1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Trying to make a dual boot system

By scoobytrev ยท 10 replies
Feb 18, 2014
Post New Reply
  1. I'm hoping someone can help.
    I have been trying over the last 12 months to make my system dual boot. I feel I have tried everything but am probably wrong.
    I am running windows 7 but want to install win 98 or even vista 32 bit to run older 16 and 32 bit programs. I have oodles of space on my hardrive and need some advice if it is possible and how to go about it. Below is a screenshot of HD etc.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    You need a separate partition for each OS?
  3. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    I wasted plenty of time trying to get Windows 98 running on up to date hardware and didn't succeed. The nearest I got was a shell in VMWare Player (a virtual OS running inside Windows) which lacked any hardware acceleration for games. XP installed within VMWarePlayer would allow you to use compatibility mode to run lots of Windows 98 software. It won't be a 100% success though. If you have a couple of old favourites that you really must get running, Google to see if others really managed to get them running in XP. Forget "Hogs of War" for example.

    Buying an old computer in good condition with Windows 98 installed and running properly is worth thinking about.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,171   +3,263

    That has been my experience as well.
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    My experience too, getting Win98se up and running is quite hard even in one of the virtual PC's. Even then, as bazz2004 says, some software will not run anyway. The reason is at Win98 level, programs were allowed direct access to the hardware. From XP onwards, that has been ruled out completely. Hence an actual Win98se PC is your only real chance.

    Pity those hospitals and manufacturing and testing companies who have program-controlled devices costing hundreds of thousands, and cannot get the control software to run on any new hardware.....
  6. scoobytrev

    scoobytrev TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I have tried this, but when I go to try and load the other OS on the partition it does not find that partition as an option. Was thinking it may need to be a primary partition but how do I make a partition primary?
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,171   +3,263

    The answer would be to format the partition as primary. In your case it looks as if the only primary partition is the Recovery Partition. If this is the case then the Boot Manager is on the Recovery Partition. That may complicate things a bit.

    The only way to change the partition type, is to delete/create a new partition.
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    You can use free easeus partition manager to mess around with your partitions. Be sure not to change the current Win 7 main partitions, which are the second and third partitions currently. Now your major problem of why Win98 does not see any partition to install on is because currently there is no suitable partition!!

    For Win98se you must not have dynamic partitions, you must not have NTFS formatted partitions.

    Study this http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa363785(v=vs.85).aspx

    You could use a partition manager to shorten the third and/or fourth partitions to release about 5Gb of unpartitioned space. In that empty space you then create a primary partition for Win98se and format it FAT32. You need to be able to set this partition as the active partition when you boot into it, and there can be only 4 primary partitions per standard HD. This means you may also have to convert the current DATA partition to an extended partition.

    However, your main problem is that Win98 knows nothing about any of the partitions you currently have, nor anything about the Win7 OS. Only when Win7 is actually installed after Win98 will it be possible to dual boot using the standard booting facilities of a Windows OS.

    You will need to get round the booting problem by using a package called EASYBCD which will be able to adopt your existing BCD store which boots Win 7 - probably from the second partition, and add the link to boot Win 98 through it's now very old-fashioned method of two files, IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS which will fire up the two other files which define how your OS starts up - CONFIG.SYS and AUTOXEC.BAT

    Other problems you will probably hit are that Win9e will not run at all on many modern PC's because they have too much memory. There are means within config.sys or autoexec.bat to force Win98 to only use a maximum or 256Kb of memory, but I've found these things often wont work.

    As you can see, there are flaming hoops by the handful to jump through, and unless you have a good deal of experience, my strong recommendation is to forget the idea - get an old PC instead.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  9. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    You may get XP installed eventually and that won't be easy without using a virtual solution. As far as Windows 98 is concerned you'd be well advised to find another project.
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    Putting aside Windows 98, if you want to dual boot Windows 7 with Windows XP or Vista, you could do it if you install the older OS first (which will wipe the first OS, Win 7) and then reinstall Windows 7 (on a separate partition or HDD, of course). Is reinstalling Windows 7 feasible for you?

    Also, make sure your hardware manufacturers have compatible drivers for the older versions of Windows. BTW, lack of compatible drivers is another reason Windows 98 would be a problem.

    I don't have extensive experience in this area but I have a dual boot PC with Windows XP 32 bit and Windows 7 64 bit. I originally installed XP and I later added a second hard drive and installed Win 7 on it.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,171   +3,263

    That is only necessary, if you want Windows installation to handle boot configuration during setup.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Some boot managers (such as BootUS*) function by switching the active partition. These managers are stored within the MBR. Unlike Windows Boot Manager, which is stored within the primary partition of which they boot from. So switching the active partition to another primary partition, will preserve Windows Boot Manager.

    Any partition utility will allow for switching active partition status. Many of these utilities also come with Boot Disk options, so you don't have to work from within the operating system. I use MiniTool Partition Wizard, but it's not the only great utility out there. I remember others talk about EaseUS Partition Master being another great one.

    After it is all said and done, EasyBCD* can be used to edit Windows Boot Manager. Or third party boot utilities such as BootUS* can be used.

    * I'm only referencing BootUS because it is the only one I have experience with. In fact I've not used BootUS since 2009. I was dual-booting XP and Vista for a month before realized Windows 7 was available as a Beta download. Then I started triple-booting the three. They were all three installed to their own primary active partition, never harming the other operating system boot files. But once I moved to using Windows 7, I no longer had a need for BootUS because Windows Boot Manager edited with EasyBCD was all I needed.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...