Dux Computer Digest
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How to Dual-Boot Windows 9X/Me and 2000 Pro
by Larry F. Byard

last updated: 6/10/01

Introduction.  The purpose of this article is to provide step-by-step procedures for installing both Windows 9X/Me and Windows 2000 Pro on the same hard disk drive so that either operating system can be selected from a menu when the computer first starts/boots-up.  Actually, a computer can be configured to boot Windows 2000, Windows NT, either Windows 95 or Windows 98, and MS-DOS.  It cannot be configured to boot multiple versions of Windows 9X (Windows 95, 98, 98 SE, and Me) because they use the same boot file; however, there are third party utilities which can do it.  Install MS-DOS first, to multiple boot Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows 95 or Windows 98, with MS-DOS.  This article will show how to dual-boot Windows 98, 98 SE, or Me with Windows 2000 Professional.  Multiple-boot configurations with Windows NT and Windows 95, etc. are implemented in a similar fashion.

Step-by-Step Instructions.

1.  See our How to Install the Windows 98 Upgrade on a New Hard Disk Drive, How to Install Windows Me, and How to Build a Computer with an AMD Socket A Athlon or Duron Processor: Part 8 - Prepare the Hard disk Drive and Part 9 - Install Windows and Motherboard Drivers for instructions on partitioning a hard disk drive and installing Windows.

2.  Partition your hard disk so that you have a separate partition for each operating system.  Or, partition your drive so it has one partition for Windows 9X, SE, or Me (we'll call it Win 9X from now on) and enough free space (unpartitioned space) for the installation of Windows 2000 (we'll call it Win 2K for short).

Windows Me was already installed on my 30 GByte drive.  It had two partitions and 4 GBytes of free space.  I installed Win 2K into the free space.  The Win 2K installation partitioned and formatted the free space.  This will be described later in this article.

If you are going to do this procedure with a disk drive that already has data on it, I strongly recommend that you back-up your data.  I didn't.  Proceed at your own risk.

3.  Install  Win 9X first.  If you install it after installing Win 2K it  will overwrite the C:\BOOT.INI file you will not be able to dual-boot.

4.  Boot to Win 9X.

5.  Insert the Win 2K CD in your CD-ROM drive.

6.  It should autostart and display the following message:

This CD-ROM contains a newer versions of Windows than the one you are presently using.  Would you like to upgrade to Windows 2000?

7.  Click Yes (we will not actually upgrade Win 9X).

8.  This may result in the following error:

The option to upgrade will not be available at this time because Setup was unable to load the file
c:\WINDOWS\UpgDlls\w95upg.dll\WIN9XUPG\W95UPG.DLL
The system cannot find the file specified.

Ignore the error and click OK.

9.  This will produce the following message:

Welcome to the Windows 2000 Setup Wizard....

What do you want to do?

o  Upgrade...
o  Install a new copy of Windows 2000 (Clean Install) ...

Select the second choice and click Next.

Next >

10.  In the resulting window click the Advance Options command button to produce the following screen:

Advanced Options

You can select options to customize setup

Location of Windows 2000 files

E:\I386

\WINNT

Copy all setup files from the CD to the hard drive

I want to choose the installation partition during setup

Check the last checkbox.  I also checked the first checkbox so I would not need to fetch the Win 2K CD every time Win 2K needed to install a new driver, etc.  You should be able to leave the defaults for the Location of the Win 2K files.

11.  Click OK.  That will take you back to the menu in step 10.  Click Next.  Setup will then copy files to the hard disk drive and Restart your computer when it is done.

I have omitted several restarts from this tutorial.  Just select Win 2K Setup from the list.

12.  Setup will then boot to the following screen, or something similar, depending on how your hard disk drive is partitioned:

Windows 2000 Professional Setup
===========================

Setup will install Windows 2000 on partition

D: FAT32                                    21242 MB (14615 MB free)

on 29307 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi

Us UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select the file system you want, and then Press Enter

If you want to Select a different partition for Windows 2000, press ESC.

Format the partition using the NTFS file System
Format the partition using the FAT file System
Convert the partition to NTFS
Leave the current system intact (no changes)

If you have made a partition for Win 2K and it does not have files that you want to keep on it then choose to format it for NTFS (NT or Win 2K file system) or FAT (the Win 9X file system).  Win 9X cannot read and write  files, etc. on NTFS formatted partitions.  Win 2K can read and write both kinds of partitions.  If you already have files and folders on the partition on which you want to install Win 2K and you want to keep them you can either Convert the partition to NTFS or Leave the current system intact (FAT).  If you want to install Win 2K in the free space on the hard disk drive as I did, then press ESC.  We will continue now assuming the the ESC key option was selected...

Next >

13.  ESC will produce the following screen:

Windows 2000 Professional Setup
===========================

The following list shows the existing partitions and unpartitioned space on this computer.

Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select and item in the list.

  • To setup Windows 2000 on the selected item, press ENTER.

  • To Create a partition in the unpartitioned spce, press C.

  • To Delete the selected partition, press D.

29307 MB Disk 0 at ID 0 on bus 0 on atapi:

C: FAT 32                       4001 MB (1125 MB free)
D: FAT 32                     21242 MB (14615 MB free)
     Unpartitioned space 4063 MB

Here, you can see my 4 GB C: drive, which has Windows Me installed on it, my 21 GB D: drive which has a lot of files I do not want destroyed on it, and 4 GB of unpartitioned space earmarked for Win 2K.  Scroll to the unpartitioned space and press the C key to create a new partition for Win 2K.

14.  The following screen will then appear

Windows 2000 Professional Setup
===========================

The following list shows the existing partitions and unpartitioned space on this computer.

Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select and item in the list.

  • To setup Windows 2000 on the selected item, press ENTER.

  • To Create a partition in the unpartitioned spce, press C.

  • To Delete the selected partition, press D.

29307 MB Disk 0 at ID 0 on bus 0 on atapi:

C: FAT 32                         4001 MB (1125 MB free)
D: FAT 32                       21242 MB (14615 MB free)
F:  New (Unformatted)     4055 MB
      Unpartitioned space         8 MB

As you can see, I just wasted 8 MB.  Well, not really, because after I finished installing Win 2K, I used a third party software utility to expand the NT partition so it occupied the 8 MB.

15.  Scroll to F: and hit ENTER.

Windows 2000 Professional Setup
===========================

The partition you selected is not formatted...
...
Format the partition using the NTFS file system.
Format the partition using the FAT file system.

I scrolled to the 2nd choice...

16.  ENTER

Windows 2000 Professional Setup
===========================

Because the partition is greater than 2048 megabytes (MB), Setup will format it with the FAT32 files system.

17.  ENTER

This will produce a screen showing the format progress.  The next screen examines the disk and proceeds to install Win 2K.

After the Win 2K install a boot-up looked like this on my computer:

Please select the operating system to start:

Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows

Use ↑ and ↓ to move the highlight to your choice.

Press Enter to chose.

Seconds until highlighted choice will be started: 29

For troubleshooting and advanced starttup options for Windows 2000, press F8

The first choice was highlighted.  The third choice started Win Me.  The second choice rebooted the computer.  I believe that choice points to the partition that does not have an operating system installed on it.

Larry

References:

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Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.