“What now?” you may ask. “I want more than two OSes on my computer. It’s so cool!”. So how does one go about installing multiple (more than 2) OSes on 1 computer? With a 3rd party boot manager. I will be covering two boot managers in this next tutorial: V-Com’s System Commander 7™ and XOSL.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: It is possible to multi-boot with the Windows boot manager, however, you are greatly limited. You have to install in this order: DOS, Win9X/ME, Win 2000, Win XP. In other words, oldest OS to newest OS. And It is IMPOSSIBLE to install multiple copies of 9X/ME with the Windows boot manager. Refer to the Microsoft website for details.
First off, let me state that System Commander does cost a little bit, and XOSL is free. However, System Commander 7 comes with powerful tools to partition, move, delete, and copy partitions. XOSL does not. With XOSL, you pretty much have to have the partitions all laid out ahead of time. With System Commander, you can add partitions and OSes any time you want. The first part of this tutorial will cover the process of adding a new OS to an existing, single OS configuration using System Commander 7, followed by a quick XOSL installation guide.
If you’re like me, you get bored easily. You like your beer cold, and you like something different once in a while. Or, you may just want even MORE options when it comes to an OS. Let’s think about this logically. Most hard drives manufactured today are at least 20GB. Keeping that in mind, you could be running Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP all on one machine with only a small percentage of your drive (less than 15% with all 4 of the aforementioned OSes) actually being used by these OSes. Are you tired of formatting every year or twice a year? How about having a major system crash and not being able to back up years of data? Have no fear, System Commander 7 is here!
* IMPORTANT NOTE: The following tutorial is based upon 1 existing OS installed under 1 partition. The supported OSes are DOS, Novell, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP (Home and Pro), and any other OSes V-Com states in their compatible list. You should always backup important data before attempting a second OS install. While occurrences of failure are rare, backing up is a smart thing to do regularly.
* IMPORTANT NOTE: V-com had an update at the time this article was written, 7.03. If you want, you can download the maintenance release, and the VUI Graphic Files and follow their installation instructions. The following tutorial utilized the original 7.01 version.
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