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well Hello, all. I've decided to create a separate FAT32 partition of about 20GB on an unused drive in my computer so I can use Windows ME on it.

I've got the ISO for ME and I'm ready to boot to install it, but what's this?

- If you plan to set up your computer to dual boot with 
  Windows NT, install Windows Me first.

Will installing this to the partition on my separate drive render my Windows 8 install useless? I don't want to lose any data, and don't have much in the way of backup devices at the moment.

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2  
Why would you ever want (much less need) to install Windows ME...? –  nerdwaller Jul 9 '13 at 22:53
    
@nerdwaller I've always wanted to see how bad it really was. Also, I want to use 16bit software and don't want to be encumbered by VMs. It's a new experience to try dual-booting, really. –  Name McChange Jul 9 '13 at 22:55
2  
If your machine is new enough to run Windows 8, you probably won't find WinME device drivers for your hardware. –  Renan Jul 9 '13 at 23:16
    
@Renan The only thing I'd need is a network card driver which I've found and downloaded before (claimedly works on ME) –  Name McChange Jul 9 '13 at 23:19

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

WinME will overwrite the Win8 graphical bootloader, and you won't be able to fix it or dual boot into Win8 unless you have the setup/recovery media with you. Also, if you bought a PC with Win8 pre-installed it will have Secure Boot enabled as well as UEFI, neither of which WinME supports.

Installing WinME first, then Win8 with both Secure Boot and UEFI disabled (i.e. legacy BIOS mode enabled) should work (never tried such a combo), but I'd advise you to just try it in a VM for a little while, marvel at how bad it was and then easily get rid of it. If you want to use 16-bit software use XP in a VM instead (with Compatibility Mode if the programs require it).

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The machine didn't come with Windows 8 (we constructed it) so I don't think it has Secure Boot or UEFI. So in my current state, it's impossible to install WinME as a dual-boot without reinstalling Windows8? –  Name McChange Jul 9 '13 at 23:14
    
If it's a recent motherboard it will have UEFI. Check and see. If Win8 was installed in BIOS and not UEFI mode then you can install WinME and repair the Win8 bootloader using the DVD. –  Karan Jul 9 '13 at 23:15
    
It's from the age of Vista, so I'd guess it doesn't have UEFI. Sucks that this wouldn't just work though. Will XP work as expected to dual boot? (or will I have to do the install/repair process) –  Name McChange Jul 9 '13 at 23:17
    
I'm saying it probably will work with some effort if there's no UEFI or Secure Boot involved. Did you read my comment above? Startup Repair from the Win8 DVD should add WinME to the graphical boot menu, else you can use EasyBCD to add it. –  Karan Jul 9 '13 at 23:19
    
I'm not going to risk it, then. Thanks for the enlightening info before I went ahead and borked my bootloader. –  Name McChange Jul 9 '13 at 23:21

If you are looking to just run 16-bit software then DOSBox might be exactly what you need:

DOSBox

DOSBox is used by GOG.com to run older games most notably.

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Like Karan said, it would be a better option to use a VM to install Windows 2K. If you're using the Pro version of Windows 8, try enabling Hyper-V. You won't have to install third-party software that way.

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3  
Hyper-V doesn't support anything older than XP Pro SP2. –  Karan Jul 9 '13 at 23:24
    
Didn't know that until now, but according to this Wikipedia article they might still run: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper-V In that case, another free virtualization software option might be Oracle's VirtualBox: virtualbox.org/wiki/Guest_OSes NOTE!! I must warn you I had some problems to get it running with it on Windows 8. You may want to create a restoration point before. Good luck –  safejrz Jul 10 '13 at 0:43

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