installing Windows 2000 dual-boot
November 30, 2000

I suggest using dual-boot for non-corporate systems. This is because most people will need to use Windows 9x at some point, even if it's just to play Quake.

I suggest installing Windows 2000 to a separate partition. This is for several reasons:

If all the space on the target drive is already allocated to existing partitions, the drive will need to be repartitioned. This may involve reinstalling the existing operating system(s) and/or reformatting existing filesystems. For this reason, it is wise to consider carefully before partitioning a drive.

To install Win2k in dual-boot, first install Windows 9x, also to its own partition. I suggest using a 2Gb VFAT partition for this purpose. Ensure to leave at least 2Gb unallocated - this is for Win2k. Leave another 2Gb for a FAT partition - use this for data. Allocate the rest as appropriate.

  1. once the Win9x installation is stable, insert the Win2k CD and allow it to autostart
  2. answer NO to the question ‘upgrade to Win2k’ (YES will upgrade your existing Win9x installation)
  3. in the Welcome dialog box, click on ‘install Win2k’
  4. select 'install a new copy (clean install)'
  5. when the special options box comes up, click Advanced Options
  6. check the box [ ] choose partition during setup
  7. Click OK and proceed with the install
  8. the computer will restart to Win2k's text-based setup utility; at the partition selection screen, using the arrow keys, select the entry ‘unpartitioned space’ - don't press Enter
  9. press C to create a partition in the unpartitioned space
  10. enter the size of the partition you wish to allocate to Win2k and press Enter
  11. using the arrow keys, select the entry 'New (Unformatted)'
  12. press Enter
  13. select a file system (NTFS recommended) and press Enter to begin formatting the partition

Once Setup completes, dual-boot installation is complete.

To edit the default operating system and timeout at the OS loader screen:

  1. boot into Win2k - log in as Administrator
  2. right-click My Computer
  3. click Properties, Advanced, Startup and Recovery
  4. select operating system from drop-down list
  5. adjust timeout
  6. click OK

uninstalling Windows 2000 dual-boot

Delete the NTFS partition using FDISK (bundled with Windows9x):

  1. boot into Win9x
  2. click Start.. Run..
  3. type FDISK and press Enter
  4. press N, Enter - don't enable large disk support
  5. press N, Enter - don't treat NTFS partitions as large
  6. press 5 to select a drive if appropriate (this option will not appear if you have one drive only)
  7. press 3, Enter - delete partition
  8. press 4, Enter - non-DOS partition
  9. select the appropriate NTFS partition to delete, press the corresponding number key, Enter
  10. confirm your intentions by pressing Y, Enter
  11. press Esc three times to exit FDISK
  12. reboot, for changes to take effect

The space will now be available for repartitioning. This method does not remove the OS loader (selecting Win2k causes an error and a hang) - to overcome this, edit the file C:\BOOT.INI, which controls the OS loader, using Notepad from within Win9x:

  1. boot into Win9x
  2. click Start.. Run..
  3. type NOTEPAD C:\BOOT.INI and press Enter
  4. change the timeout line to read timeout=0
  5. close the file, saving changes

This will cause the computer to boot straight to Win9x without pausing at the OS loader screen.

Subsequently reinstalling Win2k onto a new partition will reset the OS loader preferences (eg. timeout and default operating system).