Now that you’ve made the choice to go with a multiple OS setup, lets get on to some basics. Every computer, no matter what OS is installed, has a “Master Boot Record” (MBR). This is located in the first partition of the first drive, AKA drive 0 (C:). Whether you have 1, 2, or 10 OSes, they all must start from the same place on drive 0 or C:. If you install a new drive and OS, then slave your old OS to your new drive/OS you aren’t going to accomplish anything, other than waste some disk space. That is because you have no set of instructions (MBR) telling your computer to boot to that hard drive. Unless you opt for a TRIOS, you HAVE to have a boot record for each OS, and it HAS to be on the first partition of drive 0. That’s just the way it is.
Every OS should have it’s own partition. Now it is possible to install 2000/XP on the same partition as 98/ME. But, you are going to have problems eventually. My first experiment in a dual boot was 98 and 2000. I messed up, and did NOT install 2000 on it’s own partition. Things worked great for a few months, then one day I just couldn’t boot up. What a headache.
Windows Boot Manager: Getting down to business
So there you are looking at the Windows 2000 or Windows XP box. You have, hypothetically, two partitions on your 20GB drive, and you have Windows 98 or Windows ME installed. Well, while you’re trying to get into the blast-proof blister pack the new OS came in, why not run a thorough scandisk and disk defrag? By the time these two applications are done running, you might have the new OS packaging open. Probably would be smart to back up your important data too. You never know when something screwy is going to happen, besides, you probably needed a new back up anyway.
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