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I am trying to dual boot nt4 and windows 98 se (don't laugh - old computer).

I have seen Microsoft's instructions for doing this, but it limits windows 98 to have a Fat16 partition (NT4's NTLDR doesn't understand FAT32) and therefore only 2GB of disk space. I really need it to have more than that.

I started with Win 98 (on the 1st partition), repartitioned the disk, then added NT4 on the 2nd partition. NT4 took over the bootloader (as expected), so NT4 boots, but Win 98 doesn't. Right now I am working in VMWare so I can use nonpersistent hard drives (IDE like the real computer) to recover from errors easily.

I've tried using XPs NTLDR using the instructions here: , but I got weird errors from NT4 and it never really worked. If XP's NTLDR would work, that should be able to boot both OSes.

I've also tried using GRUB. In theory that should work. In fact when booting from super grub disk, it does. But as soon as I install grub to disk, Win 98 boots, but NT 4 blue screens at boot with a 0x0000007b inaccessible_boot_device error (that can be alot of things see MS kb 822051). The incantation I'm using for GRUB 1 is

rootnoverify (hd0,1)


chainloader +1


So, anybody have some suggestions?

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out of curiosity, why would you want to run NT and 98? – Keltari Aug 24 '11 at 5:21

"System Commander" was a multi-boot solution for windows that worked pretty well for me back a few years. You can get a copy of an older version on Amazon for $1.00 (as of 30 seconds ago).

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I have a machine with Windows 98, NT and XP (the NT installation is quite obsolete and not really required any more, I just never got rid of it), using BootStar, a third party boot manager.

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BootIt NG will do the job as well.

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Windows NT 4 does not like anything other than FAT16 and NTFS, so you're not going to get what you want out of this, unless you go Windows 2000 instead of NT 4 (if that 2GB barrier is really a problem).

EDIT: If you're using VMWare, why do you want the two OSes to share a single drive anyway? That makes little sense to me.


Create a boot partition with 2GB and FAT16. Create a second partition for Windows 98 and FAT32. Create a third partition for Windows NT 4 and NTFS.

Install Windows 98 into the D: drive (i.e. FAT32 partition), and NTFS into the third partition (which it will probably call D: as well, but should call E:).

You'll need a big C: drive because some installers are stupid and like putting rubbish on the C: drive, regardless of where Windows is. Case in point is Visual Studio 6.

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I don't care if NT can see the Win98 partition (there is a third party FAT32 driver for NT4, though) - I just want to be able to boot both. Win2k is better, I agree. But I don't have a license for it - only Win98 and NT4. The VMWare is just a working platform so I don't have to reinstall every time I screw up. The real machine is an eMachines 500 MHz P3. – ItFinallyWorks Nov 22 '09 at 8:52
I've made an additional suggestion which should probably work. – user3463 Nov 22 '09 at 13:40

If your PC will hold one, I suggest installing another hard drive, and install one OS per drive. Keep only one drive connected at a time, so that each installs to its' "C: drive".

To boot, you should be able to press a key at start up to get the boot menu, allowing you to boot whichever drive is not your default. Usually it's the escape key, but it could be a function key, too.

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