Install Windows 98 after Windows XP

by Daniel Petri - January 8, 2009

This procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed on drive C:

Drive C: must be FAT16 or FAT32 to be able to install Windows 98 after XP is already installed. The 98/Me installation routine cannot write to an NTFS partition.

You must have a second hard disk or partition formatted for FAT16/32 in order to be able to install Windows 98/Me.

As always, installing 98/Me to the same partition as Windows XP is Not recommended!

I recommend the use of a Windows 98 Startup disk for this procedure. You should ensure that DEBUG.EXE is on your Startup disk. On a 98 Startup disk, created from Add/Remove Programs, its in the EBD.CAB file on the Startup disk. For a 98 Startup disk created from FAT32EBD.EXE its on the floppy

Installing Windows 98

  1. Use a Win98 Startup disk (with CD support) to boot your computer.

  2. Insert your Win98 CD into the CD Rom drive.

  3. At the A: prompt type X:\Win98\Setup.exe where X: is your CD-ROM drive.

  4. Proceed with the install. When prompted for the install location, you'll see C:\Windows.000. Choose Other directory and change this to the drive you wish to install 98 to and name the folder Windows (or something else if you prefer).

  5. Complete the Win98 install. Allow the computer to boot into Win98.

Repairing the Windows XP Boot Loader

  1. Create a Win98 Startup Disk

  2. Create a Notepad file with the following entries, exactly as shown:

  1. Save the file to the Win98 Startup Disk as READ.SCR

  2. Boot the computer with the Win98 Startup Disk and at the A: prompt type

Steps 1 - 4 create the BOOTSECT.DOS file needed to boot Win98. You may need to use the ATTRIB C:\BOOTSECT.DOS -S -H -R command if BOOTSECT.DOS already exists and you get an error when trying to recreate it.

  1. Configure your computer to boot from the CD drive. This is done in the BIOS, or your computer may offer the option at startup if it detects a bootable CD. If your computer does not support booting from CD-Rom, you should also be able to boot with a 98 Startup disk, and run WINNT.EXE from the I386 folder of your XP CD.

  2. Insert your XP CD and boot from it.

  3. You'll see some files being copied, then you'll be presented with a choice of installing or repairing an existing installation. Choose Repair.

  4. You'll be asked which XP installation you want to log into. Enter 1. There is usually only one installation.

  5. You'll be prompted for the Administrator password. For Home, the default password is blank, so just hit Enter. For Pro, enter the same password you did during setup for the Administrator account (this is not the same as the password for an Admin level account. It must be the Administrator account password).

  6. At the C:\Windows prompt, type FIXBOOT. You'll be prompted to confirm. Do so.

  7. When FIXBOOT is finished, remove the XP CD and type EXIT and the machine will reboot.

  8. Reconfigure your computer to boot from the hard drive if necessary.

You will now get the XP Boot loader with your choice of operating system.

Note: This tip was originally written by Doug Knox.

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