Add Windows 98 to Windows XP and Vista?

Thank you for the wonderful product! I purchased a new Compaq Presario laptop with OEM Vista Home Premium preinstalled. I have a recovery DVD and Disc Partition which contain a disc image which does only a destructive install.

I spent hours on the phone and in online chat with HP/Compaq support trying to get them to send me a proper OEM copy of Windows Vista so that I could install my operating systems in the recommended order of Windows 98, Windows XP and then Vista. I finally had to give up.

Using BCD 1.52 and Vista's disc management tools, I was able to add Windows XP and coax the machine to dual boot. This actually solves 95% of my practical difficulties, but my original goal was to have a multiple boot containing Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and a Linux build or two.

I am not having any success trying to trick Windows 98 SE into installing onto a FAT32 partition of a drive where the boot partition is NTFS. My plan is to install a different hard drive in the laptop. Install Windows 98 on the new drive, and then image this partition onto the FAT32 partition prepared on the original drive. I will then reinstall the original drive back into the laptop. I have ordered the parts needed, but is there another way? Does this solution have a good probability of working?

Mak 2.0

Staff member
The only other way i can think of is this. Get a copy of Partition Magic. That way you can shrink down the partitions and create as many as you wish. You will be able to create a RAW partition which from there you will be able to format to FAT32 for 98SE. That way you wont have to go thru all the extra trouble of installing drives and removing them.

Then install 98SE. Will have to do it right from the CD. Make sure that you have you Vista Bootloader with all info saved and backed up. After the isntall 98SE will boot. Install EasyBCD. From here go to Start>run>msconfig>boot.ini Tab (If 98SE even has it at that point. If not Start>Run>Edit boot.ini) Write down all this info. From here add in the Vista bootloader. Make sure you have th eXP info that will be needed as well. Try to restore the backup you previously made. Then add in the 98SE info to it.

That should allow for the Triple boot of 98SE, XP, Vista. But Conputer Guru will have to confirm if EasyBCD works on 98SE or not. Plus will haev to confirm if adding 98SE to it will worka t all. I knwo it was developed for XP and up not sure if he made it that far backward compatable.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Mak's right, it should still work that way.

To be totally honest with you: I haven't tested EasyBCD running FROM 98, but I can promise it can configure Vista to BOOT windows 98.

1) Install Windows 98
2) Install .NET 2.0 on Windows 98
3) Install EasyBCD on Windows 98
4) Use the "Bootloader Management" screen of EasyBCD to "Reinstall Bootloader"
5) Use EasyBCD's "Add/Remove Entries" screen to add a Windows 98 entry to the BCD menu.

Reboot - it should work.
Let us know if that works out :smile:
Thank you for the suggestions. I was able to load windows 98 by booting to a 1gb usb memory stick that I had made bootable and had copied all of the windows 98 setup files to. After that I copied all of the files on the usb drive including hidden system files to the fat32 partition that I had prepaired for Windows 98 on my hard drive. I still haven't gotten it to boot right, but I feel that I am closing in on it. I will edit this post when I get it figured out.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
OK, well good luck with that method.

Oh, and please, when you get it to work, make a new reply instead of editing - that way the post will be marked as unread and we'll realize there's been an update :smile:
I am trying to dual boot vista and windows 98 standard edition.

I have gotten both installed, but I can't find a version of .NET 2.0 that will run on 98. Is there another way to approach the dual boot issue without installing EasyBCD 1.52 on 98 (ie. adding 98 boot data to Vista bootloader)?

I'm very new to dual booting and modifying boot records, so please use small words! :|
Save yourself the trouble. MS is giving a free download of virtual pc 2007. No need to do the multiboot when it is all x86 based MS products.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
oldgamer said:
I am trying to dual boot vista and windows 98 standard edition.

I have gotten both installed, but I can't find a version of .NET 2.0 that will run on 98. Is there another way to approach the dual boot issue without installing EasyBCD 1.52 on 98 (ie. adding 98 boot data to Vista bootloader)?

I'm very new to dual booting and modifying boot records, so please use small words! :|
Yeah, from Vista just add a Windows 98 entry, then modify your boot.ini (if it doesn't already contain Windows 98) to make it work with it.
Thought I had it. I rebooted into Vista and used EasyBCD to reload the mbr and add the entry for 98. Restarted and got the dual boot screen to choose between OS's. Chose 98 and it gave me an error. "Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause." Told me to insert the OS installation disc and restart. Details at the bottom of the error screen were:
file: \ntldr
info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.

I followed the instructions and Vista attempted to repair the problem, but as far as I can tell, it only restored Vista to a previous state. Rebooted again and chose 98 and got the same error. If I choose Vista, it boots just fine.

bootloader looks like this:
There are a total of 2 entries listed in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader TimeOut: 30 seconds.
Default OS: Microsoft Windows Vista

Entry #1

Name: Microsoft Windows Vista
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows

Entry #2

Name: Microsoft Windows 98
BCD ID: {1149c555-c179-11db-88cd-ed302cb64959}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr
Windows Directory:


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
You're right of course, that's not going to work........ NTLDR is for the NT-framework OSes, and Windows 98 is a DOS OS...

I know it's possible, just trying to remember how...
Looked into Virtual PC 2007, but evidently Vista Home is not a supported platform. Go figure.

I have had no luck as of yet finding a way to boot 98. >_<
virtual pc does work with all vistas its just that if you have a prob with virtual pc and call m$ tech support then they won't help you unless you have vista business or just download&install virtual pc,add a new virtual machine,fill everything in and wheen you get the message about vista premium not being supported,just click ok.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi ilovepcs, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies!

Thanks for lending a helping hand and sharing your experience with this problem... Looking forward to seeing you around the forums!
I need HELP!!

Hello all, I have a question for anyone who can help me... (I'm not very computer savvy, so I apologize if this is a dumb question!) I want to either download and play, or buy and play an old football sim game for PC I used to play as a kid. It's called Front Page Sports Football Pro '96. I've checked out the system requirements needed, and it calls for Windows '95/ '98, and MS DOS. I have a new lap top that has Windows Vista, and I'm afraid to buy it because I'm not sure it would run on Vista.

Is there anything I can do to get Windows '98 and MS DOS on this lap top?

Thanks in advance...


Mostly Harmless
Staff member