One of the nice things about Windows XP, if you upgraded the computer from another operating system, is that you can set your computer up to dual boot Windows XP and the earlier OS. That is, at boot time, you can choose whether to boot XP or boot the other Windows OS.
There’s a particular snag with this Windows capability, though. You have to install the earlier operating system first, then you can install Windows XP. If you go in the opposite order, you will damage or destroy your XP installation.
Mainly, this is because Microsoft expects you to set up dual-booting by installing both OS’s within the same partition on the hard drive. (What’s a partition? Read Hard drive primary partitions, extended partitions and logical partitions)
I prefer to keep my different operating systems in different partitions, although Windows will let you install XP into your 98 partition for dual booting if you like. It will also let you install it into a separate partition for dual booting.
For years, I handled multiple-booting by using System Commander. But, it was such an old copy that it couldn’t boot a C: larger than 14.5GB.
Now, I use Xandros on my laptop for dual booting and Mepis on my desktop for dual booting. But, if I was really following my past practices (where loss of one operating partition doesn’t kill everything), I would be using Bootit NG from Terabyte Unlimited (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com).
BootIt NG is a combination partition imager, partition resizer and boot manager — doesn’t require that it be installed in a Windows Partition (as does Partition Magic) — and is $35. Bill Walter did a workshop on it early last year (or so) and it looked like a great option. There is a free trial, but I’ve never gotten around to doing it.