Dual-boot action

After the installation is finished and you reboot, you’ll notice that W2K has already set up the dual-boot menu automatically. Simply choose which OS to boot into with your arrow keys. You can modify the menu after booting W2K by right-clicking on My Computer, selecting Properties, going to the Advanced tab and clicking the Startup and Recovery button. Here you can choose which OS will be booted by default as well as how long to display the boot menu. This information is being stored in a file called boot.ini located in the root directory of your C: drive. This file can be edited with any text editor, but unless you want to change the description of the menu items, or remove a menu option that is not supposed to be there, you should not edit this file as you can ruin your boot menu. So be careful.

Running the same application in multiple Windows operating systems

One significant advantage of dual-booting two versions of Windows is that in many cases you can install one instance of an application and use it in either OS. To do so, you simply install the program under one OS, then boot to the other OS and install the program again into the very same location (provided it is able to run under both versions of the OS of course). The reason for this is that each OS needs to have the proper registry settings in order to operate the program. The second installation, regardless of order, should harmlessly overwrite the files from the first installation. There is a caveat though. This approach will not work properly if the program you are installing uses its own INI files to govern its configuration.

Summary

Setting up a dual-boot system with Windows 9x and Windows NT/2000 is pretty simple if you follow these few basic rules. Once you’re done you’ll find that each operating system has its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re a gamer you’ll probably spend more time in Windows 9x. However, if you use your computer as a productivity tool, perhaps for work, you’ll find Windows 2000 is a significantly more powerful environment. And of course, if you’re the adventurous type you could add a third operating system into the mix, thus increasing the versatility of just one computer exponentially. Ah, the endless possibilities …

 

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