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Questions about Multiboot, partions and file system ...

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by AngryClip, Jan 11, 2003.

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  1. AngryClip

    AngryClip Thread Starter

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    I want to set up a multiboot for 3 OS's ... 98, 2000 and XP. I have 2 HDD, an 80gb and a 2.5gb. I would like to partion on my 80gb into 3 parts, one for each OS and one for where my software will go, I would like to keep my 2.5gb all together as you use that drive to store stuff which I have downloaded, or which I need to burn to a CD. The problem is that I would like to know if you could partion a disk into multiple File System's, I would like to use NTFS for 2000 and XP but I would need to use FAT32 for 98, is that possible to do? IF so how do I do it? (I have Partion MAgic 8)

    I would also like to know which order to install the OS's and would I be able to order the Drive Letters to C:\ for XP, D:\ for 2000, E:\ for 98, F:\ for my 2.5gb dump drive, G:\ for DVD ROM and H:\ for my CD-RW ... Is this possible and if it is how hard is this to do?

    Thanx in advance
    AngryClip

    p.s. any links to any useful information on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    In general, you install the oldest O/S first, since the newer ones should recognize the existance of the older one. I'd install W98 on the first partition, since it has to be FAT anyway to allow W98 to boot. Then install W2K, and finally XP. You might also consider that if you only have three partitions, you only have the small drive for common data. I think it would be smart to make four partitions, and have a FAT32 data partition that all the O/S versions could access.
     
  3. AngryClip

    AngryClip Thread Starter

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    I originally thought about having 4 partions, but I thought that i was getting a bit too complex...

    so it is possible to have one hard drive fomatted in different file systems (FAT32 and NTFS) ?

    I also forgot to ask, If I get it working I would need the same piece of software for each OS (word for example) would i just install It to the same directory for each one and it will automatically change the registry for me?
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Each partition can be formatted uniquely, you could have partitions formatted FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, and Linux ext2fs if you like. :)

    You will have to install applications with each O/S, i.e. you'll have three installations of Office, for example. You do NOT want to try to have a common Program Files directory, that would be VERY BAD! :eek: You will have three independent installations, and they won't know anything about each other. You can share common data, which is why I suggest the 4th partition with data.
     
  5. AngryClip

    AngryClip Thread Starter

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    that is what i ment with the 4th partion, I thought I could install each program to the same folder since all that changes is the registry, if not then how would I go about this, is there a way round this otherwise it will take up a lot of space...

    thank you that is exactly what i wanted to know :D, do you have any reccomendations for what size each partion would be best?
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You can't install programs in a common Program Files, because the different O/S versions will install a different mix of files, very bad karma! :) Depending on exactly how many applications you plan on installing, I'd make the three O/S systems in the 10-12gig range, and then allocate the rest to a common FAT32 data drive. This gives you a drive that all the O/S versions can see. The way I see the drive is:

    Primary Partition 10-12 gigs.
    Extended Partiion (the rest)
    Three drives defined in the extended partition.

    FAT32 - W98 1st partition (must be FAT32)
    NTFS - W2K 2nd loggical drive
    NTFS - WXP 3rd logical drive
    FAT32 - Common Data Drive

    One point I don't see addressed in your planning is backup, I'd give that some thought. :) My current favored backup solution for home systems is the USB 2.0 hard disk, portable and quick.
     
  7. Lardog

    Lardog

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    Not a common Program Files directory, a common partition to install all programs to. For the most part, this works just fine. There are a few exceptions, although I forget specifics at the moment.

    The biggest thing to remember for you multi-boot scenario is that if you want any Win9x in the mix, your C: drive must be FAT or FAT32. Otherwise, it'll be no go for Win9x.

    Also, the NTLDR from W2K is not compatible with XP, but the one from XP is compatible with W2K. This means you need to install XP last. The best order is to install Win98 first, W2K 2nd and XP last.

    Finally, if you plan on having a shared Data/App partiton, don't use NTFS or Win98 will not be able to access is. The poposed partition/file system recommendations from johnwill would work well.
     
  8. jdean

    jdean

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    I would also recommend using System Commander from http://www.v-com.com for managing multiple operating systems. I've been using it for years on a variety of different machines and it works well (ok, it's not perfect, but it's pretty good). It comes with documentation that explains how to install different operating systems and helps you avoid some of the pitfalls.

    I would not recommend getting their Partition Commander program. If you don't already have it, I would recommend PartitionMagic (http://www.powerquest.com/). It is a fantastic utility for repartitioning your drive, and you can usually rearrange things later if you don't get it quite right the first time.

    These programs are not cheap, but I think they're worth the investment.
     
  9. AngryClip

    AngryClip Thread Starter

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    Thank you everyone for the help, it is greatly appreciated

    JohnWill > Don't worry I have all my data backed up etc... and thank you for your advice on how to set up the OS's

    I used to have a partion on my 80gb drive, but then i deleted it ever since then I t has only been been seen as a 76gb drive, I reinstalled PartionMagic 7.0 and it has spotted a few funky things .... first of all it is showing my hdd in a yellow colour and the word, below that in the status area i am getting error #108 and also there is 4.9gb of unallocated space ... what does all this mean?

    My hdd is not dieing is it, what can I do solve the problem .... sorry to bother you all again :(
     
  10. AngryClip

    AngryClip Thread Starter

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    Ok i have just found a program called WIPE OUT here is the description

    And this is what said on the readme




    Ok so what is the MBR, and if it gets wipedout will it recreate itself automatically, thus get rid of all my partions and be just like nice, new and shiny :p

    or will it cause me problems?
     
  11. Del

    Del

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    I have a 40G hard drive with 7 partitions. Win ME on one in FAT 32 and Win 2000Pro and Win XP on D and E on NTFS then a few date partitions for pictures and music and data. Been working fine for months.
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    That program will indeed make it look like it came from the factory, no data or partitions.

    FWIW, I'm going to have to disagree with Lardog on installing applications and attempting to use the same copy with multiple operating systems, I'm certain that you'll come to grief with any number of applications that way. I've only seen it tried once, and it was a MESS! I formatted his disk for him and installed the dual boot properly. :)
     
  13. Lardog

    Lardog

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    How can you be so certain if you've only seen it done once and never actually tried it yourself? I've actually done it many times (as have many others) and have never had any problems. As a matter of fact, I have a test lab right now that is full of similarly configured multi-boot systems, all running just peachy.

    I'm not advocating installing different OS's on the same partition. That will result in a mess. But simply installing applications into a common directory that can then be shared by multipl OS's is no big deal.

    Of course, these days, with drive space being cheap and abundant, the need to do it to save disk space is no longer as important.
     
  14. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I know for sure that installing them in their own directories for each O/S will work without problems. I've personally seen one attempt that failed miserably installing them in common directories, and if you do a Google search on the topic, you can find lots more examples of people that have come to grief attempting to do what you suggest.

    I'm not saying it isn't working for you, but what I am saying is that it's not good practice, and I'm certain that some applications will be problematic if installed that way.

    The way I read this thread, AngryClip doesn't want any more surprises when he gets all of this installed, my way is more certain to yield that result. :)
     
  15. AngryClip

    AngryClip Thread Starter

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    Thank you again every one, I think i am nearly at the end of my questions, and my 80gb hdd is big enough not to have to install it like lardog did

    That is exactly what I want ... however I *think* i have got a hidden partion which has WindowsXPHome image on it, because I have a disc which i got from the manufacturer's and it extracts that image and copy's it to C:\ ... so has anybody know how i can confirm this, and if it is true how would I go about extracting that image to a disc, because I really dont want to lose it...

    I think that this will be last question I will want answered, thank's a lot you guys :D
     
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