Dual booting information

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

Windows 95We believe it is important to first mention that dual booting is almost never supported by a computer manufacturer or the operating system developer. Consequently, dual booting is an "at your own risk" situation. To proceed, make your selection from the list below and follow the instructions.

Dual boot Windows 95 with Windows 98

Windows 95 with Windows 98 can be dual boot, but without any utilities, you must manually change the msdos.sys to point to the appropriate drive or partition. Also, if drive space (Disk Compression) is being used, drvspace must be copied as well.

Note: Some "OEM" versions of Windows 98 and Windows ME (sold with new computers) will not install on a partition where other Windows operating systems exist.

Process of Dual booting Windows 98 with Windows 95:

  1. It is recommended that at least two partitions be created, one partition for Windows 95 and the other for Windows 98.
  2. If you have an OEM version of Windows 98, install it first, as it will search for pre-existing operating systems. If you have a retail version of Windows 98, you can either install it or Windows 95 first.
  3. Once one of the operating systems has been installed, boot the computer from a bootable floppy diskette. At the MS-DOS prompt, install the other operating system onto the other partition. It should be noted that you do not want to install Windows 95/98 through Windows, it must be done from MS-DOS.
  4. Once both operating systems have been installed onto the computer, it will boot to the last installed operating system. To boot to the alternate operating system, edit the msdos.sys file and change the WinDir= and the WinBootDir to the appropriate drive letter. If you find yourself needing to boot between the operating systems often, it may be easier to create two different msdos.sys files and then use a batch file to switch between them.

Dual boot Windows 95/98 with Windows NT/2000

Dual booting between Windows 95/98 and Windows NT is effortless as these two operating systems will work fine if placed on different partitions.

To dual boot between Windows 95/98 and Windows NT, it is recommended that two partitions be created and that Windows 95 or Windows 98 be installed first onto the computer. Below is the steps we would recommend to follow in dual booting these operating systems.

Process of Dual booting Windows 95/98 with Windows NT 4.0:

  1. It is recommended that at least two partitions be created, one partition for Windows 95/98 and the other for Windows NT/2000.

    Additionally, it is important to consider if you plan on utilizing NTFS. NTFS adds security, but if you need to access this drive from Windows 95/98, you may want to consider using FAT16 or FAT32 if you are installing Windows 2000.
  2. Once the two partitions have been installed on the computer and Windows 95/98 is installed onto one of those partitions, boot to an MS-DOS prompt, loading the CD-ROM drivers (Windows bootable disk can also be used).
  3. Once at the prompt, enter into the below directory.

    X:\WINNT>

    The X: being the letter of your CD-ROM drive.
  4. Once at this prompt, we recommend that you do a diskless installation. To do this, type: winnt /b

    Additional information about this switch and other Windows NT switches can be found on our Windows NT switches pages.
  5. After the installation is complete and the computer reboots, you should notice the Windows NT menu has the option for both Windows 9x and Windows NT 4.0.

Dual boot Windows 95 with Windows ME

Windows ME will detect if any Windows operating system already exists on the computer before the installation, so it is important that you create two partitions, one for each OS. Install Windows ME first, and then install Windows 95. Below is the steps we would recommend be done.

Process of Dual booting Windows 95 with Windows ME:

  1. It is recommended that at least two partitions be created, one partition for Windows 95 and the other for Windows 98.
  2. Once the two partitions have been created, reboot the computer with the Windows ME CD in the computer and install Windows ME onto one of the partitions.
  3. Once installed, boot to an MS-DOS prompt or bootable diskette and install Windows 95 onto the other partition.

Dual booting Windows 98 with Windows ME

Because both Windows 98 OEM and Windows ME look for pre-existing operating systems, Windows 98 retail must be used. If you do not have a retail version of Windows 98, unfortunately, you will not be able to dual boot Windows 98 with Windows ME.

Below are the steps we would recommend be done to dual boot between Windows 98 retail and Windows ME.

Process of Dual booting Windows 98 with Windows ME:

  1. It is recommended that at least two partitions be created, one partition for Windows 98 and the other for Windows ME.
  2. Once the two partitions have been created, reboot the computer with the Windows ME CD in the computer and install Windows ME onto one of the partitions.
  3. Once Windows ME has been installed onto the computer, boot to the Windows 98 CD and install Windows 98 onto the alternate partition.