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Chapter 4. Installing Windows XP for Mul... > Windows XP, Windows NT 4.0, and Wind...

Windows XP, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 9x/Me

Although it might be uncommon, it is possible to create a setup using all three of these operating systems. Take the following approach:

Create three partitions (or four if you want a separate data partition). You can create these partitions on one or two hard drives, or three if you have that many.

If you decide you want a data partition, make it FAT16 because NT 4.0 can't see FAT32. FAT16 is the one common denominator. See Table 4.4 for a suggested layout. As you can see from the table, we're suggesting using FAT16 for all the partitions to ensure maximum compatibility and the least amount of drive letter shifting.

Install Windows 9x/Me in the first partition. If asked whether you want to upgrade to FAT32, say no unless you don't mind having the first partition invisible to Windows NT 4.0.

Install Windows NT in the third partition (unless you're not going to have a separate data partition, in which case it should go on the second partition) and upgrade it to at least Service Pack 4. This system will dual-boot. Check it to see that it works acceptably.

Install Windows XP in New Installation mode, into the last partition. This should add the third operating system to the boot loader.

Format the data partition however you like, but remember that for maximum compatibility between all three operating systems, you'll want to use FAT16.

When you're finished, the Windows XP boot loader will give you the option of booting into each of the three operating systems. Remember to heed the cautions explained earlier in this chapter regarding sharing data and applications between operating systems.



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