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Can I configure my computer to dual boot Win98 and ME with 2HDDs?

By jledoux
Dec 25, 2005
  1. I have an old computer that my kids use to play computer games. It has two hard drives, and it is setup to boot up on the one that has winME installed on it. The other hard drive has Win98 installed on it, but I don't know how to boot up with that system. As a result, they can't use any of the games that they have installed on that drive (I moved that drive from an even older computer that we don't use anymore).

    Can I setup the computer to give me the option to use either operating system? If so, how? Thanks!
     
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    You would need W98 as your first harddisk (master) and ME as your second harddisk (slave).
    In your case this will not work, because both harddisks are C:
    You will either need to reinstall everuthing, starting with W98 on the master/first and ME on the slave/second harddisk.
    However, there might be an easier way out, by buying a removable harddisk tray.
    You install that in a free 5 1/2" bay. Take both harddisks out and insert the one you want to use as needed.
    See this for a guideline:
    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/op/formTrays-c.html
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?CatId=285

    Your harddisks will be IDE or ATA/PATA (not SATA), so look for the correct casing
     
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    Another option would be to install a boot manager like GRUB and set it to swap hard disk devices on boot, so that drive letters would stay the same no matter which OS is booted.
     
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    Why would you want to boot with duel OS's that are essentially the same?

    ME is just an enhanced (although poorly) version of 98SE.

    transfer all your games to a new drive and use a newer OS. Get out of the dark ages.... even XP is on it's way out!
     
  5. jledoux

    jledoux TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    There are a few reasons why I don't want to 'get out of the dark ages' just yet on this computer: 1) I really don't have the time or inclination to transfer all the games on the two hard drives and install a new operating system; invariably, I will lose some saved games, and some of the games won't work, and then my kids won't be happy! 2) Some of the games my kids play, such as "Total War: Shogun" only work with 95 and 98! We already have computers running on XP - and it doesn't work on them; it didn't even install correctly on the ME drive - that's why I'd like to resurrect the drive that has 98 on it. 3) I don't want to pay money for an additional XP operating system, especially for an old computer (800 MHZ).

    Can you explain more why both of my drives are "C"? They are both installed in my computer, one as master and one as slave, and one is called C and the other D. Is it something about the operating systems that the drive has to be labeled C in order for ME or 98 to act as the OS? Can I just change the jumper settings on the drive that has 98 so that it is the master? Then what - how do I set things up to give the person who boots up the computer the option of which OS to use? Or is that even possible? Thanks for your help!
     
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    XP allows you to run games in 95 or 98 compatibility mode.

    nope - you wouldn't want to run XP on an 800mhz system..... it would run extremely slow.

    as far as your C: drives - if both hard disks were installed with OS's on them, then they may each be configured as C:

    There really isn't a way to get around it, except choose one of the OS's and format the second hard disk and copy the rest of the stuff on it.

    Personally I would ditch ME and go with 98SE - it's more stable.
     
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    You started with the PC with ME installed on the C-drive.
    Then you took the HD out of the dynosaur which had W98 also on the C-drive (in the dynosaur).
    You changed the HD-jumper to 'slave' and put it in the newer ME-PC, where it became the D-drive for that ME-PC, but essentially it still is a C-drive, because W98 (and all those programs) are pointing to C (incl. the registry).

    If you changed the jumpers so that W98 became master and ME the slave, you could boot from W98, but then ME would not work, and vice versa.
    Hence my suggestion for the tray. Both harddsrives would be set to 'master' and since both are C-drives, the PC would boot from either.

    Mict's solution with 'Grub' would be cheaper (I guess), but you'll have to ask him (or use Google) for instructions. I don't know it personally, but that is no reason for you not to try it!
     
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