Dual-booting XP/Win98. How to get rid of Win98?

  pubsinger 00:43 02 Oct 2004

I have 3 hard drives in my PC (no partitions).
I have Win98SE on C: and just data on D:
I installed WinXP Pro on drive E: to try out. I am now happy to stay with XP so I want to get rid of the dual-boot so I can delete Win98. Everytime I try to do so the system refuses to boot so I have to Ghost the two drives ( C: and D: ) back to what they were.
I don`t want to have to format and reinstall XP as it`s taken me ages to get it the way I like it.
Any ideas anyone?

Cheers :)

  pubsinger 01:07 02 Oct 2004

What I meant was. . . . . I have to Ghost the two drives ( C: and E: ) back to what they were.
( Not C & D )

  Audeal 01:07 02 Oct 2004

pubsinger: I don't know if this will help you but you could give it a try.

How to remove Win98 From a duel boot system with XPpro:

--1) In Windows XP...
Start > Run > Type: diskmgmt.msc > Click ok.

Highlight the Windows 98 Partition > Right click > Delete.

Windows 98 will now be gone...

Start > Run > Type: C:\boot.ini

Remove the line with windows 98 on it. (if you used the bootloader)


--2) If they are both on the same drive then boot to XP and delete all the 98 files. You will then have to edit the boot.ini file so that you will not get offered the options of 98 at startup.

1. In Windows Explorer, click Folder Options on the View menu.

2. On the View tab, click Show All Files , and then click OK .

3. Click the root folder of the local hard disk, right-click the Boot.ini file, and then click Properties .

4. Click to clear the Read-Only, Hidden, and System check boxes, and then click OK.

5. Open the Boot.ini file.

6. Remove any entries that no longer point to valid installations of Windows. ie: windows 98

7. Save the changes to the Boot.ini file,

It should look like the below boot.ini when you have finished.

[boot loader] >timeout=30

>default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2) \windows [operating systems]


\WINDOWS="Microsoft windows xp professional" (home) /fastdetect

  temp003 01:36 02 Oct 2004

I assume you created the dual boot by just installing XP to drive E, without third party software.

With such a dual boot, the boot files for both OS's are on Drive C. The files are ntldr, ntdetect.com, boot.ini and bootsect.dos (the last one for loading 98). Physically removing Drive C or formatting it will stop you from booting into XP.

To load XP, you will need to retain the 1st 3 files on whichever partition the computer is booting from in the new configuration, and it has to have an XP bootsector.

Are you happy with keeping the XP hdd where it is, and with the driver letter E?

  pubsinger 20:48 02 Oct 2004

Thanks all for replies - definitely food for thought.

@temp003 - yes I already had Win98 running on C: and did a fresh install of XP Pro on E: cos I thought I would hate it and get rid of it. But now I love it and want to get rid of Win98.

My ultimate aim is either to physically remove one of the drives, and have XP on C: , or use what is currently the C: drive as a data drive.

Last night I tried "Ghosting" XP from E: onto C: but (as you already pointed out), it wouldn`t boot. Is there an easy way round this or shall I just format C: and start from scratch?

  rowdy 21:29 02 Oct 2004

It is possible to clone XP then restore it to the C: drive.
Then reset your bios to boot first from the XP CD, let the install process proceed until you get the option to Repair.

Using Repair and the command FIXMBR you make the restored XP in C: bootable. Then you can access and modify the Bootini file to remove all references to Win 98.

Having said all that unless you research this method thoroughly I suggest that saving your data to D;, including such items as Favorites, downloaded files etc and then formatting C: and doing a clean install of XP will probable be quicker pay dividends in the long run as you can always make improvements when doing things a second time.

As long as you save all essntial data to D: then if you feel adventurous and are willing to learn try the above as a clean install is always available to you.


  rowdy 21:35 02 Oct 2004

By clone I mean clone/ghost/image any of these will do.


  temp003 02:30 03 Oct 2004

Whatever configuration you ultimately choose, do this first. Boot into XP. Right click My Computer, Properties, Advanced tab, Startup and Recovery, Settings. In the section on Default Operating System, make sure that it refers to XP. It should already. If so, go to the next step. If not, click the down arrow to the right to get the drop down list of OS's, and select XP, then click OK, OK again to exit System Properties.

Go back into Startup and Recovery, Settings, as before, click the Edit button. This opens the file c:\boot.ini in Notepad.

Just make one change. Under the section [operating systems], delete the line that says:

C:\="Microsoft Windows 98" or something like that.

Delete that line. Click File, Save, and exit Notepad. Click OK, OK again.

Restart computer, and it will boot straight into XP.

What to do next depends on your preference.

If you are happy with letting XP alone on E, it's very simple. Just delete all the Windows 98 system folders on C (C:\My Documents, C:\WINDOWS, c:\Program Files). Leave the individual files which you see on the C root directory alone.

That is all you need to do. You can then use C as you like.

If you're happy with this setup, you don't need to read on.

If you prefer to format C (e.g. now that you only use XP, you may want to give C a fresh start, and use the opportunity to format C in NTFS file system), you can, but you need to back up the boot files first, and restore the files and the XP boot sector afterwards using XP's Recovery Console.

If you want to do this, here are the steps.

Insert a floppy, right click Drive A, and select Format. In the next window, click Start (and do NOT tick any of the options). After formatting, go to the next step.

In My Computer, click Tools, Folder Options, View tab. (1) Tick: Show hidden files and folders (2) Untick: Hide file extensions for known file types. (3) Untick: Hide protected operating system files. (4) Click OK.

Then go to C, and copy ntldr, ntdetect.com and boot.ini to A. Remove floppy. Besides being a backup of the boot files, this floppy is also XP-bootable. It can boot you into XP.

Now you can format C. Do it in Recovery Console. Insert XP CD. When it autoruns, exit it. Restart computer with CD in. Let computer boot from CD (you may need to go into BIOS first to make CDROM drive your first boot device, depending on your existing boot order). When you get to XP Setup page, press R to go into Recovery Console.

XP Setup will detect the existing XP installation, and show you 1. E:\WINDOWS

Press 1 on the keyboard and press Enter. You will be asked to enter Administrator password. If you have created a password for the Computer Administrator before, type it and press Enter. If not, just leave it blank, and press Enter.

You should get to the E:\WINDOWS> prompt. At the prompt, type map and press Enter.

You should see the partition information. Verify that the info on C is correct (just a precaution, in case you format the wrong drive). If all's OK, at the prompt, type:

format c: /fs:ntfs

and press Enter. (one space after "format", and one space after "c:", no more spaces thereafter)

If you receive a warning, confirm this is what you want to do.

After formatting, insert the floppy earlier created. At the prompt, type:

copy a:\ntldr c:

and press Enter. Then type

copy a:\ntdetect.com c:

and press Enter, and then

copy a:\boot.ini c:

and press Enter. Remove floppy now.

Then to restore the XP boot sector, type:

fixboot c:

and press Enter. If warned, just confirm. Then type:


and Enter. This restarts the computer. Remove CD, and let computer start from hard disk. You should go into XP.

If for any reason you can't boot into XP after this, insert floppy, restart computer, and let it boot from floppy to go into XP.

If all goes well, you will have a newly formatted C drive while retaining XP on E.

  temp003 03:12 03 Oct 2004

The other option you say you want to consider is to use the XP drive as your first hdd, meaning booting directly from it, which is slightly more risky. The complicaton is the drive letter. I think the XP hdd will retain the drive letter E. I know it sounds strange but the drive letters for XP are written into the MBR itself. You could of course rewrite the MBR, but the existing XP registry will have references to old drive letters, so changing the drive letter also has its problems. Best thing is to leave drive letters alone.

If you want to do this, turn off computer. Remove your drives C and D. This is important as you want to make sure that nothing happens to them. Then put XP where C used to be, on the primary IDE channel, and set it as master if not already.

Insert XP CD and start computer. Boot from CD. Enter Recovery Console as before. At the prompt, type map again. You should only have one hdd partition. This time note the drive letter for the xp partition and the CDROM drive.

What you need to do to make the XP hdd bootable is (1) copy/create the 3 boot files on the hdd (2) create an XP boot sector for it.

At the prompt, type:

copy x:\i386\ntldr e:

and press Enter. One space after copy, and one space after ntldr (where x is the drive letter for CD drive, and e is the drive letter for the xp partition/hdd - whatever it is as shown by the map command). Then:

copy x:\i386\ntdetect.com e:

and press Enter. These 2 steps copy the files from the XP CD to the hdd. Then you need to create the boot.ini file - it's not on the CD, and the old boot.ini file will be no good, as you have moved the XP hdd - it will now have a different path, so let XP Recovery Console rebuild the file. What you do is type:

bootcfg /rebuild

and press Enter (one space after bootcfg)

It will detect existing XP installations. It will show:


or whatever the drive letter is. When asked "Add installation to boot list?", say yes.

When asked for Load Identifer, type:

Microsoft Windows XP Home

(or Pro, as the case may be), and Enter.

When asked for operating system load options, type


and press Enter. (Note, if you have installed XP's SP2 AND you have at the moment an Athlon64 CPU, post back. If not, the above is sufficient).

You now have all the boot files you need on the XP hdd. Then to make it bootable, type

fixboot e:

(where again, e is the drive letter for the XP partition) and press Enter. Confirm.

Type exit to restart. Remove CD. Let computer start from hdd. See if it works.

If it doesn't, either give up and restore the old hdd configuration, and let it boot from old C.

The other alternative is to keep XP hdd as primary master, but this time, boot from CD, at the XP Setup page, press Enter to go into Setup, F8 to accept licence agreement. Highlight the existing XP installation and press R to repair XP. When ultimately you get asked to give computer name and set up account, use all the old information. After that, you will need to reapply all Windows updates. A bit of a pain.

  pubsinger 12:36 03 Oct 2004

Wow! What`s your job - IT tutor?? Thanks a million you`ve been very patient and very thorough. I`ll read and digest all your postings and will decide in a few days which way to go. Ar least I have "Ghost" backups of C: and E: so if it goes pear-shaped I can easily restore inside about 30 minutes :)
We had a close family bereavement yesterday so this will be put on hold for a little while. However, when I`ve sorted it I`ll post back so others can benefit from your advice and my trials and errors.
Thanks again

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