Dual Boot to DOS partition

By Spike
Nov 27, 2003
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. I run WinXP Pro and have recently installed a new hard disk. My partitions are as follows and are in order of creation.......

    Disk 0 -
    C: 10GB Primary NTFS - OS XP Pro
    Disk 1 -
    D: 12GB Primary NTFS - No OS
    E: 25GB Primary NTFS - No OS
    Z: 1GB Primary FAT32 - Command.com/Autoexec.bat, and NTFSDOS.exe


    I have added the following line to the boot.ini file under the OS section.......

    Multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(3)\windows="MS-DOS"


    As you can probably tell, I am trying to add a boot menu option to boot into DOS on the FAT32 partition with an NTFS reader invoked in the autoexec.bat file. Unfortunately, it doesnt work, as when selecting MS-DOS from the boot menu I get a message that it can't boot due to a harware problem/configuration issue, and to check the boot paths etc.

    Can anybody help me solve this problem?
  2. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    Welcome to TechSpot Forums

    Partition numbers start from 0, so change partition(3) to partition(2).

    Some MS-DOS versions have problems booting when the partition is above 1024th cylinder, so that might cause problems too, I'm not sure.
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    This should read:
    Multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)\windows="MS-DOS"

    disk=0
    rdisk=1
    partition=3 (starts at 1, not 0)
    \windows is the name of your DOS-files directory, sure it is "windows"?
  4. Spike

    Spike Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 2,371

    Many thanks for the replies. being the first time I've created a non windows boot option, I thought windows referred to something to do with the master disk or something. The partition I wish to boot to (Z:) contains at the moment only Command.com, Autoexec.bat at the root of the drive (ie, Z:\Command.com), and an NTFS reader in a directory called z:\sysfiles. I am hoping to be able to boot it before adding anything else to the partition. Given that, any idea what \Windows should be changed to in the boot path? Given that, I'll try the line posted.

    Many thanks
  5. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,646

    Spike ;
    When you get Dos to Dual- boot for you ,Please post the particulars,I would really like to see it . Iam no expert so some one correct me .
    Ms Dos can only see Fat 16 disk ,2 gig limit
    Windows O/S must boot from first active primary partition
    Ntfsdos.exe is a shell add on to Windows O/S not a seperate O/S
  6. Spike

    Spike Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 2,371

    you may be correct about ntfsdos.exe, but that isn't what's bugging me. I think MS-DOS is quite capable of reading a FAT32 disk of over 2GB, simply because Win98 could do it (I'm not talking about in win32 mode, I'm talking about from the startupdisk, or by exiting windows to DOS). I do believe that it depends greatly on the version though.

    All I simply want to do is to read files on my NTFS volumes from a small DOS partition of 1GB. I'm not an expert either, but I'm sure that it is possible, given the right knowledge.


    Having placed my DOS files into the directory Z:\sysfiles, I've tried the lines

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)\sysfiles="MS-DOS"
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\sysfiles="MS-DOS"
    multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(3)\sysfiles="MS-DOS"
    multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(2)\sysfiles="MS-DOS"

    None of which worked.

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)\sysfiles="MS-DOS" produced the error...

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    <windows root>\System32\hal.dll
    Please re-install a copy of the above file.
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    DOS can only be booted from the first Harddisk, first partition, and that partition must be active (and of course from a floppy).
    This partition must be FAT16 or FAT32.
    Last known stand-alone MS-DOS was V6.22, PC-DOS/DR-DOS V7.something

    If you want to read NTFS from that Z-partition, forget about booting into DOS from HD. The easiest solution would be to start from a floppy, then go to Z:\. On Z: have a subdirectory \DOS with all your Dos-files in it.
    To get the system-files on Z:, go to the boot-floppy A:
    from there type SYS Z:\ and Bob is your uncle.
    On the Z-drive make a batch-file or type in:
    set path=.;..;z:\;z:\dos; plus whatever directories you want.
  8. Spike

    Spike Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 2,371

    Thanks for that. Given that tip, rather than finding the DOS i need to do it, I'll see about creating a floppy. Such a simple thing I wanted too! Ah well, such is microsoft.
  9. Spike

    Spike Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 2,371

    sorry! I missed the second half of that post when I read it first time. Could you please explain what you mean in detail. Also, the Win XP DOS startup disk is seems only to recognise the floppy drive letters a: and b: . Does that matter?
  10. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,646

    Spike , the page below is from Microsoft Q306559 it confirms what I didnot state clearly on my first reply. I was under the impression that you wanted to have a MS dos operating system ,dual booting with XP. In which case you have to install DOS first and then XP. After that would ntfsdos.exe work for you in the Dos O/S ?




    To Create a Multiple-Boot System with Windows XP and MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me
    NOTE: You cannot install both Windows 95 and Windows 98 in a multiple-boot configuration. Windows 98 is intended as an upgrade to Windows 95 and it will try to use the same boot file.

    You have to install Windows XP only after installing MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me to prevent these operating systems from overwriting the Windows XP boot sector and the Windows XP startup files.

    To create a multiple-boot system with Windows XP and MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me:
    Ensure that your hard disk is formatted with the correct file system.
    Install the multiple operating systems into separate volumes, in the following order: MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, and then Windows XP.
    Do one of the following:
    If you want a multiple-boot system with MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me along with Windows XP, install MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me, and then install Windows XP.
    If you want a dual-boot system with only Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me, install Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me, and then install Windows XP.
    Install each operating system according to the standard installation procedure.
  11. Spike

    Spike Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 2,371

    liquidlen; Thanks very much. I see what you mean now. That would be a lot of work for the sake of convenience. I think I'll look at it again perhaps next time I format. The floppy suggestion is definatly a better option right now though. The winXP DOS startup disc doesn't read NTFS, but with it's drive assignment method, it does indeed read the FAT32 Volume as C:

    With regards to the fact it must be Disk(0) partition (1) to boot DOS, It may be possible to look at booting to a folder in said partition perhaps, and batchscripting to boot Drive Z. Something to think about for another day though.

    Thanks a lot guys.
     
  12. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric Newcomer, in training Posts: 209

    Actually all you need to add is C:\="MS-DOS"
    [boot loader]
    timeout=10
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows NT"
    C:\="MS-DOS"

    As you have surmised Dos has to be installed to the primary partition of the first hard drive and that partition needs to be set to active.
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    I believe that alphnumeric is right. All you need is

    C:\="MS-DOS"
  14. Spike

    Spike Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 2,371

    brilliant. I do seem to havve a tendancy to overcomplicate things. lol.

    Given that C: is ntfs, I think I'll now give it a miss untill my other project is over. I've found it's almost as easy to use a 98 startup disk and an ntfs read/writer for now. Just means that the drive letters are different to those within windows.

    When I'm happy with it all, I'll re-structure my drives anyway.

    Thanks a lot guys
  15. e-Willem

    e-Willem Newcomer, in training Posts: 33

    Hello,

    I've installed XP on my IDE-0 and on also on IDE-1, is there anyway that I can get a dual-boot screen on startup where I can choose from the two, or have I got to keep going into BIOS-setup and change the boot-devices if I want to switch?

    Thanks for any sugestions.
  16. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    You need to add only one line to your BOOT.INI file on the C-drive.
    Boot.ini should look like:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=10
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="WinXP on IDE-0" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINNT="WinXP on IDE-1" /fastdetect

    note that rdisk is your harddisk number (starting from 0)
    note that partition starts from 1
  17. e-Willem

    e-Willem Newcomer, in training Posts: 33

  18. Bipolar_Gargoyl

    Bipolar_Gargoyl Newcomer, in training Posts: 101

    ok i am a little slow, "Ensure that your hard disk is formatted with the correct file system. Install the multiple operating systems into separate volumes, in the following order: MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, and then Windows XP." Does that mean i have to partition the hard drive? and do i install xp to a fat32 format? i am trying to dual boot 98 and XP on the same hardrive. i tried to do a DOS partition, but i couldn't get 98 or XP to load. don't nead the DOS partition, thought i had to have it to dual boot. Any clarifying is appreciated!

    Thanks Bipolar
     
  19. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric Newcomer, in training Posts: 209

    If you are going to let windows handle the bootloader then you need to install windows 98 first. I would recommend installing each OS on it's own partition or drive. Windows 98 will have to be fat 32 because that's all it supports. The windows 98 partition will be a dos (Dos 8) partition. You don't need to install dos first. For things to work correctly it should be the first drive "C" and be marked active. Windows XP can be installed next, it will install the bootloader to the win 98 partition and setup the duel boot for you. If you want to be able to access the windows XP partition from win 98 you will need to install XP using fat 32. There is nothing stopping you from using NTFS for XP if you want to though. It just makes it invisible (so to speak) when you boot up in windows 98. XP will be able to see the win 98 partition regardless of the file system you use to install it.
  20. IronDuke

    IronDuke Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,267

    Install Win98 first creating a partition around 1GB for Win 98 another for XP around 5GB. The remainder for data this needs to be Fat32 so it can be read by both systems. You can of course fiddle with these sizes according to the size of you disc.
  21. Bipolar_Gargoyl

    Bipolar_Gargoyl Newcomer, in training Posts: 101

    98 won't install, it says i need a boot disc.. i don't have an A: drive. If i use the XP disk to do partions the 98 says there are errors and has to fix them and won't install. I tried to use fdisk to partition the drive, but i don't understand anything about dos. So not sure how to set the partitions up that way. I've hooked the drive up as a slave, and erased everything, but pc won't let me format, says its being used by another process. I have dumped my pc like 20 times in the last 3 weeks, so i have no problem getting XP pro to work, just the 98.

    Thanks, Bipolar
  22. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    I think $10-15 for a floppy drive would be a worthwile investment.
    You can always take it out afterwards again if you don't like the looks.
  23. IronDuke

    IronDuke Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,267

    Would simplify things.
  24. Bipolar_Gargoyl

    Bipolar_Gargoyl Newcomer, in training Posts: 101

    Sorry for the confusion, I Have an A: drive, but my pc doesn't have a place to put it. I have an emachine that has the media manager instead of the a: drive. Just a thought, would it be ok just to set one down on my desk and hook the wires up and run it?
    Thanks Bipolar
  25. IronDuke

    IronDuke Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,267

    That will work.
    Install Win98 first. Boot disc can be found here if needed. If you hard disc is bigger than 64GB you'll need a newer copy of fdsk see my earlier post for suggested sizes. Finally install Windows XP.
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