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Torchizard

OS Compatibility

64 posts in this topic

So what I'll probably do is wait until all the PC components arrive and see if each bootloader works and does what I want it to do.

Also, would I be able to install each OS separately (as in only have the corresponding HDD connected while installing each OS) and then connect them all and install a boot loader? Or would there be any problems in doing that?

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I don't consider myself "expert" enough to answer your question with a definite "yes or no," I have not actually used more than one HDD for booting purposes in a multiboot setup. But I will point out another issue that you will need to make a decision about before you actually install OSes.

Do you want each of these OSes to be able to access the other OSes' partitions? In other words, do you want to be able to access the Windows XP C: partition from Windows 98SE, or the 98SE C: partition from XP? - etc etc.

I know I will catch flak for this from some of the other users participating in this thread :whistle: , but I always hide each operating system from the others. If I want files to be accessible in multiple OSes I create "shared" partitions that are accessible to all the desired systems. I never allow 2K/XP in particular to see my Windows 9x partitions and infest them with NTLDR, etc. If some problem arises that requires the access of one OS partition in another OS, I can always go and make it visible for that particular occasion.

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Typically, I hide each C: Partition from each other, sharing the same set of Extended Partitions.

I have additional Profiles that I use that makes some of them visible to each other so I can transfer data between them.

I have too many to make them all visible at the same time since they are Primary Partitions.

A DDO is required to be able to Boot DOS and Windows 98 from a Drive other than the BIOS Boot Disk. Even a Chain Loader is not enough. RFDISK uses a special MBR but it is NOT a DDO. So it will not support Booting from different Drives.

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It is possible to install each OS in a partition one of the HDDs with all others disconnected, and it sometimes is the safest way to do it. It is possible to set all up then so that each OS never sees the others, in normal conditions, as described by LoneCrusader above. It also is possible to set all up so tha all see all, like I do (but then it becomes much easier and safer to avoid NTFS entirely, installing all the OSes in FAT partitions). Were I you, I'd assemble the machine, install XP and test the hardware thoroughly. Once I got satisfied all is working OK, then I'd plan how to set the multiboot system and set it up, not forgetting to backup each OS profusely throughout the process.

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@Torchizard

Again, there are several possible ways to accomplish the "final goal", by using different setups and/or using different tools (and/or tolerating some minor inconveniences when booting to "another" OS).

The "hide" from other OS is one of the possible approaches. :)

I personally believe it to be inconvenient and prone to errors, and have always set multiboot systems in such a way that everyone sees everyone else (within the limits of filesystems supported).

In the case of the mentioned OS's the setup "I see you all" is perfectly possible, but in practice the limitations of each OS (without using particular third party tools where available) will lead to a "telescopic" view.

  • DOS 6.22 can access only FAT12/16 filesystems and only within a range on a largish hard disk
  • DOS 7.x (and Win9x/Me) can acces only FAT12/16 AND FAT32 (still within a range on a largish hard disk)
  • NT 4.0 (not cited) can access FAT12/16 AND NTFS, BUT NOT FAT32 (I know it was not listed, putting this just for the record) also with limitations in sizes/addresses of partitions
  • 2K (not cited) can access FAT12/16 AND FAT32 AND NTFS, (BUT NOT exFAT)
  • XP can access FAT12/16 AND FAT32 AND NTFS (AND exFAT)

The "traditional" way I personally used for a long time on my systems (single disk 30 or 40 Gb, "Win2K centered") has been (JFYI):

C: 1 Gb or less DOS6.22 and DOS 7.x and NT 4.0 (Primary - FAT16) + Win2K "minimal recovery" + Later OS loaders (NTLDR+NTDETECT.COM+BOOT.INI)

D: 2 Gb or so Windows 95 or Windows 98 or Windows Me (Volume inside extended - FAT32)

E: 2 Gb or so "Common DOS Data" (Volume inside Extended - FAT32) <- but I had the Sysinternals FAT32 driver for NT 4.0

G: 5 Gb or so Win2K "Main" (Volume inside extended - NTFS)

H: 5 Gb or so Win2K or WinXP "Test System" (Volume inside extended - NTFS)

S: 1 Gb or so "Common Swap" (Volume inside Extended - FAT32)

F: 5 Gb or so "Common NT data" (Volume inside extended - NTFS)

I: 5 Gb or so "Temporary data" (Volume inside extended - NTFS) copy of data ready to be backed up

*: (variable) the rest, to be mapped as one or two Primary partition to try strange, new, OS's ;)

The above - which is seemingly complex - can (could) be achieved without particularly complex procedures or sophisticated tools/bootmanagers/etc.

I personally find that having the same volume always having (if accessible/mounted/mapped) the SAME drive letter prevents (actually makes less probable) that by mistake you do on a given volume something that you may later regret thinking that you are operating on "another" volume because you are booted on "another" OS with a different drive letter assignment.

But this is just me. :)

Such a configuration (if properly setup) is stable, and - anecdotal evidence at it's best - it has been running for several years without a hitch.

jaclaz

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So I got to ordering all my components just now and it turns out that the ATi Radeon 9800 XT I was going to get just got sold out :realmad:

So does anyone know of any good high performance AGP 8X Graphics Cards that have both 98 and XP drivers?

Edit: If anyone wants to know the motherboard for the card I'm using a ECS P4M800PRO-M (V2.0)

Edit 2: SO I found the nVidia GEForce FX5500 which is an AGP card . The nVidia driver website is a bit weird though as hey have Desktop Graphics>GEForce>5 FX drivers. So are the 5 FX drivers for FX5 X X X cards?

Edited by Torchizard
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A full install of DOS 6.x or earlier, including any DOS program of some utility ever written :w00t: and a considerable amount of data created with those programs would top at - say - 300 Mb.

If you are really clever and manage to actually have *all* programs EVER written for DOS :ph34r:, this will top at around 600/700 Mb.

I don't agree. A large number of games that work in DOS (though some of them may work in windows too) was released after 1994. Some of them need tens or even hundreds of megabytes. Some of these games even didn't have the Windows versions.

Sorry for replying to a rather old post :)

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I don't agree. A large number of games that work in DOS (though some of them may work in windows too) was released after 1994. Some of them need tens or even hundreds of megabytes. Some of these games even didn't have the Windows versions.

Sure :).

I was talking of work, not play.

In 1994 if not the very top, a near the top hard disk was 2.1 Gb (and SCSI), the average disk was 300 Mb to 1 Gb:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hard_drive_capacity_over_time.png

The Quantum Fireball was the first "common" disk with a capacity over 1 GB, if I recall correctly, and that was already 1995, and everyone, or almost anyone upgraded to Windows 95 and DOS 7.0.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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So now I'm debating the PSU that I should use...

I've got a 400 watt one (I think) available right now with the right amount of connectors. Do you think that 400w is enough for this system or should I get a more powerful one?

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EDIT: Sorry for the double post, my internet screwed up

Edited by Torchizard
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400W is enough for practically anything. I ran my old machine with 7x HDDs, 3.2GHz Prescott and a Ati X850XT PE with a 300W PSU for 2 years.

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400W is enough for practically anything. I ran my old machine with 7x HDDs, 3.2GHz Prescott and a Ati X850XT PE with a 300W PSU for 2 years.

For 9x computer it may be enough. However I recently had to replace my 450W PSU when I bought a new HDD. Didn't expect that it would be so demanding. Even after I disconnected two of my original HDDs, the new one was unstable and it stopped working after intensive read/write operations. I even tried more exotic solution and connected it to a rather old separate 200W PSU, but it didn't work stable enough either. After all I had to buy a new 750W PSU. My graphics card is not too powerful, it is from the medium-class segment, however I had issues with powering my HDDs and DVD with my old PSU.

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For 9x computer it may be enough. However I recently had to replace my 450W PSU when I bought a new HDD. Didn't expect that it would be so demanding. Even after I disconnected two of my original HDDs, the new one was unstable and it stopped working after intensive read/write operations. I even tried more exotic solution and connected it to a rather old separate 200W PSU, but it didn't work stable enough either. After all I had to buy a new 750W PSU. My graphics card is not too powerful, it is from the medium-class segment, however I had issues with powering my HDDs and DVD with my old PSU.

If I may, what you might be suffering (actually what your PSU might suffering - or both :w00t::ph34r:) is aging. ;)

Seriously all PC PSU's are "switching" power supplies, they are not like good ol'power supplies with huge converters and a bunch of diodes/rectifiers and capacitors to convert to DC and smooth the output, they are - to all effects - a complex electronic circuit that is - generally speaking - subject to some "heavy duty cycles".

It is not at all uncommon that a power supply with a few years of service appears to be working but when some additional load is needed "gets on it's knees".

Though it is usually trivial to find which component is defective, it is normally not a good idea to repair them because new ones are relatively cheap and if you change a component on an old one you have no guarantee that another component is not already aged and going to fail soon.

Also, besides the overall power, different PSU's have different power on each "rail" (a "server" PSU will have as an example, more power on the 12 V rail to power more disks) , so it is possible that - just as an example - your 400 W PSU was OK for everything but - say - the 12 V rail (and that one only) had not enough power for the CD/DVD and hard disk motors.

jaclaz

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