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Chapter 31. Multibooting Windows XP with... > 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.

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 31.4 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.

Table 31.4. Booting Windows XP, NT 4.0, and Windows 9x
Partition #Operating SystemFormatNotes
Partition 1Windows 95 OSR2 Windows 98 or Windows MeFAT16Can use FAT32 if you don't mind this partition not being seen by NT 4.0.
Partition 2Optional Data PartitionFAT16We've put it second so its drive letter says the same under all 3 OSes.
Partition 3Windows NT 4.0 SP4 or laterFAT16Can use NTFS if you are aware of the consequences.
Partition 4Windows XPNTFS 

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 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. Remember that for maximum compatibility between all three operating systems, you'll want to use FAT16.



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