What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

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What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2017-12-29 @ 04:05

Hello VOGONS members!

I have a question that I think is harder to answer than it sounds: What is the correct, best way to set up a dual booting environment that includes Windows XP as well as Windows 98 SE?

As far as I know, what you are supposed to do is complete the first "half" of the Win98 install, then install WinXP, and finally finish up with Win98. The problem I have with that is this: In order to do a Win98 install, you have to first format the hard drive with the DOS utility fdisk, but as far as I know, that partitioning "takes up" the entire capacity of the disk space. So, I therefore ask, how do you use fdisk to create a specifically sized partition for Windows 98 (like 80GB or 40% of a hard drive's capacity, for example)?

If someone could provide a detailed guide as to how to do this, that would be great. Thanks in advance!
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby LSS10999 » 2017-12-29 @ 06:37

the_ultra_code wrote:In order to do a Win98 install, you have to first format the hard drive with the DOS utility fdisk, but as far as I know, that partitioning "takes up" the entire capacity of the disk space. So, I therefore ask, how do you use fdisk to create a specifically sized partition for Windows 98 (like 80GB or 40% of a hard drive's capacity, for example)?


When you create the primary partition, after it scanned the free space it'll ask you if you'd like to setup a partition taking up all spaces and set it active, press N at this point, then it'll scan the free space again and you'll be presented with the option to set the primary partition size.

The primary partition will not be set active when created this way, you'll need to use option 2 to set the primary partition active manually. (FDISK will inform you about it)

After that you can proceed to add an extended partition to take up the remaining space and then set up logical partitions inside that. You can manually define partition sizes when configuring those partitions.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby KT7AGuy » 2017-12-30 @ 00:23

LSS10999 is totally correct regarding the partitioning.

For dual-booting, it depends on how you want to do it. Do you want WinXP to "see" your Win98SE partition? If so, then create a FAT32 partition and install Win98SE to it. Then, use the WinXP CD to create a NTFS partition and install WinXP to that.

Personally, I don't like my OS's to "see" each other. I like them to all be on drive "C:" when I boot them up. So far, the best dual-booter that I've found for this task is PLOP boot manager. Unfortunately, it can be a bit confusing to set up and configure. If you find yourself totally lost, reply back and I'll try to assist.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby keropi » 2017-12-30 @ 02:09

+1 for PLOP - I use it to triple boot dos/98se/win2000 , by far the best for me as well
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2017-12-30 @ 03:40

Sorry for the delay.

Okay, let's start...

LSS10999 wrote:
the_ultra_code wrote:In order to do a Win98 install, you have to first format the hard drive with the DOS utility fdisk, but as far as I know, that partitioning "takes up" the entire capacity of the disk space. So, I therefore ask, how do you use fdisk to create a specifically sized partition for Windows 98 (like 80GB or 40% of a hard drive's capacity, for example)?


When you create the primary partition, after it scanned the free space it'll ask you if you'd like to setup a partition taking up all spaces and set it active, press N at this point, then it'll scan the free space again and you'll be presented with the option to set the primary partition size.

The primary partition will not be set active when created this way, you'll need to use option 2 to set the primary partition active manually. (FDISK will inform you about it)

After that you can proceed to add an extended partition to take up the remaining space and then set up logical partitions inside that. You can manually define partition sizes when configuring those partitions.

Got it! Thanks! I must have glossed over that part of using fdisk and forgot about it.

KT7AGuy wrote:LSS10999 is totally correct regarding the partitioning.

For dual-booting, it depends on how you want to do it. Do you want WinXP to "see" your Win98SE partition? If so, then create a FAT32 partition and install Win98SE to it. Then, use the WinXP CD to create a NTFS partition and install WinXP to that.

Personally, I don't like my OS's to "see" each other. I like them to all be on drive "C:" when I boot them up. So far, the best dual-booter that I've found for this task is PLOP boot manager. Unfortunately, it can be a bit confusing to set up and configure. If you find yourself totally lost, reply back and I'll try to assist.

Holy cow! What a useful piece of software that is. Although, I'm not quite sure I would need it. Feel free to convince me, though. I can be an easy sell. :happy:

As an answer to your question: Yes, I would like XP to see the Win98 partition, as I think that would be useful in some scenarios. And thank you for confirming the way to create a "simple" (without something like PLOP) WinXP/98 dual boot system ( :happy: ):
KT7AGuy wrote:If so, then create a FAT32 partition and install Win98SE to it. Then, use the WinXP CD to create a NTFS partition and install WinXP to that.


Although, I'm now curious: What do you mean by this statement:
KT7AGuy wrote:I like them to all be on drive "C:" when I boot them up.

Are you potentially implying that if I went the "simple" dual-booting route, Windows XP would not be "under" a "C:" drive?

Also, for clarification for everyone, here's my plan: I have a 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 HDD, upon which I plan to have 3 partitions, the first one being the Windows 98 SE installation partition (I want it around 80-100GB in size), the second the Windows XP installation partition (again, around 100GB in size), and the third one being a FAT32 partition that will allow me to indirectly transfer files and folders from the Win98 partition to the XP partition.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby KT7AGuy » 2017-12-30 @ 06:20

the_ultra_code wrote:Are you potentially implying that if I went the "simple" dual-booting route, Windows XP would not be "under" a "C:" drive?


That's correct. In the scenario you describe, Win98SE will be visible to WinXP because it's on a FAT32 partition. WinXP will not be visible to Win98SE because you'll have that on an NTFS partition. Thus, Win98SE will be on the C: drive when you boot it and WinXP will not be visible. When you boot WinXP, Win98SE will still be on the C: drive and WinXP will be on the D: drive (because FAT32 is readable by WinXP).

(That is, unless you install WinXP to a FAT32 partition. But seriously, don't go there. Just don't open that can of worms. WinXP is happiest on an NTFS partition.)

the_ultra_code wrote:Also, for clarification for everyone, here's my plan: I have a 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 HDD, upon which I plan to have 3 partitions, the first one being the Windows 98 SE installation partition (I want it around 80-100GB in size), the second the Windows XP installation partition (again, around 100GB in size), and the third one being a FAT32 partition that will allow me to indirectly transfer files and folders from the Win98 partition to the XP partition.


That 3rd FAT32 partition will be visible to Win98SE, so you'll be able to copy files to it while booted under Win98SE. When you boot WinXP, you can then retrieve those files. However, this is redundant and unnecessary because your first Win98SE FAT32 partition will be visible to WinXP at all times anyway. So, there's really no need to create that third FAT32 partition.

You can use PLOP to setup a scenario as follows that may better suit your needs:

Primary Partition 1
FAT32 - Win98SE
Hidden from WinXP

Primary Partition 2
NTFS - WinXP
Hidden from Win98SE

Logical Partition 1
FAT32 - No OS
Visible to both Win98SE and WinXP

This scenario may suit your needs better. In this case, both Win98SE and WinXP will be hidden from each other and both will be on the C: drive when booted. The 3rd Logical FAT32 partition is visible to both Win98SE and WinXP as D:, so you can copy files to it that will be accessible to both operating systems.
Last edited by KT7AGuy on 2017-12-30 @ 09:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby squiggly » 2017-12-30 @ 06:51

the_ultra_code wrote:Hello VOGONS members!

I have a question that I think is harder to answer than it sounds: What is the correct, best way to set up a dual booting environment that includes Windows XP as well as Windows 98 SE?

As far as I know, what you are supposed to do is complete the first "half" of the Win98 install, then install WinXP, and finally finish up with Win98. The problem I have with that is this: In order to do a Win98 install, you have to first format the hard drive with the DOS utility fdisk, but as far as I know, that partitioning "takes up" the entire capacity of the disk space. So, I therefore ask, how do you use fdisk to create a specifically sized partition for Windows 98 (like 80GB or 40% of a hard drive's capacity, for example)?

If someone could provide a detailed guide as to how to do this, that would be great. Thanks in advance!


Easy - don't use fdisk. I sometimes use a Gparted Live CD, sometime I attach the drive to my modern PC and use EaseUS. You can then create as many partitions as you like for as many OSs as you like. Just make sure the Win98 one is the very first partition.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2017-12-31 @ 03:29

KT7AGuy wrote:
the_ultra_code wrote:Are you potentially implying that if I went the "simple" dual-booting route, Windows XP would not be "under" a "C:" drive?


That's correct. In the scenario you describe, Win98SE will be visible to WinXP because it's on a FAT32 partition. WinXP will not be visible to Win98SE because you'll have that on an NTFS partition. Thus, Win98SE will be on the C: drive when you boot it and WinXP will not be visible. When you boot WinXP, Win98SE will still be on the C: drive and WinXP will be on the D: drive (because FAT32 is readable by WinXP).

(That is, unless you install WinXP to a FAT32 partition. But seriously, don't go there. Just don't open that can of worms. WinXP is happiest on an NTFS partition.)

the_ultra_code wrote:Also, for clarification for everyone, here's my plan: I have a 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 HDD, upon which I plan to have 3 partitions, the first one being the Windows 98 SE installation partition (I want it around 80-100GB in size), the second the Windows XP installation partition (again, around 100GB in size), and the third one being a FAT32 partition that will allow me to indirectly transfer files and folders from the Win98 partition to the XP partition.


That 3rd FAT32 partition will be visible to Win98SE, so you'll be able to copy files to it while booted under Win98SE. When you boot WinXP, you can then retrieve those files. However, this is redundant and unnecessary because your first Win98SE FAT32 partition will be visible to WinXP at all times anyway. So, there's really no need to create that third FAT32 partition.

You can use PLOP to setup a scenario as follows that may better suit your needs:

Primary Partition 1
FAT32 - Win98SE
Hidden from WinXP

Primary Partition 2
NTFS - WinXP
Hidden from Win98SE

Logical Partition 1
FAT32 - No OS
Visible to both Win98SE and WinXP

This scenario may suit your needs better. In this case, both Win98SE and WinXP will be hidden from each other and both will be on the C: drive when booted. The 3rd Logical FAT32 partition is visible to both Win98SE and WinXP as D:, so you can copy files to it that will be accessible to both operating systems.


Thanks for confirming! Yeah, now I am convinced I should use PLOP to set up this whole dual boot environment. And that scenario which you just listed would be perfect for me! I appreciate your offer of help, and would gladly ask help from you! :)

squiggly wrote:Easy - don't use fdisk. I sometimes use a Gparted Live CD, sometime I attach the drive to my modern PC and use EaseUS. You can then create as many partitions as you like for as many OSs as you like. Just make sure the Win98 one is the very first partition.


That's nice to know that I do not need to use fdisk and format to create Win98 partitions.

But, before I run off to use PLOP, I want to ask another question: Is there a way to make it so each installation of Windows views its own partition as the C: drive and the partition of the other Windows' installation as, say, the D: drive without the use of software like PLOP? For example, in WinXP, it would see the Win98 installation as the D: drive and its own partition the C: drive, but in the Win98 installation, Win98 sees itself as the C: drive, and, lets say if Win98 could see the WinXP installation, would view the XP installation as the D: drive, all of this with the Win98 installation partition in front of the WinXP partition?
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby KT7AGuy » 2017-12-31 @ 07:32

the_ultra_code wrote:But, before I run off to use PLOP, I want to ask another question: Is there a way to make it so each installation of Windows views its own partition as the C: drive and the partition of the other Windows' installation as, say, the D: drive without the use of software like PLOP? For example, in WinXP, it would see the Win98 installation as the D: drive and its own partition the C: drive, but in the Win98 installation, Win98 sees itself as the C: drive, and, lets say if Win98 could see the WinXP installation, would view the XP installation as the D: drive, all of this with the Win98 installation partition in front of the WinXP partition?


Win98SE will never be able to see your WinXP partition for two reasons:

1 - Win98SE can only see one primary partition at a time. Since you're installing Win98SE to a primary partition, the only other partitions it will be able to see are extended/logical partitions.

2 - Win98SE can't read NTFS. While you can install WinXP to a FAT32 partition, (don't do it), it will still need to be a primary partition. See #1 above.

You can configure PLOP to have WinXP see itself as C: when you boot WinXP, and you can access your Win98SE partition as D:. I know it's possible, but I've never tried it. I'm not sure I'll be able to assist with such a configuration. Also, PLOP is the only boot manager I know of that can do what you describe. However, there are several others that I haven't used in-depth, so they may be able to do it as well. Hopefully someobody else can comment.

I don't much see the point to that configuration. WinXP will be able to see and write to Win98SE, but Win98SE will not see or be able to write to WinXP. If your goal is to be able to exchange files between WinXP and Win98SE, the scenario I previously described here works better:

Primary Partition 1
FAT32 - Win98SE (boots as C:)
Hidden from WinXP

Primary Partition 2
NTFS - WinXP (boots as C:)
Hidden from Win98SE

Logical Partition 1
FAT32 - No OS
Visible to both Win98SE and WinXP (as D:, or whatever drive letter you like)


(It's also easier to configure this way.)
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby dr_st » 2017-12-31 @ 08:22

KT7AGuy wrote:Personally, I don't like my OS's to "see" each other. I like them to all be on drive "C:" when I boot them up.
NT-based OSes (later ones for sure, probably XP as well, but I haven't tried) allow you to change drive letters dynamically. But if you do it to a system drive after installation, it may get confused. However, I think that if you install a later NT OS (post-Vista) on a primary partition, it will automatically mark it as C:, even if it is physically located later on the drive. Not sure about XP.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby KT7AGuy » 2017-12-31 @ 10:20

Let me clarify the way I did this with my own PCs:

Step 1 - Make a Win98SE image.
Nuke the HDD. DBAN works well for this.
Partition, format, install, configure, and create an image of Win98SE.
(I like Ghost for imaging.)

Step 2 - Make a WinXP Image
Nuke the HDD. Again, DBAN is good.
Partition, format, install, configure, and create an image of WinXP.
(Again, Ghost is lovely, but not the only game in town.)

Step 3 - Install PLOP
Nuke the HDD. DBAN, use it.
Install PLOP, create and configure partitions.

Step 4 - Restore Operating Systems
Restore your Win98SE and WinXP images to their respective partitions.

Step 5 - Configure PLOP as per your needs.

From what I remember, this is how I did it. My way is not the only way to make it work. I also made screenshots of my successful PLOP configurations. Trust me, this is a good idea. PLOP Is not always intuitive. It will save you much frustration in the future. If you want to see my screenshots and a description of how I had it configured, just let me know.

I no longer dual-boot any of my machines. I prefer to have dedicated Win9x and WinXP boxes.

dr_st wrote:NT-based OSes (later ones for sure, probably XP as well, but I haven't tried) allow you to change drive letters dynamically. But if you do it to a system drive after installation, it may get confused. However, I think that if you install a later NT OS (post-Vista) on a primary partition, it will automatically mark it as C:, even if it is physically located later on the drive. Not sure about XP.


I think you're correct regarding Vista, 7, etc. However, I'm pretty sure I remember WinXP assigning itself D: when installed to the second of two primary partitions.

That behavior annoyed the crap out of me and it's why I like to keep my operating systems hidden from each other.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby chinny22 » 2017-12-31 @ 14:08

KT7AGuy wrote:Let me clarify the way I did this with my own PCs:
I think you're correct regarding Vista, 7, etc. However, I'm pretty sure I remember WinXP assigning itself D: when installed to the second of two primary partitions.

That behavior annoyed the crap out of me and it's why I like to keep my operating systems hidden from each other.


Yes that is correct, drive letters get assigned out as:

C:\ Primary IDE, Primary Partition
D:\ Secondary IDE, Primary Partition.
E:\ Primary IDE, First Logical Partition.
F:\ Primary IDE, Second Logical Partition
G:\ Primary IDE, Third Logical Partition, etc, etc
H:\ Secondary IDE, First Logical Partition

and you get the idea!
You can reassign drive letters in Disk Manager, but of course you need XP up and running to do that.


Most my PC's duel boot, using the NT boot loader I actually prefer Win2k, but for some games and drop back to Dos I duel boot back to Win98.
My usual Partitions layout is

C:\ 2GB Fat32, Win98
D:\ Lots of space Fat32, Data (Games, Drivers, etc)
E:\ 4GB Win2K, 6GB WinXP, NTFS.

Benefit of this is drive letters remain the same no matter which OS you are in (XP is quite happy not living on c:\)
Win98 will see C:\ and D:\ You will only see E:\ in WinXP which also has access to C:\ and D:\

You can also share some smaller programs like WinRAR or Winamp. Just install it in c:\progam files say in Windows 98, boot into XP, double click the exe and it sets itself up again without affecting the other OS's installation.

Only draw back is the optical drive letter will change, but if you assign it F:\ in Win98 It'll be constant. (I don't usually bother though)
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby dr_st » 2017-12-31 @ 14:13

chinny22 wrote:You can also share some smaller programs like WinRAR or Winamp. Just install it in c:\progam files say in Windows 98, boot into XP, double click the exe and it sets itself up again without affecting the other OS's installation.
That sounds like a potential can of worms. I would only do that for applications versions that declare themselves as "portable", and then I would not install them in "Program Files", just to avoid confusion.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby chinny22 » 2017-12-31 @ 15:28

No you don't Install them twice, you just run the exe, like you can do with games.
Using Winamp as an example, Install it in Win98, default install path of c:\program files\winamp is fine.
Reboot into WinXP, goto to c:\program files\winamp, Double click Winamp.exe and it'll even bring up the initial file association window.

More "heavyweight" programs I wouldn't trust, (office or whatever) and would probably though an error anyway.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2017-12-31 @ 17:02

KT7AGuy wrote:1 - Win98SE can only see one primary partition at a time. Since you're installing Win98SE to a primary partition, the only other partitions it will be able to see are extended/logical partitions.

2 - Win98SE can't read NTFS. While you can install WinXP to a FAT32 partition, (don't do it), it will still need to be a primary partition. See #1 above.


While I knew the second reason, the first one is very new to me. I did not know that. Stupid Win98! :)

Seriously, though, yeah, that 3-partition solution you described KT7AGuy will probably be my best bet. Once I get my Gotek USB Floppy Emulator from China (it has almost arrived), then I can begin work on this whole project.

chinny22 wrote:Yes that is correct, drive letters get assigned out as:

C:\ Primary IDE, Primary Partition
D:\ Secondary IDE, Primary Partition.
E:\ Primary IDE, First Logical Partition.
F:\ Primary IDE, Second Logical Partition
G:\ Primary IDE, Third Logical Partition, etc, etc
H:\ Secondary IDE, First Logical Partition

and you get the idea!
You can reassign drive letters in Disk Manager, but of course you need XP up and running to do that.


That's a useful tidbit of information, too.

As for what you said chinny22 with sharing program installs between OSs, uh, the more power to you? I've never heard someone do that before, but if you can get that to work, not bad. :)
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby dr_st » 2017-12-31 @ 19:03

chinny22 wrote:No you don't Install them twice, you just run the exe, like you can do with games.
Using Winamp as an example, Install it in Win98, default install path of c:\program files\winamp is fine.
Reboot into WinXP, goto to c:\program files\winamp, Double click Winamp.exe and it'll even bring up the initial file association window.
I understood what you meant from the beginning. What I said is that I wouldn't advise it, unless I know for sure it's a portable app (or a portable version of an app).

I don't want start guessing whether I "trust" this app to behave 100% correctly when invoked from the same directory on different operating systems. I don't want to start guessing what settings it keeps in the local directory, and what settings it keeps in the common directories or in the registry.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby RogueTrip2012 » 2018-1-06 @ 05:50

Just my 2 cents for 98/xp rig.

Use 2 drives.

Using my rig as an example.
Setup windows Me on a 160gb mechanical drive with no other drives attached. Then remove that drive and only attach a 64gb ssd and install windows xp. Next attach both drives and use bios to control boot drives.

Or even disable the drive not in use if you want.
> W98SE . P3 1.4S . 512MB . Q.FX3K . SB Live! . 64GB SSD
>WXP/W8.1 . AMD 960T . 8GB . GTX285 . SB X-Fi . 128GB SSD
> Win X . i7 4790k . 24GB . GTX970 . SB-Zx . 256GB SSD
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby LSS10999 » 2018-1-07 @ 02:06

RogueTrip2012 wrote:Just my 2 cents for 98/xp rig.

Use 2 drives.

Using my rig as an example.
Setup windows Me on a 160gb mechanical drive with no other drives attached. Then remove that drive and only attach a 64gb ssd and install windows xp. Next attach both drives and use bios to control boot drives.

Or even disable the drive not in use if you want.


I do agree that using 2 drives makes it relatively easier to maintain in case you may need to reinstall either OS in the future, as even today Windows hardly plays well with multi-booting. Unlike Linux, Windows never offered an option to choose where to place the bootloader on, and will always choose the first drive it sees, which can always pose a risk of breaking the ability to boot to other systems installed.

Note that for some motherboards (especially some newer ones), Windows may detect the hard drives on its own and not honor the BIOS settings (drives are always ordered in their physical order, and drives disabled can still be detected as long as the underlying controller is not disabled), and Windows XP may not assign a desirable drive letter to the target drive if multiple drives are present, so physically detaching other drives during Windows installation/reinstallation is the safest. Re-attach the other drives after you have installed the OS and its updates.

Also, if going with the 2-drive way, there are some good boot managers to use, such as AirBoot (can be installed from DOS, OS/2 and Windows), to select the drive you want to boot from.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby schmatzler » 2018-1-07 @ 11:59

I always do it like this:

1. I create a FreeDOS USB drive with Rufus and copy a newer fdisk with support for bigger harddisks on it afterwards.

2. I boot from the USB drive with PloP on a CD.

3. Now I run fdisk to create two primary partitions. One for 98SE, one for XP. I mark the first one as active.

4. I boot from the Windows 98SE CD, format the first partition with
Code: Select all
FORMAT C: /Q
so I don't have to wait for ages and then I install the OS.

5. After 98SE is installed, I boot from the USB drive again. I run fdisk and mark the SECOND partition as active.

6. Now I install Windows XP and during the install I format the second partition (which is now listed as the C: drive in setup) with NTFS.

98SE and XP are now both installed on the HDD and they both think that their own partition is the C: drive.

Only one last thing left: 98SE is missing in the XP boot menu, so usually I just install a boot manager like Boot-US and voila - I can easily boot into both systems.
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Re: What Is the Best Way to Creating a Windows XP/98 Dual Booting Environment?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2018-1-19 @ 09:47

Hello guys,

Sorry for not responding in like two weeks plus. I have just moved into my new apartment for college, trying to get things set up and all. (Was that TMI? *shrug* :) ).

Anywho, a recap.

KT7AGuy, I tried to set things up with PLOP your way, but I could not get it to work. Now, granted, I did not do any of the imaging you suggested, since I want to try to get this to work without having to resort to some, how should I say, "external" solution. Also, at the time, I did not have my modern Windows laptop (which I am using now) with me, only a crappy Linux desktop, so for me, imaging was out of the question. I spent hours and hours, and the closest I got was essentially a dual-boot, but using PLOP instead of Window's boot menu and still with XP installed under the D drive. At that point, I called it quits, and then I moved, so things got put off greatly. No worries.

schmatzler, looking at your recent post, well, there is a lot to be said. Here's a list to organize my thoughts:
  1. 1. I create a FreeDOS USB drive with Rufus and copy a newer fdisk with support for bigger harddisks on it afterwards.

    Two questions:
    1. Is the fdisk you linked the one provided by FreeDOS?
    2. Can it accurately determine the actual size of a hard drive/partition?
    If the answer to #2 above is "Yes", then that would allow me to create a very large partition for XP, which I am unable to do with the fdisk on a Win98 bootdisk. Speaking of XP partition...
  2. 3. Now I run fdisk to create two primary partitions. One for 98SE, one for XP.

    Interesting. Wait a second *quick lookup* - you cannot create two primary partitions in fdisk, unless that is a thing in the newer fdisk, no?
  3. Code: Select all
    FORMAT C: /Q

    *face-palm* I wish I knew the "/Q" parameter ages ago!
  4. 5. After 98SE is installed, I boot from the USB drive again. I run fdisk and mark the SECOND partition as active.
    6. Now I install Windows XP and during the install I format the second partition (which is now listed as the C: drive in setup) with NTFS.

    98SE and XP are now both installed on the HDD and they both think that their own partition is the C: drive.

    That's it! That is the most crucial piece of the puzzle yet! Windows XP determines what partition will be the C: drive depending on which partition is marked active! I did not know that.
    With that piece of information, tie that with you creating two partitions beforehand, and no wonder your plan works!
  5. I looked at Boot-US and man, that is simple (compared to PLOP :) ).

I will now try your method, schmatzler, and hopefully have better luck. I still want to attain that two separate C drive goal, but the imaging route is too extreme in my opinion (although I will admit it is a stupid opinion), and I thought there had to be a simpler way. Well, now there is. Thanks - hopefully!

Oh, schmatzler, one more question: Under XP, the Win98 partition shows up as D, correct?

Again, sorry for the delay on my part, and hopefully this topic has a little more juice in it.
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