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How To Make a Windows 98/Windows NT 4.0 Dual Boot System (Page 3/5)

Posted: November 26, 1999
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Getting Started with Windows 98

Now that you are prepared, let's get going. The first step is, of course, to repartition, reformat, and reinstall Windows 98. Once again, check out the How To Install and Reinstall Windows 98 guide for more information. However, when creating a dual boot system, you have to follow a few special rules:

- Make your C drive FAT16, not FAT 32, and only make it big enough for your shared applications (Word, Photoshop, ICQ, etc.) and your data files (documents and similar files). The size of this partition really depends on the size of your hard drive and how many shared applications you run. Assuming you are running Office, as well as Adobe and some other small apps like ICQ, I would recommend keeping the partition at about 1 gig. When you are creating this partition, however, keep in mind that FAT16 doesn't allow partitions over 2 gig, so if you have more shared stuff than that, you are going to need to make two separate FAT16 partitions - not exactly the most efficient use of space but better than having two copies of the same file on your computer.

- Create another partition, this one using the FAT32 file system. It should be approximately half of whatever space is left over on your hard drive and really should contain at least 1 gig of space. This is where you are going to be installing Windows 98 (minus the boot files, which the installation program will automatically put on your C drive). This means, of course, that you will have to make sure you point the Windows 98 installation program at the proper hard drive during installation.

- Leave at least 1 gig of hard drive space for an NTFS partition that you will be creating during the installation process. This is where you are going to want to install Windows NT (of course), as well as any NT specific applications that you might have.

Once you have followed those special steps, finish your installation of Windows 98. First, set up your permanent swap file on your FAT32 partition (it is very important to do this first to make sure it is as fast as possible!) but don't install any shared applications (Office, ICQ, etc,), particularly if they require you to access your CD-ROM drive before use. You can, however, copy any shared data files (documents, pictures, etc.) onto the FAT16 drive.

The last step in the process before proceeding to install WinNT is to defragment the hard disk (using the optimize file placement setting). Then you can proceed to the Windows NT installation.

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