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PC911 > How-To > Windows > Multi-booting Windows


This section provides a summary of important information, rules to remember, tips to make computer management easier, and a few troubleshooting hints in case you get stuck somewhere.


The screen looks like crap!

Depending on the type of video card in your test box, Windows might not identify it correctly and only install the standard VGA drivers. You might need drivers specific to your card.

Go to Start / Settings / Control Panel / Display / Settings and take a look at the display setup. If it doesn't have the correct driver installed, install them.


I don't know what type of video card I have!

There is an easy way to find out.

Go to Start / Run, type Command and click OK. In the window that displays, type debug at the prompt and press Enter. At the dash prompt, type dc000:35 and press Enter. Now look at the rightmost column; it contains a lot of gobbledygook, but somewhere in there you'll see the description for your video card. For example, if it shows G200, you probably have a Matrox Millennium G200. If it shows nVIDIA TNT, chances are you have a card with the nVIDIA Riva TNT chip set and want to install the Detonator drivers. Type q and press Enter to exit the debug utility.


The multi-boot menu doesn't come up anymore!

If the system does not display the System Commander multi-boot menu anymore and instead boots straight into an operating system, or throws up a nasty error message, most likely your Master Boot Record got hosed. Don't worry, everything is still there and this is easy to fix.

Reboot using your MS-DOS Boot Disk. At the DOS prompt, type C: and press Enter, then type cd sc and press Enter. Now type scin and press Enter. This will start System Commander. Select Enable/Update System Commander from the menu, then choose Enable System Commander from the next menu. This will restore the System Commander setup including the custom MBR. Exit and reboot.


I forgot what this image file contains!

If you provided comments when you created the image, you will be able to read your description of the image in the Image Comment Field using the instructions in the next paragraph. If not, the only way to find out is to restore and view the image.

Start Drive Image. From the Drive Image menu, select Restore Image. This will start a wizard. Click the Browse button to locate the image file to restore. From the dialog box, click the drop-down menu labeled Drives to select the C: drive. Now you should see a list of folders in the box labeled Folders. One of the folders listed there is called IMAGES. Double-click this folder (your image folder). In the box underneath the File Name field you will see a list of all available image files. Click an image file and view the Image File Comments box below. You'll be able to view the comments for each image and easily identify the image you're looking for. Select the desired image file and click OK to restore it.


I can't run Drive Image/Partition Magic from a DOS prompt!

If you type pqdi or pqmagic at the C:\ prompt and get an error like Bad Command or File Name, check the following.

Make sure that those programs are actually installed. Look for the folders PQDI and PQMAGIC on your C:\ drive and see if they exist and contain files. Second, check the path statement in your Autoexec.bat. Type edit c:\autoexec.bat and press Enter. In the window that displays, look for a line that starts with the word PATH. It should include the paths C:\PQDI and C:\PQMAGIC and look like this:


If the paths for Drive Image and/or Partition Magic are missing, edit the line as shown above, save, and exit and reboot.


My CD-ROM drive doesn't work when I'm in DOS!

To get CD-ROM access in DOS, boot your system with the Windows 98 Boot Disk with CD-ROM support. You have to do this because the driver needs to be specifically loaded.


My mouse doesn't work in Partition Magic/Drive Image!

Is your mouse plugged into the correct port on the back of your system? PQMagic and PQDI load a generic mouse driver when starting the program. However, it can happen that the mouse is not being detected correctly, leaving you without mouse support. This usually happens when you use a PS/2 mouse and a PS/2 to serial adapter to plug it into an older PC with serial ports only. But this is not a problem. Both programs can be operated completely by keyboard control, a pointing device is not required. Use the cursor keys and the Alt-key combinations to get around.


I get errors with cryptic numbers when I run PQDI/PQMagic!

Numbered errors mean that something went haywire during the operation but it doesn't have to be fatal or destructive. The first step is to write down the error, number, and details, go to PowerQuest's support site - -, and perform a search. Chances are you'll find the explanation and solution to the error right there.


I can't boot into NT 4 at all!

Use Partition Magic to see where on the hard drive you installed NT 4. NT 4 has some strange limitations. It needs to be installed in a partition that starts within the first 2 GB of the physical hard drive. If you installed NT 4 on a partition that starts after the first 2 GB of the physical drive, you could not boot into NT 4. Windows 98 and Windows 2000 do not have this limitation and therefore can be installed pretty much anywhere on the drive.


Suddenly my NT 4 partition won't boot anymore!

NT 4 SP 3 or earlier and Win2K CANNOT co-exist on the same system - period! The dangerous caveat with NT 4 and Win2K is that even though the file system they both use is NTFS, Win2K uses a newer version of NTFS (NTFS 5) that cannot be read by NT 4 SP 3 (Service Pack 3) or earlier (NTFS 4 only). If you install NT 4 with SP 3 or earlier on a machine that also has Win2K on it, the moment you start Win2K it will change the NTFS file system on the NT 4 partition and update it to NTFS 5. The next time you try to boot to NT 4 you'll end up with a nasty BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) with lots of gobbledygook and the message INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE. The simple reason is that only SP 4 and higher can "understand" WIN 2K's NTFS 5. There is no way to fix this once this happens! Therefore you always need to install SP 4 or higher on NT 4 if you plan to make it coexist with Win2K on the same machine! Even hiding the NT 4 partition from the Win2K partition with Partition Magic and/or System Commander won't work, so don't even think about it. NT 4 SP 3 or earlier and Win2K cannot co-exist on the same system - period!


Why can't I install more operating systems? My hard drive has plenty of space!

Any physical hard drive can contain only up to 4 primary partitions, which limits your number of operating systems to 4. All Microsoft operating systems need to be installed into a primary partition because they require being in a bootable/active partition, and primary partitions are the only type of partition that can be set active and made bootable. Due to an old legacy limitation of the Master Boot Record (MBR), any physical hard drive can contain only up to 4 primary partitions, which limits the number of operating system in our example to 4.


I can't create/resize a FAT partition over 2 GB!

It only supports partition sizes up to 2 GB; that is a limitation of the FAT file system.


What file system can I use with what operating system?

It's important that you format each partition with the right file system for the OS you're planning to install since not every OS supports every file system. The table below details what is possible.

Operating System Supported File Systems
Windows 3.1 FAT
Windows 95 and 95A FAT
Windows 95B and 95C FAT, FAT32
Windows 98 and 98 Second Edition FAT, FAT32
Windows NT 4 FAT, NTFS4, NTFS5 (SP4 or higher only!)
Windows 2000 FAT, FAT32, NTFS4, NTFS5


I just realized I made an error while working in Partition Magic. Where's the Undo button?

Don't worry, changes are not made until you click the Apply button. You can always go back to your original state by clicking General / Discard Changes (when you made a mistake and haven't clicked the Apply button yet).


How do I get USB support in Windows 95?

USB support depends on what version of Windows 95 you're using. Windows 95 (the original, build 950) and Windows 95a do not offer USB support at all. Starting with Windows 95b, Microsoft provided a USB supplement that you can install in Windows 95b or 95c to get USB functionality. This USB supplement installation file can be found on the Windows 95 installation disk in the folder \Other\USB. Open up that folder and run the file USBSUPP.EXE from within Windows 95b or 95c. After the installation and reboot go to Start / Settings / Control Panel / System / Device Manager. If you see a category labeled Universal serial bus controller, you have USB support. If you see a category labeled Other devices instead, click the plus symbol (+) to the left of the category to expand it, then highlight the entry for USB and click Remove. This removes it from the device manager. Click Refresh. Windows should redetect the USB bus and start installing the driver for it. If it comes up with a message about a file not being found, point it to the C:\Windows\System directory. It should find the file and then install the USB controller properly.

Keep in mind that USB support in Windows 95b or 95c is flaky at best. For reliable USB support, you should use only Windows 98/98SE, Windows ME, or Windows 2000.

- Alex -

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