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Problem installing Windows NT 4 on a hard disk that has Windows 95 in the principal partition.


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I have a problem with my old computer (Intel pentium 2 / RAM 128 Mb / Hard disk 10 GB (C:)=6gb /( D:)=4gb empty), it has Windows 95 in (C:) , and when windows NT 4 installed in logique or principal partition it doesn't start , after the (D:) is formated , and when all files are copied , and then the computer restart the windows NT4 not appear :( ,and the boot stop in checking Hard disk >> OK , but the computer is not blocked means with (Ctrl+Alt+Suppr) it restart .
I have 2 diskette emergency to resolve the start of windows 95 ,i move the statue of the partition of Win95 to Active Partition. to make windows 95 start.

I can't give up on Windows 95 because the computer hasn't changed since my dad left it. It is a memory and I do not want to change its content and system. I keep it since my childhood since my dad left it. I wanted today to install NT4 for the task of parsing something in its kernel32 extension ,but that seems impossible on this computer ,because I think Windows NT4 needs its own hard disk.. If any of you in the past have already tried installing the two systems on the same hard disk, then please you tell me what you did to make the task successful ,without giving up on Windows 95. 

Edited by windows2
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It is perfectly normal to install NT in dual boot with windows 95 (as a matter of fact  NT was designed to be installed on logical volumes inside extended).

Which filesystem, does your C: volume have (if it is FAT32 then that might be the base issue, NT knows nothing about FAT32, but there are possible workarounds).

Also, which filesystem does your D: volume have? (if it is NTFS you won't easily access its contents from Win95)

And can you confirm that it is a logical volume inside extended? (from what you reported it seems to me more likely that it is a second primary)

What might have happened is (if my guess about FAT32 is correct) that the NT install somehow attempted to make the second volume active ignoring altogether the Win95 installation.

Check where (if) the files:

NTLDR
BOOT.INI
NTDETECT.COM

have been written to (either C: or D:), since they are hidden and system files you will need to configure correctly explorer or use attrib on command line or use anothe file manager that shows hidden and system files.

Normally in these kind of setup the boot partition (what the good MS guys call "system"), i.e. the primary, active partition should be FAT16 (to be accessible by both Win95 and NT), it can be a very small one, containing only the three files above and the Windows 95 DOS files.

If you cannot move/shrink/resize or convert partitions, there are other workarounds, though, but you will need to use a third party bootmanager (grub4dos is suggested).

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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59 minutes ago, jaclaz said:

It is perfectly normal to install NT in dual boot with windows 95 (as a matter of fact  NT was designed to be installed on logical volumes inside extended).

Which filesystem, does your C: volume have (if it is FAT32 then that might be the base issue, NT knows nothing about FAT32, but there are possible workarounds).

Also, which filesystem does your D: volume have? (if it is NTFS you won't easily access its contents from Win95)

And can you confirm that it is a logical volume inside extended? (from what you reported it seems to me more likely that it is a second primary)

What might have happened is (if my guess about FAT32 is correct) that the NT install somehow attempted to make the second volume active ignoring altogether the Win95 installation.

Check where (if) the files:

NTLDR
BOOT.INI
NTDETECT.COM

have been written to (either C: or D:), since they are hidden and system files you will need to configure correctly explorer or use attrib on command line or use anothe file manager that shows hidden and system files.

Normally in these kind of setup the boot partition (what the good MS guys call "system"), i.e. the primary, active partition should be FAT16 (to be accessible by both Win95 and NT), it can be a very small one, containing only the three files above and the Windows 95 DOS files.

If you cannot move/shrink/resize or convert partitions, there are other workarounds, though, but you will need to use a third party bootmanager (grub4dos is suggested).

jaclaz

You are correct, part C: which contains Windows 95 file system is FAT32, so perhaps Windows 95 was not present in Windows NT 4 accounts after installing it on D: , for D:  its file system is FAT32 or NTFS always the same problem . Always sets d: to active partition, And as I told , I have 2 floppy emergency , and I return the C: to the Active partition, to get Windows 95 back to work. And as you said, the problem due to the fact that C: It is FAT32 . this mean, if I convert the file system type C: to FAT16, will the problem be solved ?

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The issue is then the following.

Normal Windows 95 booting:

BIOS->MBR->PBR(of active primary partition)->IO.SYS

Normal Windows NT booting (normal or in dual boot):

BIOS->MBR->PBR(of active primary partition)->NTLDR->BOOT.INI choices(if any)->either Win95 or NT in this case

What likely happens in your case:

BIOS->MBR->invalid PBR (as it doesn't exist in NT the concept of FAT32 filesystem)-> a suffusion of yellow

or

BIOS->MBR->PBR-> NO NTLDR(as it doesn't exist in NT the concept of FAT32 filesystem)-> a suffusion of yellow

Possible workarounds:

1) creating an additional (small) FAT16 partition
2) converting your existing C: to FAT16
3) using the Windows 2000 (or possibly even XP :unsure: ) version of NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM (as these do understand FAT32)
4) using grub4dos to chainload the NT NTLDR (that must however reside on either a FAT16 or NT NTFS filesystem or in a (floppy) image

#1 is the most "natural" way BUT you might have issues with drive lettering (that can BTW solved, but far from easy-peasy)
#2 is fine, but it will deprive you of some advantages of FAT32 over FAT16 (smaller cluster size), and anyway the 6 GB are "too much" for FAT16, so you would need to shrink it to around 4 GB, and in any case it would have a huge (64K cluster size).
#3 would be the easiest/next "normal"  approach, 
#4 while being (slightly) more complex  is the "less intrusive" one in the sense that it can be tested without changing anything in your partitioning.

Personally I would advise you to try #4 first, because should it not work for *any* reason there are not any complex changes to partitions, filesystems etc., and thus no damage to existing install of windows 95.

Brief instructions for #4

Get latest grub4dos from here:

  https://github.com/chenall/grub4dos/releases

from the package extract only grub.exe and copy it to the root of your C:

Boot to Windows 95 command prompt and in it run grub.exe.

You should get to a grub> prompt.

In it type:

root [ENTER]

and take note of the output, should be (hd0,0)

find --set-root /ntldr [ENTER]

root [ENTER]

and take note of the output, should be (hd0,1) if the D: partition is primary or (hd0,4) if it is a logical volume inside extended

cat --hex --skip=446 (hd0)+1 [ENTER]

you should have two lines "populated with data" and two lines with 00's and a final 55AA 

If everything is as above, try:

chainloader /ntldr [ENTER]

you should see something *like* Will boot NT ....

boot [ENTER]

What happens? (there might be an issue with "sectors before" in the logical volume PBR/VBR that may need to be corrected)

jaclaz

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Couple of notes here:

1. You say that you have a "6 GB" partition with Windows 95, followed by a "4 GB" partition that you want to install NT on. This is potentially problematic, as NT 4's version of NTLDR, with a normal configuration (not using an NT storage miniport driver to access the partition), can only access the first ~7.8 GiB (~8.4 GB) of the hard drive; and if the NT kernel or other binaries loaded by NTLDR end up located past that point (e.g. after installing an update or new boot-time driver), booting will fail. Therefore, the partition on which NT 4 is installed should be contained entirely within the first 7.8 GiB/8.4 GB of the disk. (Note that even a 1 GB partition is large enough to contain NT 4 itself plus some programs.) Once NT 4 has booted, however, it can access the entire extent of the disk without issue provided that the storage driver in use supports it.

2. If it were me setting this up, I'd just let NT 4 take over as the primary/"active" OS partition, and manually add the Windows 95 FAT32 partition as an option in the NTLDR boot menu. This is done by placing an image file of the target partition's boot sector in the root directory of the boot partition with NTLDR/boot.ini, and adding a line such as

C:\bootw95.bin="Windows 95"

to boot.ini (if you name the boot sector image "bootsect.dos", you can omit specifying the filename and just write: C:\="Windows 95"). NTLDR simply loads the boot sector from the file and executes it, and the boot sector is then responsible for loading the OS or boot loader from its corresponding partition as normal. You'll need to procure a suitable boot sector image yourself, using a disk editor or other utility running on NT to save the first 512 bytes of the target partition to a file, or perhaps using Gilles Vollant's BootPart utility, which I haven't yet used myself but which seems to be a good choice (sounds like it doesn't save the actual boot sector of the target partition to a file, but generates a special boot sector image that chain-loads the boot sector from the actual partition).

Following this, if you want to be able to access the FAT32 Windows 95 partition when running NT 4, install the Winternals/Sysinternals FAT32 driver.

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34 minutes ago, loblolly986 said:

to boot.ini (if you name the boot sector image "bootsect.dos", you can omit specifying the filename and just write: C:\="Windows 95"). NTLDR simply loads the boot sector from the file and executes it, and the boot sector is then responsible for loading the OS or boot loader from its corresponding partition as normal. You'll need to procure a suitable boot sector image yourself, using a disk editor or other utility running on NT to save the first 512 bytes of the target partition to a file, or perhaps using Gilles Vollant's BootPart utility, which I haven't yet used myself but which seems to be a good choice (sounds like it doesn't save the actual boot sector of the target partition to a file, but generates a special boot sector image that chain-loads the boot sector from the actual partition).

 

Not really, if you actually read bootpart page, it 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.

The DOS (in Windows95) must be on first disk active partition (and this cannot be FAT32 if you use the NT NTLDR).

jaclaz

 

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I'll admit that I'm straying from the conventional/Microsoft-prescribed way to multi-boot NT and DOS/9x in utilizing NTLDR's flexibility here; and if you do it this way and NTLDR and its associated files are located on an NTFS partition, you won't be able to access them from an OS without NTFS support should they somehow become corrupted—probably why putting them on a DOS-accessible FAT16 partition has been commonly suggested, like on the BootPart site. But you could always make an emergency boot floppy by formatting a floppy in NT (this is important) and copying NTLDR and associated files (NTDETECT.COM, boot.ini, any boot sector images you're using, and ntbootdd.sys if present) to the floppy, and use it to boot should the need arise. I do personally like the idea of being able to utilize NTFS's file permissions with the bootloader files, to help protect them when not logged in as an administrator.

Having just tested BootPart a bit, this does seem to be a really good choice for a utility to make the approach I suggested easy; and its method of generating special "boot sector" images that chain-load partitions' actual boot sectors (as I've now confirmed is the case) is arguably better than simply saving copies of the boot sectors as the images, should the actual boot sectors need updating later which would otherwise require you to re-save them to the image files to keep those in sync.

In the O.P.'s case, assuming that the second partition with NT is the "active" partition and contains NTLDR and associated files (and that installation of NT has been successfully completed), and the first FAT32 partition with Windows 95 is unmodified (i.e. boots correctly when set as "active"): when running NT, you would first run BootPart with no parameters to list all partitions and see which number corresponds to your 95 partition (likely 0 since it's the first partition). Then you would run it like this (using 0 as an example number):

bootpart 0 C:\bootw95.bin "Windows 95"

BootPart adds an entry to boot.ini for you, using the last parameter as the name to be displayed in the boot menu. (If you omit the last parameter, it just generates the image without updating boot.ini.) When you later choose the "Windows 95" option in the boot menu, NTLDR will load and execute bootw95.bin, which loads and executes the boot sector of your Windows 95 partition, which then proceeds to boot 95 as normal.

Edited by loblolly986
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Hi @windows2. Dual booting Windows 95 and NT was common back in the day. Your Intel pentium 2 is a classic. For the most part this old hardware is solid. Probably the most common failures are hard drive and power supply. If you want to hang onto this system for a long time, recommend picking up these extras when you find them, not overly expensive.

Another option if your BIOS and hardware supports booting from more than one drive. Consider purchasing a second drive for Windows NT. Physically remove the Windows 95 drive while installing Windows NT on the second drive. Re-install both drives after the NT install. If you don't want to install a boot loader and your BIOS allows, select which drive to boot using the BIOS boot screen.

Main point, since the system and Windows 95 install is nostalgic from your father, first thing should be to make a full backup of the C: drive using your favourite backup software. Then muck around as much as you want, won't lose any data or important configurations.
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Thank you all for all this precious information :) .

I will try all these tips, after storing all the files and system settings. I hardly find time for this work. I will try and let you know the result.

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@loblolly986

Bootpart must be the longest running (good) NT program ever, it came out in NT 3.5 (or possibly even NT 3.1) times :thumbup, so no doubts about it (it does work and it does work since almost 30 years).

The issues may come in this particular setup with the requisites for the Windows 95 underlying DOS in terms of capability of booting from a first but not active partition and possible :unsure: issues with automatic drive lettering.

The "added" values of inserting (one way or the other) grub4dos in the booting sequence is some of its abilities in managing partitions/volumes entries in the MBR but also the capability to mount (floppy) images, i.e. the NT recovery floppy you described could be saved into an image on hard disk and chainloaded to boot.

Particularly in the testing phase it allows to make experiments without changing anything (or very little, easily reversible) on the disk.

jaclaz 

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For what it's worth, here's Microsoft's old Knowledge Base article describing how MS-DOS assigns drive letters: http://ftp.zx.net.nz/pub/archive/ftp.microsoft.com/MISC/KB/en-us/51/978.HTM. No mention of it looking at whether a partition is active, just that it assigns C: to the "primary MS-DOS partition on the first physical hard disk" (I'm not sure if this specifically means the first partition listed in the partition table or the first one on the drive in physical order).

Also for what it's worth, I have a similar setup to what I suggested on my NT 4 system but with FreeDOS 1.2 installed in a FAT16 primary partition at the beginning of the drive, followed by an NTFS primary partition that is the active partition and contains NTLDR and an NT installation; and when booting FreeDOS using either a boot sector image for its partition (actually generated using FreeDOS's sys command) or a chain-loader image generated by BootPart, it assigns C: to its partition just as if it was the active partition and booted directly by the BIOS. I was assuming that MS-DOS would do the same, but on second thought making such assumptions can backfire.

In any case, Wunderbar98's recommendation to make a backup of the drive first is a wise one, in case things get messed up somehow.

Edited by loblolly986
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