Help! Installed win98 & XP on 2 partitions-Win98 partition files now showing up on XP

By marsupial
Dec 25, 2005
  1. Hi all, I'm new to this site, though it looks to be great and an excellent source of information ~~

    Anyway, I had installed windows 98 se a week or two ago in order to play my old DOS games (Daggerfall! emulation was too slow performance wise), and just today I've been trying to reinstall XP on a seperate partition. I used partitionmagic to reduce the size of the win98 partition to 9gb, leaving 105 for XP, then I created a new partition with this free space using the NTFS filesystem. Everything seemed to be going great, however when I went to install XP, the partition that I had created was labeled something like "Unknown", and setup woudln't let me install to it. Instead, it recommended that I delete the partition, and choose the subsequent free space it would make available, which would then be acceptably repartitioned by the windows installer....

    I went ahead and did all that, and again , everything seemed to be going ok. The rest of the install completed without issue, and afterwards, I was presented with the Windows boot screen menu. I selected Windows98 first, and it booted up and functioned just as it did before (with less space!). Next, trying Windows XP, it did boot up fine, however checking in Windows Explorer, I noticed that my C:\ drive from the windows98 fat32 partition was displaying, and also I now had two floppy drives (one for each partition..)!

    Sorry for the lengthy explanation of my problem, but does anyone know what might be happening or possibly offer me some advice on how to fix this?

    One thing is, since I've very recently reformatted the entire drive, I have little of importance on either partition, so I would be open to the idea of completely reformatting and setting up the Dual OS's correctly... However I'm not so sure I trust myself to do so after what happened!

    If nobody can help me out in fixing the files from my win98 partition from showing up in my winxp partition, then if I could be told how to properly set up a dual boot scenario using these two OS's from scratch using an empty formatted hard drive, that would be great!!

    Thanks a lot! ~
  2. siraj

    siraj TS Rookie

    Dual O/S 98 & XP

    when you install win Xp over 98, it does ask you the path for system drive,
    so you should specify the path diffrent than what win 98 has.
    then it should work properly. i hope you did so.
    also you should be able to have both drive in XP (fat,ntfs), but in win 98 only (fat).

  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    XP does not 'hide' Win98

    Assuming you DO actually have two separate partitions, one for Win98 and another for XP, then there is no reason for WinXP to 'hide' your previous Win98 partition, so you do see it in XP. It is possible to set it invisible in XP if you want to, and this may be best to avoid confusion.

    On the other hand, when in Win98 you do NOT see the WinXP partition, and this is because it is (usually) NTSF formatted, which Win98 cannot read, so treats it as an 'unknown' partition.

    The separate question of two floppy drives is puzzling. Something seems awry there, maybe similar to the fact that USB pen drives often have a sort of floppy drive on them too.

    My recommendation overall is no need to reformat/reinstall, but use a boot manager which enables you to choose the OS at boot time, and hide/display whatever other partitions you want. You would need to chop Win98 out of the boot.ini of XP loader, else you get TWO boot menus. One good choice which is free is GAG booter. Personally I use Boot Magic which comes with Partition Magic 8, but thats not free.

    Welcome to Techspot !
  4. fgaliegue

    fgaliegue TS Rookie Posts: 51

    It's more subtle than that... All versions of Windows rely on partition IDs in order to try and guess which filesystem is on them. Which is very misleading. You could very well have a partition with ID 0x0c (Win95 FAT32) but with a totally different filesystem on it (say, ReiserFS). Still, this partition would show up as a drive in Win9x/2k/XP but none of them could read it...

    Even Solaris x86 had such a bug, in the sense that on any PC formatted disk it would treat 0x82 partitions as Solaris slices. The only trouble is that 0x82 is also the ID used by the Linux swap partitions... As a result, if ever you installed another disk on a Solaris x86 PC, you had to hand edit your Linux swap partition and change its ID to anything other than 0x82 and Solaris would then stop complaining that it couldn't read the slice. Linux in general doesn't have any problems with that - in fact it doesn't even require that its root filesystem be on an active partition, however it does happen that the *BIOS* won't boot if there's no active partition on the disk. Gee!
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