Win 7/98 Dual Boot Woes


I have Win 7 Enterprise on my laptop with a small partition with Win 98 installed.

I successfully receive the boot menu on bootup. Win 7 works fine, but if I select Win 98, I get the error File: \Windows\system32\config\system Status: 0xc000000f Info: Windows failed to load because the system registry file is missing or corrupt.

I have searched the net until my eyes are about to fall out. The Win 7 repair disk with Win 98 selected does not repair this problem.

I followed the instructions from "Install & Dual-Boot Windows 98/Me on Windows 7 computer (Win7 installed first).

One thing I did notice is that I was supposed to copy nst_win9x.mbr to the \NST folder on the Win 7 partition. This folder does not exist!

I installed Win 98 from a bootable flash drive because my CD drive doesn't seem to play nice with Win 98 (can't install a driver when I boot from the CD).

Confused & about to give up, but thanks for any help you can offer.
Yes I have my folder options where I can see see system files. My last attempt was to install 98 on a flash drive. It starts to boot up & stops, saying there is not enough memory (I assume it is referring to RAM, which I have 2GB).

My old machine has worked flawlessly for years with XP/98 as a dual-boot. I have tried a VM in the past. The problem is that XP takes over the ports. For my work, I have to install software to machinery. Much of the software will only work in 98 or DOS mode, due to the port issue (I use Com1 & the parallel port frequently I have a legacy port adapter for my new machine -Dell M4500).

Back to the VM - what about the 64-bit system? I know my old programs will not run on this. 98 would be installed as 32-bit? Don't think it runs on 64. Does Win 7 do better with the port issue?

Thanks for the replies.
98 would run as a 32-bit guest OS (even in a 64-bit OS). I'm not sure if you can share those ports with a VM. I prefer VirtualBox myself which well allow you to share some of the devices connected to your system with a VM.
MoMark, if you have too much memory, Windows 9x will give you a message about having too little.
Are you using EasyBCD 2 ?
Does the "view settings" path to W98 include ..\NST\... ?
If yes/yes,do you have all three of the highlighted folder options set ?
Is W7 "system" in Disk Management ?
I did get 98 to come up & start installing drivers by changing win.ini & system.ini memory settings. However it crashed & won't come up anymore.

Back to the dual-boot option - I really want to make this work. Using EasyBCD 2.02. Still have the registry problem with the 98 OS installed on drive D: but I do get the selection screen & 7 boots up fine. Regarding the \NST\ folder, as I stated before, I have searched my entire computer & this folder does not exist. I am certain that the problem is with the BCD settings for the 98 drive, but I just don't know what to do next. I'm confused about the \NST\ folder. I was to copy a file to that folder according to the instructions I have. Attaching a screen shot of my Disk Mgt screen. Thanks for your replies.


  • Disk Management Screen.jpg
    Disk Management Screen.jpg
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Clarification on previous post. I got 98 to come up on a USB flash drive, not the hard drive but it has quit responding. If I could make the USB boot work that would be acceptable, but I would rather have installed on the computer.
You haven't met the first two conditions in the guide you said you were following.
W98 must be in a primary partition, and that partition must start within the first 127 GB of the HDD.
You can't ignore those restrictions.
It's only OSs from XP SP1 onwards that have freedom to use large HDDs and logical drives.
Thanks Terry, I saw something on that & was wondering about it. My IT person partitioned the drive & initially loaded Win 7 & they weren't aware of that requirement. I guess it would be possible to re-partition the drive & load an image of Win 7 without losing data or screwing something up? I do have DOS 6.22 booting & working from a USB flash drive which will meet most of my requirements but still want to get it working from the hard drive.
I've successfully moved ME, XP, Vista and W7 with a magazine copy of Paragon Drive Copy (iirc).
If you're starting again, place the DOS/9x at the start of the HDD in a small partition. (one or other. Whilst you can multi-boot almost as many Windows as you like, only one of them can be from the pre-NT family since they all use the same boot files which have no multi-boot capability)