A question about partitioning and dual booting...

Since it’s the weekend, and all is pretty calm here, and considering this question is driving me nuts, I gotta consolidate all my recent questions from a variety of threads and put 'er into one. Here goes-

What’s the best way to partition two drives- the primary is 75 gigs and the secondary is 40 gigs- for a dual boot set-up (Win XP & Win 98SE)?

Also, keep in mind that a whole 'lotta music is going to be on this set-up at some point… and it’s important that it’s backed up to the hilt.

I’d appreciate any response or suggestions, because the more I read about partitioning and whatnot, the more confused I get (That is, is it better to have one large partition and smaller back-up partitions? What size of the partitions then? Or is it better to have them all about the same size? What about OS placement? All on one partition, or spread it out?).

Again, I’m taking some of my earlier questions from different threads and putting it all together, here, to keep it simple. So, I apologize if I sound like a broken record lately, but I want to get it right.

Finally, if this has sparked some partition questions of your own, feel free to add it here.


Are you going to put one operating system on each drive?

I think special software that does dual boots is going to be important as well a Partition Magic. But you know what? My Bios lets me choose which HD to run first. You could do it that way.

Be sure your bios supports drives that big.

Don’t know. I’ll do whatever it makes sense to do.

Off hand, and without any knowledge of how dual-boots work and whatnot, I wouldn’t put it on seperate drives, I’d put them on separate partitions of one drive… but what do I know.

For instance, I’d have both OS’s run off the 75 gig drive. However, I’d probably slice up that drive into four of five segments and have XP run on the first partition and Win 98 on the second. With that setup, I’d be able to rebuild, or reinstall, any OS independent of the other one.

In theory, anyways, that sounds good. But not only do I not know if that’d work, I don’t know if it makes sense.

Furthermore, I can’t begin to figure out how many, or how large, I should make each partition.

Finally, I’m not worried about the Bios or any other requirement at this point, it’s a new system and it should be up to date.

Y’know, I have a dual-boot system, and I know how I partitioned it, but ATM, I don’t remember why…

Anyway, I have 3 HDs in my system. One is a 22, one a 60, and one a 30.

The 22 is partitioned into 3 and 19 gigs, and the 3 gig partition contains my Win 98 install.

The 60 is partitioned into 3, 28, 28 gigs (rough estimates - Windows Explorer will return a smaller drive size than advertised; it’s a long story), with the 3 gig being the home of my Win 2K install, and one of the 28s being home of all my programs.

The 19 from my first drive, second 28 from the second, and all the 30 (which is “partitioned” as one drive) are all home for various…media files.

The reason I did it this way (well, the only reason that made sense) is because it defrags/scandisks more quickly this way. If the computer freezes while DLing, I only need to scandisk the one partition, if it freezes while running a program, it only scandisks the partition that program was on (well, in theory), and so on.

The reason I have the OSes on separate drives is pessimism; if one HD dies on me, I still have a functioning OS.

I believe that a Windows OS works better if it’s on its own partition - something about the swap file, I think. I could really, really, be wrong on this though.

As for a guide, go here. It doesn’t mention much about partitioning, except to say that the OS partitions should be greater than 2 gigs.

Well, that’s it from me. Have fun. :slight_smile:

That’s it? Have fun?

I don’t even know where to start. I haven’t been this confused after reading a post in a long time…

Well, OK, maybe that confused since yesterday.

KKBattousai, you’re more aware of the situation than most here. You understand I’m basically being forced into going with XP over my favored Win 98 (Not forced, but, you know).

Anyrate, to me, it seems your system is a mess (I’m still wondering what these allusive ‘media’ files are. I hope you come clean on them sometime soon. I have my guesses, however).

Where yours seems more jumbled up, I’d like mine more streamlined.

That is, mine right now resembles yours quite a bit. For whatever reasons I had at the time, because I sure can’t figure it out now, I set up partitions much like you did.

But now I’d like to at least have some sound reasons for setting up the partitions and their size.

What I think would make sense, and you somewhat allude to, are separating the two OS’s onto two separate partitions. In my case, I’d do it to simplify a rebuild of any one OS- If one goes kablooyie, I can rebuild it without affecting the other one.

Now, if that’s my only requirement, than I’d be fine. I’d probably split the 75 gig drive in half and put XP on partition A and Win 98 on partition B. But, I have a substantial music library that will most likely sit on that drive and also on the backup 40 gig drive… so I have to make room for that space.

On top of that problem, is the problem of game size. The games I’m using these days are huge. Now I don’t mind re-installing the things per the off chance that I need to rebuild the OS, but I want to make damn sure that the partition is large enough to hold a couple of these large apps.

So, it’s a conundrum for me- A few large partitions, or many small partitions? In either case, how should they be organized for best results?

(If you’re more confused by this post than I was with yours, than touché. -smile-)

I havent figured out how to quote in bold yet so I wont try to. I can tell you that you can install XP on one drive, and 98 on the other no problem. If you set them both up to use FAT 32 instead of setting XP to NTFS, then you can access both drives from both OS’es. This means if you fill up the drive that has XP on it, you can store stuff on the 98 drive and still use it in XP.
I am not sure if I am clear as to what I am trying to say so let me give you an example.

You want to install Office for use in XP. The drive that you have installed XP on is at max capacity. You can still install Office thru XP, but just install it to the other drive. As long as both drives use the same file system (FAT 32) you will not have a problem. Just so you know, if you do what I said and install Office on the 98 drive thru XP, you cannot run Office in 98 without doing an install thru 98. It wont register to the other OS when you install it.
Was this clear as mud? I do it right now with 2000 and XP. Both are set up in FAT 32 (long story).

Hope that helped. If you have specific questions on how to do this, please ask. I am not very good at laying out long instructions in this type of setting (as you can tell). I can answer specific questions though.

Bottom line: Install each OS to each drive. Just use the same file system on both drives. Thank you.

Do you mean each drive, or each partition?

That’s really my whole concern here.

Personally, I’d like it on different partitions of one drive and free up the other drive for back-ups only- 75 gigs and 40 gig drives, respectively.

And yes, I do understand or know what you’re getting at with the Fat 32 stuff. At this point, it isn’t anything I see myself upgrading to the XP standard just yet… maybe down the rod.

And, obviously, once the placement of the OS’s are figured out, what sized partitions you make is important too. Any suggestions?

Eh, blame my mother for the last post. She woke me up entirely too early. And blame alcohol and the same lack of sleep for the incoherence of this post.

Anyway, I’d go with one small partition for each OS - say, 4-5 gigs or so - and leave the rest “big.”

I used smaller partitions at one point and ran into space troubles while making disc images of CDs and doing my video capture stuff (which, between the raw files and the compressed final products, make up the bulk of my media files - music makes up much of the rest).

At the same time, though, I decided that 6+ hours of defragging a 22 gig partition took long enough, and that I had no desire to see how long defragging a 50+ gig partition would take. Thus the two 28 gig partitions. But, hey, that’s just me. :slight_smile:

As for the file system, I’d probably go with FAT32. There are some advantages to NTFS (which, I assume Win XP can/does use), not the least of which being some security features and the ability to have files that are 2+ GB, but this causes trouble with my Win 98/Win 2K dual boot, and I could imagine this possibly causing trouble with file sharing should you ever have a Win 9x computer on your network. (Note: I suck at network issues. I have no idea if there would be compatibility issues in this case.)

As far as games go, any partition of 20 gigs or so should do you. Personally, I have Baldur’s Gate 2 (about 1.4 gigs), Diablo II (1 gig, or so), Unreal Tournament, Quake 3, and Deus Ex all installed on one of my 28 gig partitions with no space problems. Even after installing apps (Photoshop, Office, etc.), I have about 7 gigs left over.

As for the partition/drive thing, you can put both OSes on different partiitons of the same drive, no problem.

As Phlip mentioned, if you want to use certain apps (and, to a lesser degrees, certain games) in both OSes, you have to install them through both OSes so the registry entries for the software exist in both. (Games, in general, tend to write less crap to the registry than apps do, so you may not have to do two installs for each game you play.) For most apps, especially since you’re running two NT-based OSes, you should be able to have both installs install to the same directory on the same partition to save space. (Yup, clear as mud, ain’t it?)

Bottom line: go for big partitions (except, maybe, for the partitions you’re going to put your OSes on). Defragging may take 8+ hours, but your computer should be about three times as fast as mine, so it probably won’t.

So, heh, have fun. :slight_smile:

good morning friends,

i have some critical applications that will not run on any os windows 98se or newer. there has been discussion here of dual booting with 98 & ME, but how about 95 & ME? is it possible? does 95 support fat 32? if i partition, and install 95 on a smaller portion of my hard drive, will the dos stuff work?

thanks, all for discussing this.

I see no reason an ME/95 dual boot wouldn’t work, assuming ME is as dual-booting friendly as 2K is. As for your DOS programs working in 95, it probably will. Well, as good as anything works in 95, that is. :wink:

Why do you need two operating systems? You do know that if you use XP & right click on a program file, you can force it into any mode from W95 to Me…

Handy, there are many older (and some not that old) 16 bit code based windows programs that will not install or run in XP period, regardless of attempting to use the compatibility mode.

IIRC the 95 “B” version AKA Win95 “OSR2” supports FAT32. Your “system” hardware applet in control panel will tell you what version you have.


Dual booting Windows 98 with Windows ME

friend astro,