How do I Dual Boot Win98 on IDE and Vista on SATA


I have Win98 PC installed on a primary ide (hdd0) drive which has 1 partition. I have a second ide (hdd1) with 1 partition and a cdrom on a secondary ide channel.

I recently bought vista and installed it on a new sata drive in the pc on sata channel 1 - sata drive has just 1 partition.

PC is configured to boot from IDE hdd0 (It is not possible to choose to boot from sata drives in my bios).

I have downloaded and installed the \ntldr boot files provided in a previous post to the root of hdd0 and root of sata drive.

I used easybcd to configure vista bootloader and get the menu to choose win98 or vista.
I choose drive C: for vista and drive D for win98 from the easybcd menu.

If I choose vista everything is fine.
If I choose win98 screen goes black and pc reboots - I get no messages.

I think I haven't been able to configure the boot.ini file properly. I don't own any other OS apart from win98 and vista.

my boot.ini file on root of both both hdd0 and sata1 is
[boot loader]
timeout = 5
default = multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)/WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)/WINDOWS="Windows 98 SE" /fastdetect

I think my boot.ini file is wrong but I can't work out the correct combination of numbers in the various brackets. Can you help me?

For now I have had to use a win98 startup disk with sys c: so i can boot to win98 and can't access vista (I have not apps installed on vista at present so its not as important as having access to win98). I know I will have to use the vista cd to repair the vista bootloader before I can have another attempt at getting this working.

Can you help?
I had another go at getting this to work. Now I have one menu with
1. vista
2. win 98
I select win 98 and get another menu with
1. win 98
I select win 98 ..... the pc tries to boot up XP which i dont have instead of 98 - I get a message about missing hal.dll file.
Is it possible to get win98 to boot with vista or am i just wasting my time?


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Yes, it most certainly is possible.

You'll need to edit your boot.ini to reference a Windows 98 install. Currently, we don't have the detailed documentation on this (though we are working on it), so give this guide a shot:
Unfortunatley the guide reference expects you to have installed windows XP. I have only 98 and vista installed.

I've tried all sorts now and can not get vista and 98 to dual boot at all. I have even created by own bootsect.dos file from a debug command as there was no bootsect.dos file - that did not work - i got an extra entry in the menus thats all.

I have entries for windows vista and 98 in the menu(s) but every time the pc tries to boot xp and fails or the menus just loop. Im beginning the think this is all a complete waste of time.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi sadoldman, it's been a while.

One of the key features of EasyBCD 1.7 is full-fledged support for Bootsect.dos.
If you're using 1.7, delete and re-create any old entries. That should create an entry in the Vista bootloader that references a bootsect.dos on drive C:\

When you reboot, you should be able to load that entry up from the Vista bootloader.