Compaq Evo Dual Boot

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d510 front d510 rear At work we have some Compaq Evo desktop computers. These are supplied with a recovery cd and no seperate OS disk. The recovery cd will fdisk the whole of the hard disk and completely overwrite anything there without asking, prompting or giving any option to avoid this happening. Also it does not give an option to create two or more partitions, and formats the disk as ntfs which makes running fips more difficult. The instructions below interrupt the recovery process and allows partitions to be manually created. The second partition could equally be used as a data partiton for windows as well as for an alternate OS.
Although this was written specifically for the Compaq Evo, the principle involved might be useable for any computer / laptop which has a stupid recovery program. It is certainly more reliable to create two partitions to start with rather than relying on fips et al. to resize an undocumented ntfs partition.
You will need a floppy disk with a copy of win98 dos's, format.exe and fdisk.exe on, the easiest way is to create a dos boot disk from a windows 98 computer. I cannot really have a compressed floppy image here for copyright reasons. The recovery process uses win98's fdisk so it is probably best to use a win98 rather than the freedos
  • Start the recovery process as normal. Note ***This WILL erase all data on the Hard Disk.***
  • Select the OS from the list given (w2k or XPerimental usually).
  • Proceed with instructions until you reach the partitioning screen.
  • Wait for the message "You must restart your computer etc. blah. ".
  • Insert the Dos boot floppy disk.
  • Press "Ctl+Alt+Esc" to bring up the task manager.
  • Select "file->run application" and select a:\
  • This gives a dos window you can input commands in to.
  • Run fdisk ignoring messages about windows interfering with fdisk.
  • Delete the created, whole disk partition and create partitions to your choosing.
  • When you are happy, exit fdisk and exit the dos window.
  • Select the restart option and remove the dos floppy.
  • Allow the installer to complete, and you will have a second, unused partition.
At this point, the both deleted and recreated partitions are not formatted, the next stage of the recovery process will format the first partition to ntfs. Because the installer only created one partition, it only thinks to format the first it finds, if you are using the second partition for windows data, you will have to format it yourself.