Installing (Dual Booting) Windows XP and Win9x Together In
One Hard Disk
Windows XP is a cool new operating system. But, old programs
that are not designed for this cool new operating system will
either refuse to work or work improperly.
DISCLAIMER: Proceed at your own risk! The information
here is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I will not be held
responsible if this document causes your computer to explode or
burst into flames. In real serious terms, if any corruption of
data, hardware damage or any other kind of damage/losses/etc.
arises from the use of this document, I will not be responsible
for it. If you don't like this, please don't read any further.
I am also glad to say that this guide has helped lots of people,
with a few people facing rare problems. Thanks for the emails!
This document outlines the steps of how to install Windows
9x and Windows XP together in one computer. In a bird's eye view,
you create two partitions, one for Windows 9x, one for Windows
XP. Install Windows 9x in the partition created for it, and install
XP in the partition created for it. XP will take care of the boot
Windows XP, the latest OS is a complete 32-bit operating system.
I've read that there are still 16-bit DLL's being loaded in Windows
XP, not sure about this. Old programs especially games may not
work properly in this new OS at all.
Take for example, my favourite
classic games: Magic: The Gathering, Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior,
Terminal Velocity, Sango Fighter, Ultima Underworlds, Raptor:
Call of the Shadows, and it keeps going..
All the mentioned games
either refused to work, or were very weird in the running. Some
had problems with sound. Some sound problems were solved using VDMS, but even then, the performance
was still unsatisfactory.
UPDATE: You might want to try DOSBox - a DOS emulator in Windows for playing those old DOS games and applications! More info here! It won't work for Windows games though.
The solution? Trash the games and step up to the 3d age games,
or a more wiser choice: install a compatible OS such as Windows
If you have been able to complete this guide, congrats.
However, if not, please post your problem in the Windows
XP Discussion Forum. This will help future beginners and users
of this guide!
Take note however, before you follow the steps,
- The hard disk MUST BE empty. ALL
files in the drive WILL be deleted. If you
want to avoid this, get software that does partitioning without
erasing the data such as Partition Magic. I suggest you move
the important files to a network drive, ZIP disk or CD-R's.
- Decide on the space Windows 9x and Windows XP needs. For me,
I set Windows XP to 19GB and Windows 9x to 1GB, storing all
my DOS games in the Windows XP drive. However, in cases like
installing Windows games like Planescape: Torment, Magic: The
Gathering, where it requires files to be copied to the Program
Files folder of the Win9x drive, the Win9x drive should be set
large enough to contain all these games.
- You need to create a bootable floppy (or CD-ROM) that contains the
- FDISK.EXE (For partitioning)
- FORMAT.COM (For formatting the drives after partitioning)
- SMARTDRV.EXE (For speeding up XP installation and deletion
of files, can be found in Win9x installation CD)
- Drivers to access your CD-ROM drive (For installation
of XP and 9x)
- The above files will be automatically included if you create
a boot disk from Windows Millennium Edition. Bootdisk.com should have a utility to allow you to create such disks if you
don't have this OS. The guide assumes you use a Win ME bootup
- You MUST use FAT32 in Windows XP in order for Windows 9x to
be able to read from the Windows XP drive as it cannot read NTFS drives.
- Partition & Format
- Installing Window 9x
- Installing WIndows XP (In Bootup)
- Keep in mind that you CANNOT
back up files to another folder in your hard drive.
- BACKUP important files to another hard disk (or a zip disk,
CD-R, etc.). Basic installation guideline for hard disks:
- Set the hard disk jumpers to Slave mode (refer to the
sticker(or manual) on the HD).
- Connect IDE cable (the wide white cable) of any device
to the hard disk. Do NOT disconnect the cable from your
current hard disk, just connect the black connector at the
end or centre to the backup hard disk and a spare power
- Start computer, go to BIOS (Usually some key (or combo)
needs to be pressed in setup), Auto-Detect IDE Drives, save
- If the hard disk cannot be found, check connections and
power. The position of the black connector also matters.
- Backup the important program files (popular programs, if you
have ways for other popular programs contact
- Kazaa downloaded and pending downloads (go to Shared
Folder of Kazaa, copy the folder contents, this will
also copy downloads that hasn't been completed too!)
- Mp3s (your mp3 folder, or the My Music folder in My Documents
- Favourites (go to the Favourites
folder of Internet Explorer and copy the files, for Netscape,
I believe there's a Save As feature in the bookmark editing
program. There's another way of saving Favourites in IE,
click on File, Import and Export and save the Favourites
(and cookies if you want) to the backup folder.)
- My Documents folder
(not that necessary, as it is outside of the Windows folder)
- Game save games (usually saves are located in a special
folder in the game folder in the Program
Files folder, copy those)
- Icq contact lists (Just copy the 2000b
folder in ICQ. Note: latest version of 2000b stores
the contact list in the icq server, but this way, you still
save the history and chat files.)
- Outlook Express messages (search for files with DBX extensions
or try looking for them here,
click the folders inside. It should be located within one
folder (Outlook Express))
- WebShots photos. (copy the contents of this
folder, or go to the Collections folder in the Webshots
- Password files such as your website passwords, etc. For
WS_FTP Limited Edition, just copy the WS_FTP.INI file from
2) Partitioning and Formatting
- Boot from the floppy (or CD-ROM) that has the above-mentioned
- For Win ME bootup disks, choose CD-ROM support if asked in
the booting process.
- Ensure that there are no error messages in the bootup and
a CD-ROM drive letter has been assigned. If there are error
messages, do not proceed unless you are sure.
- Start Fdisk
- Go to the temporary Ram Disk by typing <RAM
DRIVE>: and hitting Enter. The drive will be specified
after bootup is completed. So, for example, if your Ram
Drive is E, you will type E:
and hit Enter.
- Type FDISK
and hit enter. A window should ask whether you want to enable
32-bit support. Press Y
- The steps next will wipe
out your entire hard drive of all files and data.
Be very sure that you have backed up all important data.
- Press 3
and hit Enter to delete all partitions.
- Delete all the partitions that you see in the list. Keep repeating
until no partitions exist on the drive.
- Create the required partitions. The prompts should be easy
- Create a DOS partition. This will be your XP drive. Set
it to the size you want for XP. Note that the XP drive has
to be C and Win9x drive D.
- Create a Extended partition. This will be your Win9x drive.
Set it to the size you want for Win9x.
- Create a Logical DOS Drive in the Extended partition you
created in the previous step. Make full use of the space
in the Extended partition (i.e.. 100%).
- Set the active partition as C.
- Press Esc to exit Fdisk. Fdisk will inform you to restart
your PC for the changes to take effect. Go ahead, with the boot
disk still in the drive.
- After restarting with CD-ROM support, there should be two
drives created for you. C and D.
- Format both the drives by issuing the following commands at
C: (Formats your C drive, press Y to the warning
message that appears)
D: (Formats your D drive, press Y to the warning
message that appears)
- At this point, you've basically create two new drives with
nothing(no data) in them.
- You're done formatting and partitioning your hard disk!
3) Installing Windows 9x
- Proceed to install Windows 9x from your CD-ROM drive. Insert
the CD into the drive and enter the following commands
(Changes to your CD-ROM Drive, substitute E for the drive
if it is something else)
(Change to your Windows 9x Setup folder, ignore if the SETUP.EXE
is in the root folder. Substitute SETUP with the folder
name of Win9x if SETUP.EXE exists on a different folder)
(Starts the Win9x installation program)
- Make sure you choose Custom Install and specify the installation
folder as D:\WINDOWS
(assuming D is your 2nd partition). Follow the normal installation
- Windowx 9x installation done.
4a) Installing Windows XP (In
- Insert the Windows XP Cd in the drive. Do NOT install Windows
XP from within Windows 9x.
- Restart your computer. If you know how to set up the BIOS
such that it boots from the CD, set it up now. If not just go
to the next step.
- You should see a prompt "Press
any key to boot from CD.." asking to you press a
key to enter Setup. Do so. If the prompt does not come, it means the system
failed to boot from CD. Skip to Step 4b if that happens .
- Perform the installation with the following in mind
- When asked to choose the partition to install to, select
the C drive.
- When asked about the file system choose "Leave
the current file system intact (no changes)"
- Follow instructions and you're on your way to getting the
Windows eXPerience. Happy installing! Do not go to Step 4b.
4b) Installing Windows XP (In DOS)
- Restart the system with the floppy/CD in the drive and enabled
- If you've not done Step 2.7 where it involves loading SmartDrive,
load it by:
(Changes to your C Drive, replace substitute C with the
drive where it contains the SmartDrive utility if your drive
(Changes to your root folder, append the folder name
where you copied the SMARTDRV utility, an example would
be CD\UTILITIES, which means you stored Smartdrive in the
(Loads SmartDrive to memory installing Windows XP. On successfully
loading, it will just display a blank line. You can type
SMARTDRV again and it should show you the status.)
- Assuming you're installing from the CD-ROM, enter the following
commands highlighted in BLUE, after each line,
(Changes to your CD-ROM Drive, substitute E for the drive
if it is something else)
(Changes to your Windows XP Setup folder)
- CHECK: The prompt should now look like this: E:\I386>
(Starts the DOS Installation program.)
- At this point, Windows XP Setup may complain if you don't
have SmartDrive loaded. The CD files will be copied to your
hard disk and your computer restarted to the main setup program.
Follow instructions and you're on your way to getting the Windows
eXPerience. Happy installing!
- Microsoft has released a file that creates Boot Disk Floppies
for installing Windows XP. There is a special version for Home
Edition and for the Professional
Edition. I didn't attempt this as it required 6 floppy
installing from the CD (or hard drive) is better.
However, this (and booting from CD) gives more options
in the Setup program, such as formatting your C Drive with NTFS
or FAT32 or converting the drive to NTFS.
- The SmartDrive utility can be found in your Windows 95/98/ME installation
- If you're facing problems after installation of Windows XP,
check out my Windows XP Frequently Asked
02 April 2004 - Version 0.6
- 22 April 2006 - Version 0.61
28 August 2002 - Version 0.5
- Added a faster way of installing from the CD Bootup
- First Release to the public in Bootstrike.Com
Errors? Omissions? Need Help? Know something? Post your queries
in the Windows XP Discussion Forum.
You may be interested in our other Windows XP guides. including a comprehensive FAQ, installing XP from DOS and how to dual boot with Windows 98.
This document is Copyright(©) 2001-2004 by G.Ganesh.