Parallel Installation of Windows NT

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

You can use a parallel installation of Windows NT to fix a failed NT installation or to recover files on NTFS partitions. A corrupted installation can often be fixed by copying over a single file, perhaps a missing boot.ini or corrupted executable or dll. Although its easier with a FAT file system, like most things in life, easy is not necessarily best. NTFS file system is simply the only reasonalble choice for servers in a production environment. There are times when a repair installation is best for recovery processes and times when a parallel installation works best. If you suspect malicious behavior is behind the failure, a parallel installation will allow you to examine the original files and make a backup of all files for detailed forensic examination.

In any case, it takes about 125MB of free space to install the parallel version of Windows NT. The process is similar to the original installation - just be careful to not overwrite the original installation files. See the Microsoft documents for more details if you are not familar with the process:

Q259003: How and Why to Perform a Parallel Installation of Windows NT 4.0

Q244378: System Cleanup After a Parallel Installation of Windows NT 4.0

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