Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dual Booting Windows 2000 and XP Professional

Double your pleasure: Dual booting Windows 2000 and XP Professional
by Steven Pittsley CNE Oct 22, 2001
Tags: Steven Pittsley CNE

Takeaway: Most IT environments call for multiple operating systems and dual booting is an excellent way to meet this need. Configuring your users' machines to dual boot has never been easier than with Microsoft's latest creations.Dual booting, in which one computer system can be used to run two operating systems, has been around for years. When computer systems were more expensive, such configurations proved invaluable to companies on tight budgets. Although computers are much less expensive today, a dual-boot configuration is still a viable alternative to purchasing multiple systems.I use dual-boot systems because it isn’t practical for me to have several workstations configured with different operating systems when I can do the same work with just one or two machines. Others, for example, mobile users, need to use multiple operating system environments on the road. Instead of carrying around two machines, they can use laptops configured with two or more operating system environments so the transition from one location to another is a smooth one.Using a dual-boot system is not any more complicated than using a machine configured with one operating system. The difference is that a boot manager controls the boot process of a dual-boot system. When the dual-boot system is powered on or reset, you are shown a menu that asks which operating system environment you would like to use. After you select an environment, the appropriate operating system is loaded, and you can use the computer as if that were the only environment installed. If you want to use the other operating system, you can simply reset the system and select the other environment from the boot menu.Configuring one computer to run both Windows 2000 and XP will provide you with the familiarity of 2000 while allowing you to test the new features of XP. This Daily Drill Down will show you how easy it is to configure a computer to run both of these operating systems.Preparing the systemWhen configuring a dual-boot system, the first thing to do is to decide whether to store each operating system on its own physical hard drive or to create partitions for each drive. I prefer to use a separate hard drive for each operating system whenever possible because if one of the drives fails, I only need to restore that one. This is a personal preference, and you can use logical partitions to get the same results, if you wish.After deciding how to configure the hard drives, you must create a bootable partition and install an operating system on the C: drive. Because Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional support the FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS file systems, you should elect to use the same file system for both environments to eliminate compatibility issues. For this example, I chose NTFS for both environments.If your dual-boot system will use only Windows-based operating systems, you should install the older operating system first. Because this Daily Drill Down illustrates a dual-boot configuration with Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional, I installed Windows 2000 Professional on the C: drive.Installing Windows XP ProfessionalAfter installing Windows 2000 Professional and ensuring that it is working correctly, the next step is to back up the drive. In addition, you should ensure that you have a Windows 2000 Emergency Repair Disk and a set of Startup disks. These tools will be handy if your dual-boot installation goes awry.

To begin the dual-boot configuration, boot the system to Windows 2000 Professional, insert the Windows XP installation CD, and click the Install Windows XP option, as shown in Figure A.

Select the New Installation (Advanced) option, as shown in Figure B, and click Next to begin the installation.

Specify the installation location.The next couple of screens are pretty standard for software and operating system installations. You’ll be asked to read and accept the license agreement and enter the product key. Then you can get down to business and select the options that will be used to install Windows XP. As shown in Figure C, the Windows Setup screen lets you specify the location to copy and install the files and select any Accessibility Options and the language that will be used. Click on the Advanced Options button, which will display the Advanced Options dialog box.

Unless the default settings are incorrect or you have a specific reason to change them, they should be used.As illustrated in Figure D, the Advanced Options dialog box gives you the option of specifying the location of the installation files and the folder where Windows XP will be installed. You must choose the installation drive letter and partition during setup. Then click OK and make further selections from the Accessibility Options dialog box or choose the primary language. Click Next to continue the installation.

The next task is to select the file system that will be used for the new partition or drive. In this example, I used the NTFS file system; you could also use the FAT16 or the FAT32 file system. If you have decided to use NTFS, select the Yes, Upgrade My Drive radio button to upgrade the file system to NTFS on the drive where Windows XP will be installed, as illustrated in Figure E. If you don’t want to upgrade to NTFS, choose the No, Skip This Step radio button. Click Next to continue the installation.

Your connection to the Internet should already be configured by this time.The next screen (see Figure F) asks whether or not you want to download any files that may have been updated since your version of Windows XP was shipped. Choosing to download the files is entirely up to you and should not have any bearing on the outcome of installing Windows XP in a dual-boot configuration. For this example, I chose to download the updated files.Click Next; a short file copy will occur, and the computer will be rebooted. The system will boot from the Windows XP installation CD, but you will also see the new multiboot menu for the first time. During this reboot, let the system boot to Windows XP, which is the default choice that is selected as part of the installation routine.Finishing touchesAt this point, the installation routine moves from the GUI interface to the familiar text-based blue screen from Windows NT and Windows 2000. The first screen asks whether you want to set up Windows XP, repair a Windows XP installation, or quit the setup routine. To install Windows XP, press [Enter].You’ll be presented with the screen that allows you to select the partition or drive where Windows XP will be installed. You can also create or delete partitions. The choices you make will depend on the type of configuration you have decided to use. For this example, I chose to create a single partition on a second hard drive that was installed in my system.After configuring the partitions and drives, you’ll be asked on the subsequent screen to highlight a partition on which you want to install Windows XP and press [Enter]. Next, you’ll be asked to select the appropriate file system that will be used to format the partition. I chose NTFS. After the file system is selected, the partition will be formatted automatically.After the formatting is complete, the Windows XP installation routine will perform a file copy and reboot the computer system. Once again, the system will boot from the installation CD-ROM, and the Windows XP process will continue by actually placing the operating system in the installation folder. This process can take quite some time. Everything is done automatically; all you’ll do is sit back and watch. Once the file copy has been completed, you can change the Regional and Language Options. You’ll also be asked to enter your name and the name of your organization.The subsequent dialog box displays a suggested computer name and asks you to enter and confirm the password for the Administrator user. If your computer is used to access a Windows 2000 domain, you must use a different computer name for the Windows XP installation than you did for the Windows 2000 installation. Each computer in the domain must have a unique security identifier (SID), which requires a unique computer name. An easy way to do this is to add -XP to the end of the computer name that is being used for the Windows 2000 installation, creating a name like XYZ01-XP.The next screen asks you to verify that the date, time, and time zone are correct. After you complete this step, the installation routine will install the network adapter and its components. The final step in this process lets you select the automatically configured typical network settings or the manually selected custom network settings. Then the final file copy and installation steps will begin. This process can take quite awhile, depending on your computer system. In the end, the computer will be rebooted and you will be able to boot from the new multiboot menu where you can select either Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000 Professional.After you boot to both Windows XP and Windows 2000, using the boot menu to ensure that they are working correctly, it would be a good idea to back up both of the drives or partitions. With this backup and the backups you made prior to configuring the system as a dual-boot system, you will be able to restore the system to either the state it was in before or after the upgrade.ConclusionConfiguring your computer system with Windows 2000 and XP in a dual-boot environment is fairly straightforward. The software has evolved to the point where the second installation will recognize that the computer is being configured in dual-boot mode and will set up the boot menu automatically. In fact, adding a third or fourth operating system to the computer system can be done without much more difficulty.If you want to experiment with a dual-boot system, give it a try. The configuration has never been easier, and using both operating systems on the same computer will provide you with more options than you would have on a traditionally configured system.


Vanessa Alexander said...

Nice blog. Since my son moved to Minnesota, I had to learn to maintain my computer and still learning. I look forward to your posts and will place a link to you from my site. Thanks for creating this blog.

The Computer Brother said...

I hope you enjoy the dual-boot configurations just as I have. I don't use the DB configurations at this time because I don't have an open-architecture computer system right now.