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I have an existing Debian 5 install on my PC's hard disk and i would like to add Win98SE so i can dual boot them. Is this possible? Any software that would make the process easy. Links tutorials how to do it would be useful


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migrated from Dec 17 '10 at 20:58

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

I hope that this is a joke, but if it's not you're going to have a problem with hardware compatibility. You won't be able to find any modern hardware that has 98(SE) drivers for it. Instead, you should use a virtualization platform inside of Debian that still supports 98 SE. An older version of Virtualbox or VMWare Player should do it, I think.

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Create new FAT32 partition on disk (shrink one of debian if needed), install win98, then start some live linux/bsd distro, re-create mbr and that's it. But as it was said - there is no need to play with dual boot when you can have it virtually.

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Hi, thanks. I was going to install some old games. Would they run – tech74 Dec 17 '10 at 20:57
@tech74, Depends on the games. Many older games can be handled by wine or dosbox, it is the newer stuff that is more difficult. – Zoredache Dec 17 '10 at 21:09
It depends which games. Many non-3d games (or those that have the option of software rendering instead of using 3D acceleration) will run fine under vbox/vmware. For older games still dosbox works wonders. You will certainly have more joy this way then running Win98 directly on modern hardware (for a start Win98 will not correctly recognise modern large harddrives) – David Spillett Dec 17 '10 at 21:10
What hardware would you recommend for this that has 98SE support? – MDMarra Dec 18 '10 at 0:39

First thing: make sure you have a boot cd or thumb drive that can boot your Linux system because the windows installer will replace Linux's bootloader with its own. For partition editing you'll probably need a live CD or at least an install CD with the partition editing tools on it as well.

Second, you'll probably need to use fdisk or parted or the like to print out your current partition table and the types of each partition so we can see what you have on the drive now, unless you have a second harddisk you will use for windows. Some partition types can be resized and moved around without much risk, others will need you to back everything up and start over with a blank drive.

If you can resize the partitions (see parted's manual for resize and move) then you'd start by shrinking your Linux partition to make space for a windows partition, then possibly (again, depending on your partitions and drive) moving the linux partition to make free space at the beginning of the drive for Windows, then

Honestly, though, I agree with MarkM's answer. It may not be fast but installing win98 in bochs is probably easier. This guide is for running Win98 in bochs in Windows, but it should be mostly the same in Linux.

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