For about three years (2002-2005) I had my primary computer dual booting Win2K and Win98. I used fdisk to divide the (blank) HD into two equal partitions. I installed Win 98 on one partition. Then I installed Win2K on the second partition. WhenWin2K was installed, it saw the installation of 98 and made a dual-boot loader where I could choose which OS to runa at bootup.
The Win2K partition was formatted as NTFS and the 98 partition was FAT32. When Win2K was booted, it saw itself as Drive C and the Win98 as Drive D. When Win98 was booted, it saw itself as Drive C and did not see the 2K installation at all.
The drive letters assigned between the two systems were not consistent. On 2K, my D drive was the 98 installation and the E drive was a CD-ROM.
On 98 my 2K was ignored since it was NTFS, so my CD-ROM became Drive D. My other hard and optical drives past letter D were also not consistent between 98 and 2K.
When you install Win 98, it's going to ask you where you want it to install it. Your only option will be whatever Win98 sees as 'Drive C'. If you already have Win2K installed (as NTFS) on a hard drive (taking up all the space on that drive) Win 98 will see that drive as unformatted. It doesn't matter if Win2K calls that drive 'C' while you are running win2K. To Win98 it is an unformatted drive. If you insist on using that drive, Win 98 will have to use fdisk and then completely format the drive to FAT32. Everything will be wiped off the disk, including your Win2K bootloader. Obviously you don't want that!
You will have to use a third party tool to shrink the 2K partition and free up some space on the drive.
Win98 can't see or understand 2K's bootloader. If you are installing it on the same drive as 2K (with a free partition to install to) it can install itself in that partition but will wipe 2K's bootloader off the drive and install its own. Then you will not be able to get into 2K. To correct that, you must start the 2K installation from the CD and choose the 'repair' option. That will reinstall the 2K boot loader. Assuming the two OS'es are on the same physical drive, Win2K should see that and create a dual boot system.
I don't know for certain if 2K will be able to do that if you have 98 and 2K installed on two physically seperate drives. It probably will, but I can't say for certain since I've never tried it.
Everything I've ever read and experienced says that Win98 must see itself as being installed on and then running on Drive C. While a different OS is running it may assign the Win98 drive as a different letter, but when you boot 98, it will be C again.
Drive letters will be reassigned between operating systems if necessary.
If you install 2K on a FAT32 partition then 98 should be able to see it. However, Microsoft's tools will not allow you to make a FAT32 partition larger than 32 gb (you will have to use third party tools for that.) Also Win 98, without special third party patches, cannot use IDE hard drives bigger than 137gb.
Edited by the xt guy, 09 October 2008 - 01:51 PM.