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Possibly the dumbest question ever about Dual Booting (1 Viewer)


Mar 7, 1999
OK, don't laugh. I'm not a moron.
I plan on installing Win ME and Win 2000 Pro on my new laptop. First I'll create 2 (or 3) partitions I'll install Win ME. After that's setup, I'll install Win2K. Now the question: Can they share the same apps or do I have to install everything twice, once on each instance of Windows? Will each drive/partition have it's own instance of Office or can they share them somehow? Or do I have to take each app on a case-by-case basis (some shared, some not)? Thanks!

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Aug 17, 1998
It is possible to have a dual-boot (or more) sharing apps, but it can be frought with problems.

You have to install the app in each operating system. This is to get the registry, program groups etc updated so the app can run. However you install the actual app files to a common location - the same location for both OSs. So, say you install Office in Windows Me. Then you boot into Windows 2000 and install it again, but you make sure the destination folder is the same one that you used in Me. Obviously that common location must be on a partition that both Windows can see (so no using NTFS).

You must run through the installation procedure in both versions of Windows. The only exception to this is standalone .exe files which do not 'installing' as such.

OK, now the crap bits:
[*]The app may install different versions of files for each version of Windows. You may suddenly find that the app doesn't run in Me because the Win2000 installation wiped out a crucial file, replacing it win a different version.[*]What you change in one OS will affect the other.[*]You cannot deinstall the app without losing it in both Windows. However the first deinstall will take out the files and you'll then be left a useless installation of the app in the other Windows, probably with no way of properly removing it from the system. If you end up corrupting a file, you end up with the same problem.

The only real advantage to doing this is the saving of HD space. That really is about it. You're usually better off installing each app in each version of Windows, keeping them completely separate.

"We shall never surrender"

Winston Churchill.

[Edited last by Rob Gillespie on November 16, 2001 at 05:20 PM]

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