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Dual booting Windows 9x/Millennium and Windows 2000 (Page 2/5)

Posted: April 15, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Before Starting Continued...

If your computer ran just fine under WinNT 4.0 with your current configuration, you are probably ok, but if you haven’t used any of the NT OSes before you really need to seriously read through those resources – they are important. If you find that you won’t be able to get your system running on Win2k, or that it’s just too complicated for you, you have saved yourself a bunch of problems in the long run – so spend the time. And even if you still decide to continue, the more educated you are about the subject, the easier the installation will be.


So you’ve decided to take the plunge. Very, very cool. Before you get started, there are a few things you need to do. First, make sure you have both your Windows 98 CD and serial number, as well as all of the same stuff for Windows 2000. Win2k does have PnP (Plug ‘n Play) support now but it couldn’t hurt to print out a list of your current system config, IRQ’s and all. Also, if you have any third party software you will be using during the install (Partition Magic, etc.), make sure you have that available.

Your next job is to download all of the latest drivers for both operating systems. Yes, both OSes – I know, it’s a chore, but it needs to be done. Also, if you are like me and want Win98 to be fast, you should really go ahead and download a copy of 98lite and even consider paying a few bucks for the professional version. I’ll tell you, I’ve got the latter, and I just love it.

After that, you will need to back up all of your data files, drivers, etc to another hard drive or other backup media somewhere. You are going to have to repartition your hard drive unless you meet one of the two following criteria:

- You’ve already got two FAT32 partitions that are at least 2 gigs in size each
- You’ve got two fast hard drives in the same system (put Win9x on the slower drive then – if you’ve got a 5400 rpm drive and a 7200 rpm drive in the same system, 2000 goes on the 7200 and Win9x goes on the 5400 – don’t worry about the swapfile, we’ll cover that later)

If you’re covered by one of the above situations, just move all the data you want to keep to one of the partitions/drives and don’t forget to move it back later! Otherwise, you really need to back up somewhere. If you are lucky, you’ll have an old 1.2 gig HD laying around (like I do) or a CD burner. If not, it may be time to look into borrowing a Zip drive from work or something.

Oh, one last thing before I forget – you REALLY need a boot disk unless you’ve got a bootable CD-ROM/CD-ROM drive. Even then, a Win9x recovery disk is still nice to have around if your CD-ROM drive acts up or something. This isn’t a problem for the Win2k install though, because you can do it from within Win9x like a regular upgrade. Yippie!

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