More on Dual Booting

Question: I have a computer with two HD (one Win95 and the other OS/2 1.3). Both boot ok if they are C: (physically connected to IDE 1), but I need a way to choose from wich one I want to boot without changing physically the connection. I have tried to create a boot disk for OS/2 1.3 but I couldn't. Also I can't do the selection by changing the boot priority in the BIOS. Is there any solution? Thank you!

Answer: The only hard drive computers can only boot from is a C: drive. OS/2 1.3 came out when computer capacities were rather small (late 80s) and I don't think it has a multiboot capacity built in like version 2 onwards has. Later versions of OS/2 can be run from any drive provided that you have a boot manager that can redirect to that drive so hopefully OS/2 1.3 can too. From version 2 OS/2 came with its own boot manager but it needs its own partition on the C: drive to work.

You can either buy a stand alone boot manager such as System Commander, purchase a product such as Partition Magic (which is a drive partitioning tool with a boot manager included in the package) or look for a free boot manager on the web (there is a free partitioning tool with boot manager called Ranish Partition Managerthat you might try).

Once you have installed a boot manager program onto your C: drive you should be able to set it up to give you a choice of which operating system that you want to boot from. Provided that OS/2 1.3 can work from the D: drive this will solve your problem. If it can't handle it then you will need to reorganise your drives to split your C: drive into two partitions (you will need a partitioning tool to do this - FDISK comes with win95 but needs to wipe the drive before it can create partitions, other partitioning tools can work without losing the drive content - but you ought to back up first just in case). You could then have two C: drives on the first disk (one for win95 and one for OS/2 1.3) and use the D: drive to store all of your data (which will then be equally accessible by both operating systems).

The other way that might solve the problem if OS/2 1.3 needs to run from the C: drive is if you upgrade from Windows 95 to Windows 98 and convert the C: drive to Fat32. Then when you boot to OS/2 it will not be able to see the first drive and therefore will treat the second drive containing OS/2 as the C: drive.

More info on partitioning


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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