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Cruachan

Proposed Dual Boot System - advice needed please

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Hi,I am in the process of planning a new system build with significantly more grunt than my faithful Intel 440BX/PIII800/GeForce2GTS 32MB/512MB SDRAM setup. My current system is based around Windows98 and has been stable and very reliable for some time now. For the moment and the foreseeable future I am understandably anxious to preserve this situation.I wish to install Windows XP Home on a second physical drive with the intention of gradually 'winding down' W98 over the next year or so.The idea is to have a dual boot system.Windows 98 is installed on a fast IBM Deskstar 60GXP 40Gig drive that has 2 partitions: C: and D: These are formatted as FAT32.Windows XP Home will be installed on my second drive and this too is likely to have two partitions (presumably E: and F:). Initially, I will be building a fresh installation of FS2002 on this drive.My questions are:1. Does the second drive have to be formatted as FAT32 or can it be formatted as NTFS?2. If it is formatted as NTFS will Windows XP be able to access files on my first drive (FAT32)? I presume in this case that Windows 98 would not be able to access the second (NTFS)drive. Assuming that this is correct would W98 still be 'aware' of the E: and F: drive letters?3. What would be the recommendation for choice of file system on my second HD (FAT32 or NTFS)?4. When the system boots into WindowsXP will this drive letter change from E: to C: ?5. Assuming I eventually decide to abandon Windows98, how do I rearrange things in order that the system always boots into WindowsXP, i.e. the system setup ceases to be a dual boot configuration at startup, and WindowsXP would be able to address both drives? If I format my first drive (hitherto the one with W98), and swap it around so that it becomes my Secondary master, would the drive letters change automatically, i.e. would the E: WindowsXP partition become C: as the WindowsXP drive becomes the Primary master ?Thanks in advance for any help and guidance.Mike :-wave


My rig: ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme, i7-5960X (Dynamic OC 4.6 GHz - all cores, HT=ON, AM=21845), Corsair Hydro Series H110i GT Cooler with 2xNoctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm fans, G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4 3000, ASUS GTX 1080Ti ROG STRIX 11GB, GDDR5X (Driver versions: 441.66 (Win7), 460.79 (Win10)), Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD x4, Samsung 970 EVO 2TB V-NAND M.2, LG BH16NS40 16x SATA Internal BDRW, EVGA 1200 P2 Watt PSU, Cooler Master HAF X, ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q (G-Sync) monitor at 120Hz. Oculus Rift. Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64bit (2004) / Prepar3D v5.1.12.26829, Windows 7 Pro 64bit / Prepar3D v4.5.12.30293.

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I'll answer what I can for you>>My questions are: >>1. Does the second drive have to be formatted as FAT32 or >can it be formatted as NTFS? You can choose either/or for the winxp install. If you install to Fat32, you can always convert to ntfs later, tho I'm not sure if the opposite is true>>2. If it is formatted as NTFS will Windows XP be able to >access files on my first drive (FAT32)? I presume in this >case that Windows 98 would not be able to access the second >(NTFS)drive. Assuming that this is correct would W98 still >be 'aware' of the E: and F: drive letters? >Yes, you can access all partitions from the WinXP boot, but, like you said, Win98 will only be able to access the Fat32 partitions>3. What would be the recommendation for choice of file >system on my second HD (FAT32 or NTFS)? >For simple performance, I would imagine that Fat32 will be better, as there is some over head with NTFS. Of course from a security standpoint, NTFS offers much more, including security down to the file level, as opposed to the folder level. Other benefits are also made with NTFS>4. When the system boots into WindowsXP will this drive >letter change from E: to C: ? The WinXP install will allow you to go into drive manager, and assign drive letters at will. You can change these as needed (though keep in mind shortcuts/registry entries will point to the original installation drive letter)With Win98, the first partion for drive 0 will be C:, the first partition for drive 1 will be D:, followed by letter assignments for the rest of drive 0's partitions, and finally drive 1's partitionsDrive 0, first partition: C:Drive 1, first partition: D:Drive 0, second partition: E:Drive 1, second partition: F:There is no way to change this (except, perhaps, with a third party utitility)>>5. Assuming I eventually decide to abandon Windows98, how do >I rearrange things in order that the system always boots >into WindowsXP, i.e. the system setup ceases to be a dual >boot configuration at startup, and WindowsXP would be able >to address both drives? If I format my first drive (hitherto >the one with W98), and swap it around so that it becomes my >Secondary master, would the drive letters change >automatically, i.e. would the E: WindowsXP partition become >C: as the WindowsXP drive becomes the Primary master ? >As said before, you can change drive letters in disk management, but keep in mind the caveats of all shortcuts, reg entries, etc. If you change your WinXP boot drive letter, most likely, the system won't boot.However, you can simply format your old win98 drive c:, and keep the boot partition drive E:. Also, you'll have to change the boot.ini file to show only the WinXP boot option>Thanks in advance for any help and guidance. >>Mike :-wave >Brian Hynes, newly MCSE ordained (wow, I get to use my letters!!!)

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Great and accurate information Brian. Hope you don't mind if I step in and clarify a couple points.I would definitely choose NTFS as your file system for a couple reasons. First and foremost is data integrity. NTFS is a journaling file system, so any data corruptions by early shutdown, etc. are handled gracefully by rolling back the system to a stable state (a few KB in almost all cases). Another important benefit to NTFS on large drives is its ability to make the most of the space possible: Fat32 can waste a lot of drive space with the possibility of very large cluster sizes on large drives. NTFS does not have this problem and will use small cluster sizes regardless of the partition size created.For those reasons, this is the strategy I recommend. On the new drive, create a 2-3GB partition as Fat32 and install XP and only XP there (would end up as your Drive E if your new drive is hooked up to a secondary master IDE controller). The reason is that for most users, accessing NTFS from a command prompt if something goes wrong with your Windows XP installation is much easier on a Fat32 partition. There are, of course, utilities that make this easy on an NTFS partition as well (such as NTFS drivers for DOS environments and commercial CD based admin tools that mimic an XP environment for recovery purposes), but for the average user its simply easier to have WinXP on a Fat32 partition.The rest of the drive (drive F in your case) I'd recommend you setup as one NTFS partition. The size of the partition doesn't matter as the cluster size on NTFS is always small. This is where you'd store all your programs and personal data.If you do the above, you'll always be able to simply wipe drive E and reinstall XP there if ever a problem comes up with your XP installation - all without loosing your personal data. This is specially true if you store all of your personal documents on the much more secure NTFS partition (i.e.: creating and using your own "Documents" folder).Also, when you install Windows XP on your E drive, it will automatically detect your Win98 installation on your Drive C and add it to the boot menu. There will be no configuration changes you'll need to make to get the dual-boot system you want. Once XP is installed, you'll simply choose which OS you wish to boot from upon startup.Finally, your Win98 system will not, by default, be able to recognize your NTFS partition (the proposed drive F). There are drivers you can purchase for Win9x systems that will allow you full access to those NTFS partitions however. The best is from Winternals and is called NTFS for Win98:http://www.winternals.com/products/fct/ntfswin98.aspThey have a free read-only driver for NTFS, but I'd highly recommend you purchase the read-write driver as its only $49.Good luck,http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/elrondlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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Thank you both VERY much for taking the time, trouble and effort to provide me with such careful and lucid responses.I believe I am not a computer novice but then neither am I an expert. When I posted I had that uncomfortable feeling that I was in some way missing what may have seemed to others as being obvious. Your replies have reasured me in that respect and have highlighted that truism that one should never feel too proud to ask for advice.Once again, thank you! Your replies have been copied and filed for future reference.Cheers,Mike :-waveBTW Congratulations Brian on achieving your MCSE! No mean achievement.


My rig: ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme, i7-5960X (Dynamic OC 4.6 GHz - all cores, HT=ON, AM=21845), Corsair Hydro Series H110i GT Cooler with 2xNoctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm fans, G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4 3000, ASUS GTX 1080Ti ROG STRIX 11GB, GDDR5X (Driver versions: 441.66 (Win7), 460.79 (Win10)), Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD x4, Samsung 970 EVO 2TB V-NAND M.2, LG BH16NS40 16x SATA Internal BDRW, EVGA 1200 P2 Watt PSU, Cooler Master HAF X, ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q (G-Sync) monitor at 120Hz. Oculus Rift. Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64bit (2004) / Prepar3D v5.1.12.26829, Windows 7 Pro 64bit / Prepar3D v4.5.12.30293.

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Elrond-Regarding your point about installing WinXP to Fat32, in order to access files from a dos boot disk, I'm wondering about your opinions on using ntfs for the O/S partition, and, should the need to do repairs arise, use the winxp boot cd and boot to a safe-mode dos prompt. Have you had to do this? What makes you recommend simply making the partition Fat32 instead of NTFS? I'm just curious, and am in no way implying that I disagree with your answer. And yes, the point of cluster sizes was forgotten when I originally posted. Good point.

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Hi ElrondAre you absolutely positive that if XP is installed on a second HD then it will detect the 98 install on the first hard disk and add it to the XP boot menu? The way I understand it is, this happens if they are installed on separate partitions on the same hard disk, but if they're on separate physical disks, the only way to boot XP on the second disk rather than 98 on the first disk, is to change the BIOS to boot from IDE-1 rather than IDE-0. This is how I'm working at the moment, albeit with 2K and XP, not 98. Best regards//Neil

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I'm not sure if it will auto-detect '98 on install if you install to a second disk, but if not, you can manually edit the boot.ini to boot to the first partition on the second disk. No bios changes needed.And now that I think of it, if you can manually edit the .ini to do this, I don't see why XP wouldnt be smart enough to do it on it's own.

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