Reinstalling XP Home on multi-boot system

  PaulCrane 09:44 23 Jun 2003

I am currently using a multi-boot system with 98SE on a small FAT32 partition with XP on a larger NTFS partition. The balance of the single hard drive is divided into a data partition, an applications and games partition and a backup partition, all NTFS.

XP needs reinstalling. I am wondering whether it is possible to reformat the XP partition only using partition magic and reinstall to that to avoid having to copy back my data, applications etc and, in particular, reinstall 98. Alternatively, and perhaps preferably, could I reformat the drive except for the 98 partition and set-up my XP and data etc partitions from scratch? There's nothing really wrong with my 98 set-up, which I only occasionally use for some legacy games and applications.

It's just a thought but any reason why it's just plain impossible or any pitfalls I should be aware of? Any thoughts appreciated.


No help from me Paul but you have described almost exactly the situation I am in except that I only use XP home. I need to do what you describe because my OS directory has a corrupted MFT which Norton Disc Doctor can not repair. This also stops me increasing the size of the OS partition because Partition Magic keps flagging error 2003. Any response to Paul would also help me

  soy 10:40 23 Jun 2003

It should be ok to format and reinstall the Xp partition only and leaving the rest intact.

After you boot from the Xp CD-ROM and go throught the agreement, Xp will ask you where to install XP and it will give you a list of the various partitions and drives available.

Select your old XP partition and choose to delete it. Once deleted, that space will become 'Unallocated space'.

Select this space to install your new windows Xp.

Once you get windows Xp up and running you can format the other partitions from within windows disk managemnt.

Hope this helps.

John T

  temp003 10:50 23 Jun 2003

Is your 98 partition your drive C, and XP on drive D?

Was your dual boot set up by using XP's own boot loader?

If so, yes, you can reformat the XP partition, without losing the data on the Data Partition, and without having to reinstall 98.

The Games and Applications Partition is slightly different. Although the reformatting of the XP partition won't erase what's on that partition, most of the applications probably won't run because the old Windows XP registry (which contains the relevant applications' registry settings) is gone. You'll stll need to reinstall them.

One way to avoid reinstalling the applications is to do an in-place reinstallation, i.e. reinstalling XP over itself (without formatting the partition). This should keep all data and applications intact. You will still need to re-apply all Windows updates.

Boot from the XP CD, press enter to go into XP Setup (do not press R at this stage). Ultimately you'll be asked again to install a fresh copy of XP or do a repair of the existing copy. Make your choice then.

If your dual boot was set up differently or drive letters are different, post back.

  PaulCrane 14:04 23 Jun 2003

It had occurred to me about the need to re-install programs and that is why I was already leaning towards reformatting the entire disc except for the 98 partition, if that is possible.

By way of further background, I have already tried a repair installation because of problems I have been having and, although it fixed some problems, it seemed to create others. Some appplications did need reinstalling and some I do not seem to be able to reinstall at all. In any event, I have been fairly abusive to the XP intall over the year and half since I bought the PC and it is in a bit of a mess - I think a full reinstall is probably for the best.

On the drive letter point, both XP and 98 occupy a C drive. When in 98, the only partition visible to me is the 98 one, which is designated C. When in XP, I can see all the NTFS partitions, the XP one being designated C. I believe (probably incorrectly) that this is something to do with the fact that one or other has to be hidden becuase of the use of NTFS and FAT32 for the two OSes

I use Boot Magic to select to OS on startup. I don't know if Flecc still posts here but it was set up from the XP only system using an early version of his method of adding a new installation of 98SE to an NTFS XP Home setup. On this occaision, however, I have a perfectly good installation of 98 that I really don't want to have to go through setting up again.

I suppose the altenative might be to use Drive Image to copy the 98 partition and then add it in at the end once I have reinstalled XP and partitoned the drive?


  PaulCrane 09:27 24 Jun 2003

Any further thoughts with that info?


  temp003 12:07 24 Jun 2003

The answer is I don't know.

The reason I asked about how you set up the dual boot was just in case you used third party software to set up the dual boot, as indeed you did.

Your dual boot was created by having 2 active partitions (one with XP and the other with 98), each having its own separate boot files.

I think Boot Magic is integrated into the MBR, so that when you start the computer, Boot Magic comes in to let you select which OS, in effect letting you select which active partition to choose to boot from.

Reformatting the XP partition will still not affect what's on the 98 partition.

What I'm not sure about is whether a subsequent reinstallation of XP will affect your Boot Magic dual boot.

I'm not familiar with Partition Magic and Boot Magic, and so cannot say what a reinstallation of XP will do to the Boot Magic dual boot.

There are many people who are familiar with PM and BM. I hope they can tell you.

  temp003 12:19 24 Jun 2003

Whatever you do, create your PM and BM boot floppies now, if you haven't already. They might come in handy later.

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