Friday, August 22, 2008

Multibooting with Windows XP - Installing Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and Windows XP

Setting up a computer to run Windows XP as well as an earlier operating system such as Windows NT Workstation 4.0 requires addressing compatibility issues among different file systems: NTFS, FAT, and FAT32.

Normally, NTFS is the recommended file system because it supports important features, including the Active Directory™ service and domain-based security. However, using NTFS as the only file system on a computer that contains both Windows XP and Windows NT is not recommended. On these computers, a FAT or FAT32 partition containing the Windows NT 4.0 operating system ensures that when started with Windows NT 4.0, the computer will have access to needed files. In addition, if Windows NT is not installed on the system partition, which is almost always the first partition on the disk, the system partition should also be formatted with FAT.

Windows NT 4.0 cannot access files that have been stored using NTFS features that did not exist when Windows NT 4.0 was released. For example, a file that uses the new NTFS encryption feature won’t be readable when the computer is started with Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, which was released before the encryption feature existed.

Note: If you set up a computer so that it starts with Windows NT 3.51 or earlier on a FAT partition, and Windows XP on an NTFS partition, when that computer starts with Windows NT 3.51, the NTFS partition will not be visible.

Checklist Summary
To configure a computer containing Windows NT 4.0 and Windows XP, review the following guidelines:

As explained above, using NTFS as the only file system on a computer
containing both Windows XP and Windows NT is not recommended. 

Make sure that Windows NT 4.0 has been updated with the latest released Service Pack available for download before installing Windows XP. 

Install each operating system on a separate drive or disk partition. 

When you perform a new installation of Windows XP (as opposed to an upgrade), by default, the installation is placed on a partition on which no other operating system is located. You can specify a partition during Setup. 

Don’t install Windows XP on a compressed drive unless the drive was compressed with the NTFS file system compression feature. 

On any partition where you perform a new installation of Windows XP (as opposed to an upgrade), you will need to re-install any programs, such as word processing or email software, after Setup is complete. 

Install the programs used by each operating system on the partition with that system. If you want your programs to run with multiple operating systems, you need to install separate copies of the programs in each of the operating system partitions. 

If the computer is on a Windows NT Server or Windows 2000 Server domain, each installation of Windows XP on that computer must have a different computer name.

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