads a floppy image + a number of chosen tools.

It is much easier to make a new floppy image with a DOS and RPM than to "extract" it from the UBCD, I suggested because you reported failing to get RPM by itself.

 

You can try again, getting Ranish Partition Manager from here:

http://www.ranish.com/part/

I just tested the doanload of version 2.40 and had no issues in getting the file.

 

You were not paying attention (or were not in class) when the teacher explained MBR partitions. :w00t::ph34r:

Quick recap:

A MBR's partition table has 4 available entries.

These can be filled maximum with 4 primary partitions or with 3 primary + 1 Extended (containing *any* number of logical volumes). 

There cannot be more than one Extended partition on a disk.

There are of course no limits to the number of partitions formatted with a "same" filesystem.

The only real "need" is to have the DOS be residing on the first hard disk, on an active partition, formatted as FAT16 (for DOS up to 6.22) or as FAT16 or FAT32 (for DOS 7.x/8.x, please read as Win9x/Me).

You have to put things into it's historical perspective.

When Windows NT 3.1 and soon after 3.51 and 4.00 came out, people were running DOS 5.00 (or so), and later 6.00 and 6.22.

DOS up to 6.22 wants for "itself" an active primary partition and it wants it formatted as FAT16.

Additionally the built-in FDISK will allow only one primary partition and one Extended partition.

So (remember that we are talking of disks that were typically 300-500 Mb in size and lated grew to 1.0 Gb,  2.1 Gb or 4.3 Gb) NT was designed to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the extended partition.

The DOS would go to first partition (primary and active) together with a few "needed for booting files" from NT, i.e. NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, BOOT.INI and in some cases a SCSI driver NTBOOTDD.SYS, while the rest (large part) of the NT system would go on a logical volume inside extended.

BUT still, NT 4.00 had some limits to the size of a volume/partition, typically only the first 7.8 Gb of the disk would be accessible at boot time and the windows NT setup would not work if the first, active partition (what contains NTLDR and that MS calls, reversed "system") was not FAT16 and within 4Gb of size.

Consider how the size of files that need to go on the "system" partition is just a few kilobytes and that the "whole" NT 4.00 installation (on the volume that MS calls "boot", i.e. the one that contains \WINNT\System32) is around 100 Mb or so.

 

So, typically an "average" at the time 500 Mb hard disk dual booting DOS and NT would usually be partitioned in:

  1. a first, primary, active, partition 100 Mb or less with DOS 5.00-6.22
  2. a second partition extended, containing a logical volume inside extended sized 200 Mb or so for the NT 4.00 OS and another logical volume around 200 Mb for "data"

Since there were - since day 1 - issues (depending on the order on which what was installed and/or when some  other tools were used) bootpart was developed (it dates back to Windows NT 3.x times) to allow to "switch" between the NT loader and the DOS  IO.SYS booting or repair "botched" installs. 

 

Only later came third party tools (like Partition Magic) capable of making more advanced settings/changes to the partitioning scheme.

 

Then came Windows 9x.

A typical Windows 95 system with a same "average" 500 Mb hard disk with Windows 95 (OSR2+) installed would come with a single active primary partition, usually formatted as FAT32.

 

Most people that already had a DOS system and that already was dual-booting with NT 4.00 would of course want to try the new Windows 95, and so every kind of tool and approach were developed.

 

In such a scenario(s) there were not that much difficulties, systems with more than one hard disk were rare, you had only one disk, you always had a primary partition on it (that always got C:\ as drive letter on *any* OS and it was always formatted as FAT16, the very first version of Windows 95 did NOT have FAT32 support, NT was limited to either FAT16 or NTFS, if the volumes in the extended partition were FAT16 they got a drive letter in all OSes, if they were NTFS only got additional drive letters and were accessibly under NT, the DOS 6.20 or 6.22 and the Windows 95/DOS7.0 were resident on the first partition and the NT stayed on it's logical volume.

 

But soon came the new version of Windows 95 with FAT32 support (and that attempted to remove the dual boot with "previous DOS versions") and everyone wanted to test this new filesystem and even more tools were developed to make these OS easier to manage.

 

MS intention was clear:

DOS was the "only" OS available used by both the businesses and consumers.

Windows 3.x was it's graphical version.

NT was the New Technology for businesses (and for businesses only)

Windows 95 was the new GUI OS for consumers (and for consumers only)

Later:

Windows 98 was the enhanced new GUI OS for comsumers (and for consumers only)

Windows ME was the enhanced (only worsened) new GUI OS for consumers (and for consumers only)

Windows 2000 was the New Technology enhanced for businesses (and for businesses only)

Then they changed their mind an forced down the throat of everyone a "business OS" (XP is actually very like 2000 with some added bells and whistles besides a few actual enhancements).

 

But in any case, the idea was that you had only one OS, at the most (and limited to the few people that already had DOS and wanted to try a NT system) a dual boot was "allowed", in their mind, no machine should have ever dual booted a Windows 9x/Me with a NT 4.00, and the very day Windows 2000 was available, everyone should have ditched NT 4.00 replacing it with Windows 2000.

 

This is part of the reasons why making a Windows 9x/Me live together with BOTH a NT 4.00 AND a Windows 2000 needs some planning before and has a few limits that one must know when attempting to put these OS all together on the same machine.

 

To know how is currently (or at any time) your system partitioned (including CHS data) you can get PartIn9x.zip (for 9x use) and PartInNT.zip (for NT/2K use) from Symantec they are "Partition INFO" tools, they are "safe" because they are "Read Only":

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/

 

And you may want to review the Ranish "Partitioning primer" which for some reasons is unavailable online, but that can be retrieved through the Wayback Machine, like here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20050830030859/http://www.ranish.com/part/primer.htm

 

At the light of the above info, try thinking of how you think you would like to setup your system, and post your idea, and we will check together if it is doable, if it "hits" again one of the known limitations (or only it is likely to cause issues) and needs to be changed, and how exactly to make it. :)

 

jaclaz

Looking at the above info and some of the "general" regulations of Windows, here is what I was thinking:

 

1) My C:\ drive, approx. 1GB, formatted with FAT16, used to install Windows 98.

2) My D:\ drive, 1GB, formatted with FAT16, used to install Windows NT 4.0.

3) My E:\ drive, 2GB, formatted with FAT32, used to install Windows 2000.

4) My F:\ drive, approx. 10 GB, formatted with FAT32, used for storing files for Windows 98.

5) My G:\ drive, remaining 24GB, formatted with NTFS (but I will be certain to update Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 6 since using more than 7.8GB partitions on Windows NT 4.0 REQUIRES at least Service Pack 4, as well as Windows NT 4 and 2000 sharing a filesystem), used as storage space for Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0.

 

Would the following be doable? If not could you please explain?

Thank you.

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