You have two basic options. One is to use the boot.ini
file on 2000 or XP to provide a menu, after booting to
your active partition. The other is to use software to
simplify the job and give you more options.
One warning: When installing OSs you need to be careful
about partitions. Windows is a parochial system that ignores
or doesn't see other systems. Each combination of Windows
OSs presents different problems. If you try to install XP on
the 2000 machine you might overwrite 2000 if you're not
careful. In some cases Windows might also overwrite other
partitions. ...So you need to understand about disk partitions
and the active partition.
You can also install Linux and use that as a boot manager,
but in my experience Linux is somewhat brittle, so I don't
like to depend on it. Also, the Linux partitioning/booting
tools are poorly designed and not at all intuitive. It's very
easy to accidentally erase Windows while trying to get Linux
The barebones approach would be to install both OSs,
hoping that one install doesn't screw up the other, then
edit the boot.ini file of the active partition in order to show
a boot menu for both OSs. (Look up boot.ini for that.)
I use BootIt, which is $35. There are also other options.
Windows partitioning and booting options are limited and
quirky. To me it's worth buying 3rd-party software. But
you also need to be aware that there are differences there.
I once used Partition Magic and Drive Image from Powerquest.
Then PQ sold out to Symantec, which ruined Drive Image.
(As they ruin everything they touch.) DI became a gigantic,
bloated .net program for doing backup. Many such programs
have become similar. Another example is Acronis, which
costs more than BootIt and holds your hand more, but is
bloated into a backup program. Backup has nothing to do
with disk management, multi-booting, or disk imaging. In
fact, incremental backups of the entire OS are not only
silly and wasteful, but also defeat the whole purpose of
disk imaging. ....So, you might want to research boot/partition
BootIt is a partition tool, disk imager and boot manager.
It can fit on a floppy, yet does everything you might need
to handle multiple OSs and disk partitioning.
The way I like to do it is to set up room for 3 primary
partitions plus an extended partition on each disk. I
can then install up to 3 Windows versions. The extended
partition can house any number of logical partitions, which
can support data and/or one or more Linux OSs.
To avoid Windows install problems I try to install
Windows to an extra hard disk first. Then I make a
disk image so that I'll never have to run the install
again. I like to set up all software and configuration
on the OS before making the disk image, so that I
can restore it later all ready to go. I can then write
my disk images to my main hard disk. Then, with BootIt
installed to the first partition, I use BootIt as a handy
Example: Clean up Win2000 and shrink down the C
drive to only what you really need. (3-50 GB) Keep
your data on data partitions so that you don't lose
it if Win2000 goes down. Then make a disk image of
Win2000. Next, install XP, shrink it, and make a disk
image of that. With 2000/XP you should be able to fit
your disk image onto a CD for backup.
Then partition a disk with at least enough
free space for your 2000 and XP images in front. Make
an extended partition of what's left and portion it into
logical data drives.
Then restore your two disk images to the empty
space. Set the first partition active. Reboot and install
BootIt to that partition. Also, make sure to edit the
boot.ini file on the second partition. Both boot.ini files
will be pointing to the first partition, so the second
partition OS needs its boot.ini file edited to point to
the second partition.
That's it. You can now boot to the BootIt menu
and you can restore, or add, any OSs any time you
like. If you keep, or mirror, your data on data partitions
then if you lose, say, XP to a malware attack, you
can delete it, restore your disk image to that space,
copy back your data, and be back in business in an
hour with no data loss and no hunting for product
activation keys or software CDs.
This may sound confusing if you're not familiar
with the terms, but you need to know the basics if
you want to multi-boot. If you don't know about
boot.ini, partitions, active partition, etc then you
can read up on that.
If you need more help you might want to try a
Windows or XP group.
I have a machine with 2000 and need to install XP as a 2nd indept OS. When I
power up, I need it to boot to a menu where I can select one or the other.
I know there are ways to simulate 2000 with XP, add sofware, etc., but this
in this special situation, I either have to have indept boots, or set up a
2nd computer for XP.
Thanks in advance.