Description of Supported Dual-Boot Configurations Between Windows 2000 and Other Windows-Based Operating Systems

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For a Microsoft Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 306559.
This article describes the supported dual-boot configurations between the various Windows-based operating systems.
More information
The following list details the supported dual-boot configurations:
Personal Operating SystemProfessional Operating SystemProfessional Operating System
Windows Millennium Edition (Me)andWindows 2000orWindows NT 4.0
Windows 98 Second EditionandWindows 2000orWindows NT 4.0
Windows 98andWindows 2000orWindows NT 4.0
Windows 95 OEM VersionsandWindows 2000orWindows NT 4.0
Windows 95andWindows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0
Dual-boot configurations between the personal operating system platforms (Windows Me, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows 98, Windows 95 OEM versions, and Windows 95) are not supported. For example, Windows Me and Windows 98 cannot be installed on the same computer and you cannot boot from one personal operating system to another. These operating systems share the same Io.sys, Msdos.sys, and files. Also, multiple-boot configurations of Windows NT, Windows 2000, and a personal operating system, for example, Windows Me or Windows 98, are not supported.

You must install each operating system, for example, Windows 98 and Windows 2000, on a different partition. Multiple operating systems on the same partition are not supported.

It is recommended that you install your personal operating system first, for example, Windows 98 or Windows Me, and then install Windows NT or Windows 2000. This step ensures that the Windows NT or Windows 2000 boot sector is not overwritten.

The boot partition of a dual-boot configured computer must use the FAT16 file system, unless you are installing Windows Me, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows 98 and Windows 2000 on the same computer. In this case, the boot partition can be FAT32. If you are configuring any combination other than Windows 2000 and Windows Me, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows 98, and the boot partition is either FAT32 or NTFS file system, you must back up your data, and then format and repartition your hard disk to FAT16 before you set up a dual-boot computer.

For additional information about file formats, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
243896 How to Dual Boot Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 with FAT16 or NTFS Volumes
For additional information about using the Fdisk and Format tools, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
255867 How to Use the Fdisk Tool and the Format Tool to Partition or Repartition a Hard Disk
For additional information about dual-booting Windows-based operating systems, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
232123 Cannot Upgrade Windows 95 or Windows 98 Computers That Dual Boot Windows 2000 or Windows NT
221061 Cannot Dual Boot Windows on a Shared Partition
155034 Dual-Booting Between Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and Windows 95
153762 How to Set Up Dual Boot After You Install Windows
285480 How to Remove Windows 98 When It Is Part of a Dual Boot with Windows 2000
dual boot two operating systems same computer setup set up install multiple os configuration
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 289283 - Last Review: 10/24/2013 06:25:00 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows 95

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