Advice please re major PC upgrade

  Nosmas 17:28 08 Apr 05

I am intending to upgrade my present system (W98 with 10GB HDD) by installing a new motherboard, new and larger internal HDD (80GB) and new external usb HDD (80GB) and then installing XP.

I wish to have a dual-boot system with W98SE and XP so have in mind to partition the HDD into 4 partitions - one for each OS and associated application programs, one for data files and a fourth one with another install of XP to be able to test using programs before installing them on the main XP partition.

I know that with dual boot systems XP should be the last to be installed. I also understand that XP has superior partitioning and formatting facilities than Fdisk which would normally be used before installing W98. I would therefore welcome advice on the following ideas which I have formulated after viewing a 'walkthrough' of the XP clean install process - click here

1. After installing all the hardware and MOBO drivers, boot from the XP CD and proceed to the point of creating the first (raw i.e. unformatted) partition of appropriate size.

2. Then select the unpartitioned space and press C to create a second raw partition.

3. Repeat this operation twice more to create the third and fourth partitions.

4. Before installing the OS it is necessary to select the partition to receive it and format that partition. From my reading it appears that IMMEDIATELY following the formatting, XP starts the installation process by copying files. How do I stop that from happening in order to format the other three partitions first? The screenshots in the above-mentioned article don't show any means of exit at that point in the process.

5. Assuming all four partitions are successfully formatted, I would then replace the XP CD with the W98SE CD and install that OS. I presume the created partitions will be lettered C, D, E, & F and that I can then choose to install W98SE on D. I would then re-insert the XP CD and install that OS on C and then apply SP2.

6. So far as the second install of XP is concerned I envisage activating the first install and before installing applications, to use Drive Image or Acronis TrueImage to copy from the C drive to (say) F drive.

7. After all the above is complete I would re-boot the system, choosing which OS to boot into and then install the application software.

  TomJerry 17:55 08 Apr 05

for multi-boot PC, the best way is to get Partotion Magic (boot magic come with it) and let it do the donkey work. This is really a magic program. You can get it for £17 from

why you ungrapde motherboard if you do not upgrade CPU, it maybe better to upgrade it as well

  xphile 18:09 08 Apr 05

What are your current motherboard & processor? Do you have a budget limit in mind? Have you already got the 80GB HDD?

  Diemmess 18:27 08 Apr 05

You will need to install 98 on C: first, so must format the new HD before that. W98 will insist on drive C:

Once W98SE is up and running, you can install the mobo drivers.

THEN you can use partitioning software and
install XP, images the lot!

  Nosmas 21:54 08 Apr 05


It is because my present MOBO (Chaintech 6BTM) is ancient and out of date that I have decided to do this upgrade. I have already bought from Novatech a bundle complete with CPU, heatsink and fan plus 512MB of memory all pre-assembled and tested.


Current MOBO as above. New MOBO Matsonic MS8147C with AMD Athlon XB2500 and 512MB 333MHZ DDR RAM. I have also bought Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB 7200rpm 8mb Cache internal HDD and a similar WD usb External drive.


Didn't realise that W98SE insisted on installing on C drive. That means (a) I will need to use Fdisk for formatting (or does SE have a formatting capability similar to XP?) and (b) XP will have to be installed on D (or E or F) drive. Does this in turn mean I will have to watch out when installing any applications since I believe most assume the OS to be on C and therefore default to that?

I haven't previously performed a task like this and was under the impression that the MOBO drivers were called for (by BIOS?) before the OS is installed.

  Nosmas 22:00 08 Apr 05

Forgot to mention that I also have bought Partition Magic v8.0 and Drive Image 2002, but apparently DI 2002 is not suitable for XP. I have seen recommendations for Acronis TrueImage v 8.0 and will probably invest in that.

  woodchip 23:58 08 Apr 05

You will have to use FDISK for win98se but it's easy with a Setup Floppy from Hear tenth file down click here put floppy in comp and double click download

  Nosmas 00:32 09 Apr 05

Thanks for that link. One question - you said to download the 10th file which is described as 'OEM', but I notice that the 11th file is also for W98SE but is described as 'Custom, no RAM drive'. What is the difference between these two versions please?

  DieSse 00:37 09 Apr 05

I believe XP lets you partition and format all the partitions before installing.

  Nosmas 00:58 09 Apr 05

That's what I was hoping to do, but not sure how to stop the installation of XP proceeding IMMEDIATELY it has finished formatting the partition. Have a look at the screen shots and instructions in my 'click here' link in my first post.

Just been doing a bit more reading online and discovered that there is a problem trying to use Fdisk with HDD's over 64GB.

Perhaps Woodchip or someone else may know the answer to the 64GB problem and/or know how to prevent XP installing straight after formatting.

  LastChip 01:50 09 Apr 05

My understanding from your original post, is you want to dual-boot W98 and XP, but you then go on to say about installing XP onto a fourth partition.

If that is the case, how do you propose to activate two installations of XP, or do you have two Licences?

If you want to dual boot AND see files from each system in the other, you must use the FAT32 file system, as W98 cannot see NTFS.

If you load XP first, you will not be able to load W98. Microsoft do not allow you to load an older system over a newer system.

By far the easiest way is to use fdisk. The only downside, is it will be slightly slower. Create a Primary Partition of the required size (C:) and set it as "Active". Use the remainder of the drive as an Extended Partition (don't worry about the limitation). Format C: and load '98.

From there on, you can use XP during the set-up procedure, to choose what to do with the Extended partition. XP will recognise the full drive, provided you have set an Extended Partition. You now create Logical Drives within the Extended Partition to install on and let XP format the partition to choice. Not sure if you can do all of them at once, but it doesn't matter, as they can be done from within XP once it's loaded.

XP will ask you if you want to keep W98, say yes and it will provide a boot menu for you on start-up. When using all Microsoft systems, it is not necessary to use third party boot managers.

Word of Warning. When XP is installing, once the first re-boot is in progress, it may ask you to press something to boot from the CD. Don't! Just let XP take it's own course. It will sort itself out!

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