Installing XP Pro over 98SE on dual boot system

  malw 00:51 14 Feb 2004

I have a dual boot system with Win 98SE on my C: drive and XP Pro on D: (a completely separate drive). I now want to upgrade 98SE to XP Pro and delete the current XP installation on the second drive. I've run the compatibility test on the XP disk and there is nothing major that will cause a problem, but I'd like to know if I should delete XP Pro from D: before I install over 98SE on C:, or leave it until afterwards.
I'd be very grateful for any advice on this as I don't want to mess up by doing things in the wrong order! Many thanks!

  hugh-265156 00:59 14 Feb 2004

you could just swap the drives around and format the win 98 one.

or pick up a copy of this months mag,it has a full copy of acronis true image on the cdrom.swap the drives and create an image of xp to the win 98 drive and then swap them back.dont forget to change the jumpers.

  malw 01:12 14 Feb 2004

Thanks for the advice, but I've not really got enough experience to swap drives around, and I should have said that my C: drive is partitioned (C: and E:) with most of my software, music and photographs on these two drives. I wouldn't want to lose all this and have to reinstall everything.

  hugh-265156 01:21 14 Feb 2004

just change the position of drives on the ide cable.change jumpers using a pair of pointy pliers(diagram normally stuck on the drive itself for position of master slave etc)

acronis,as with most image software will also back up to any removable media,cdr you could always back up .exes and photos etc to cdr from your partitions.

  temp003 03:24 14 Feb 2004

Presumably your dual boot was created simply by XP's installation, no third party software?

With such a setup, all the boot files (including ones for XP) are on your C partition. At the moment, D has no boot files.

There are many ways of achieving what you want.

If you really don't want to try switching the ide cable plugs/changing master slave jumper settings, the easiest thing is to edit out the the reference to 98 in the boot menu, then manually delete the 98 stuff on C.

Nothing on D is changed, all drive letters remain the same. Just slightly unconventional when C has no OS on it, but nothing wrong with that in itself.

If you don't mind that, read on. If you don't like it and still want to put a new copy of XP on C, post back.

First back up your existing boot files.

Load computer into XP, NOT 98. Go to 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 (click yes to confirm) (4) click OK.

Go to your C drive. Look for 4 files, ntldr,, boot.ini and bootsect.dos.

Insert a floppy. Right click Drive A, select Format, on the next window just click Start (do not tick any option boxes). Must do this in XP, and even with a brand new floppy.

After formatting, go to C and copy the 4 files to the floppy. Remove floppy and label it "XP boot floppy". If anything goes wrong, you can boot up computer with this floppy which can boot you back into 98 or XP as you choose, as long as you haven't switched the 2 hard disks.

Now, to edit out reference to 98.

Still in My Computer, C drive, double click boot.ini which will open it in Notepad. It's a text file.

Make sure that the line that begins with the word "default" is:


Normally that's the case. If not, don't make ay changes, just exit Notepad, and post back.

If yes, the ONLY change you need to make to the text is delete the following line under the section [operating systems] that reads:

C:\="Microsoft Windows 98" (or it may read C:\="Microsoft Windows" )

Just delete that line. Then, at top left, click File, Save. Exit Notepad. Exit My Computer. Restart computer.

This time you won't get a choice of OS's and will boot straight into XP.

Then in My Computer, go to your C drive, and delete the folders: My Documents, Program Files, WINDOWS (assuming you have retrieved whatever documents, emails etc you need from those folders).

Then, under C, see if you can find under C a file called win386.swp. This is the 98 swap file which, if there, is the only file of any significant size worth deleting. Delete it. Leave all the other files under C alone.

This is it.

If you do take this route, remember never to format C because you will lose the boot files (or rather, you can, but ask for help before doing so).

You should now back up your new boot files under C. This time you only need ntldr, and boot.ini (no need any more for bootsect.dos which is for loading 98).

Copy them from C to D.

Also, insert the previously created "XP boot floppy". No need to format this time. Copy boot.ini from C to A, replacing the existing one. You can leave the other files on the floppy alone. Keep the floppy safe.

Now do a defrag of the C partition. You can use the space freed up on C any way you like.

  malw 10:34 14 Feb 2004

Thanks for the advice. The thing that worries me is deleting Program files from C: - does this mean that I will have to reinstall all my programs under XP? I have so much stuff on there (although I have recently pared it down somewhat), that it would be a mammoth task to reinstall everything, especially with various upgrades downloaded from the internet. At the moment I have only installed a few programs under XP and use it mainly for my iPod and video editing with Pinnacle Studio 8.
I would really prefer to install XP Pro on top of 98SE, and would appreciate some advice on this if possible, re deleting XP from the D: drive etc. I can then decide which option to take. Many thanks for your help so far, greatly appreciated.

  temp003 11:14 14 Feb 2004

I see. I thought your XP was a "fully-fledged" OS.

Is it not simpler to install your programs on the existing XP? Stuff on the internet can be downloaded again. If old stuff has gone, there's bound to be other available programs. But I won't press the point.

To do what you want, take the upgrade path.

One precaution is to download the Microsoft Blaster patch for XP first to somewhere on the computer.

To upgrade, boot into 98, insert XP CD, select install XP. Next window, choose upgrade. Then just follow the prompts. Ultimately, XP setup will copy files to your C partition, then you'll be told to restart. Let it restart. Leave CD in, but let computer boot from hard disk, not from the CD.

Somewhere along the line you'll be given the choice to back up the 98 system files (in case you want to go back to 98). Matter for you.

If ever you're given a choice to format C, DO NOT format it (I don't think you will be asked to format on an upgrade, not sure).

You will I think be asked whether to convert the existing FAT32 file system to NTFS, say no. Leave file system intact. Although NTFS is better and works better with XP, a conversion (as distinct from a fresh formatting) often reduces hard disk performance.

An upgrade will keep programs and data intact.

After installation, computer will need to restart again. This time you'll get a different boot menu, between 2 XP's with the same name. The new one (upgrade version) is the top one, and the default OS. Just press Enter to get into the new XP. Apply Blaster patch immediately before going on internet. Then install other Windows updates etc.

If you find the boot menu confusing, you can give the 2 copies different names.

Open boot.ini as suggested above, then all you need to do is, under the section [operating systems], there are two lines that refer to the 2 copies.

The top one is the copy on C. Bottom line refers to the one on D.

You can change the words in quotation marks on either or both lines to anything you like to identify the 2 copies, e.g.

...\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP on C" /fastdetect


...\WINDOWS="XP iPod Special" /fastdetect

What's in the quotation marks is what will appear on the boot menu, and in the same order. After making changes, Save boot.ini and exit. On the next restart, you'll see the changes.

  malw 12:05 14 Feb 2004

Thank you so much for all your help. I will certainly take one of the options you have so kindly detailed for me - thanks again!!

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