Dual Boot: Adding HD w/ existing Win98 to machine w/ WinXP?

By riskmanager ยท 9 replies
Oct 4, 2005
  1. Sorry if some of these questions are real basic, but I'm a newbie. I have recently purchased a computer that came preinstalled w/ WinXP. I would like to be able to add my old HD and dual boot with the pre-existing Win98 that was on it.

    I've read a number of the tutorials that deal w/ dual booting. Most cover it from a standpoint of 1 HD (partitioning) or a fresh install of the OS's. Then I have also read that what I want can be accomplished by simply changing the boot.ini file some. Then I also read that Win98 is only bootable as the C: drive. I'm a bit confused??!!%$*

    Can someone tell me if it is possible to add my old HD (Win98) to this new machine and be able to dual boot from either XP or 98 with XP being the default. I don't really want to go the route of boot utility if I don't have to and I'm trying to learn some stuff here too. Thanks much to all.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    no problem at all

    You would need special boot software able to select which drive is considered the primary drive at boot time, and does this without swapping the actual drives. Then having selected your old drive as the primary, it will boot as it used to with drive letter c: A perfect example is GAG booter (google for this free download - it can be run from a floppy disk for testing, and permanently installed if it hits the spot)

    So far so good. The bigger problem is Win98 won't run well (or at all) until all necessary drivers are updated for the new motherboard. This goes right down to the chipset level as well as drivers for video, CD/DVD etc etc. Not always easy to find those drivers for Win98 these days, but it can sometimes be done. It is not easy. There are ways (we have covered this problem of moving to a new motherboard several times - do a search on this site).

    If you are as much a newby as you could be, it will probably be beyond you. A better approach is keep the old PC as a guide to all your favourite software and settings so as to install them on your new XP PC.

    Data can be transferred easily enough in a number of ways - the easiest being to temporarily plug in your old drive in place of whatever is primary on the second IDE channel of your new PC. This will then appear as a drive D:. E: or whatever, and you can just drag and drop to your new drive and finally unplug it again.

    Good luck !

    P.S. I've done what you want to do a number of times, and always ended up never using Win98, so what I now do is recreate my old settings on XP as described, add the old drive as a secondary drive, reformat it, and simply use it as a backup. Backups can take many forms, I have special paid-for software called PowerDesk which is exactly what I want - others simply make a full drive image every so often (I do that too, using DriveImage 2002 which came on a CD from a mag a couple of years back, so that didn't cost me, but I would have been happy to pay for the complete security and foolproof total recovery it gives me)
  3. riskmanager

    riskmanager TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks GBHall

    Well, last night when I went home I decided to try some stuff out. I went to BIOs and redid the HD boot sequence to run the old HD (win98) 1st. When I restarted, Win98 ran and then as it started into windows spent about 15 minutes reinstalling all the new hardware from my new box. Now I'm thinking I did everything right. WRONG! Upon restart windows just gets stuck in Windows startup screen.

    I just read on another board that I should have deleted the ENUM key when before doing all this so there wouldn't be hardware conflicts. But now its too late. I have already installed all the junk. In addition, the old box/mobo is dead. I can't use that to try and reboot to safe mode on the Old HD to fix it.

    Main reason I need to keep this windows operational is because I happen to have a dial user/pass saved on the computer that I get for free. Problem is I don't have it written down anywhere, so I just need to keep this dial connection to use the internet from that computer. Silly isn't it? But I'm poor and its saving me money, so I'm trying.
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    With the help of some proper editor you should be able to get the login-data from that old harddisk. Put that old W98 harddisk as slave in your new computer.
    Then hunt around for the directory where that dialler is/was installed, and start looking at each file in there.
    Use your imagination!
  5. riskmanager

    riskmanager TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks RBStuff.

    The user/pass were for a windows dial-up connnection I have from back in college. I'm past graduation so theoretically I shouldn't have it anymore so I can't call them up to ask whats my password again?

    I wasn't aware that it is possible to see login and pass in any file for the windows dial-up connection. Thats besides the point that the password part is always asterick'ed (*******) out when I would go to connect. Is there a way to search this? I'm no hacker so I don't know, but I'll take a peek tonight. I already have the old HD connected as a slave, just can't get it to boot up in the new box.
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    It' s never too late to delete the ENUM key. Look at this link - describes in detail several different ways to do this and experienced users results.

  7. riskmanager

    riskmanager TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks GBHall

    Haven't really had time to get back to the machine, but will try somethign this weekend and let you guys know.
  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    The old W98 will never boot again if it is not the master and not the C-drive!
  9. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 482

    The article Here says it can be done...
    I will try this over the weekend and see how it works.

    patio. :cool:
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    need to disable APCI

    Not seen that one before, but I do advise that if your motherboard is less than 12 months old, it is essential to add switches to the Windows98 setup command- as "setup /p i". This disables ACPI which is not correctly supported under Win98 with latest chipsets, and will mess up USB
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