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 Windows sits on your system disk and the Windows install itself sits in a directory which may be called Windows or  Winnt or another name of your own choosing if you opted for such. You can find out what the name of your Windows directory is by typing echo %windir% at a command prompt. Inside of this directory is where every file used solely by that installation of windows will sit. If you have more than one installation of an operating system on a single disk partition then you will have more than one windows installation directory and echo %windir% will return the system directory of whichever windows installation you are currently running.

 All of the other directories on the system disk - i.e. program files etc. - are not necessarily system specific. Lots of people I speak to run XP and 2000 on the same partition and share the program files directory between the installations and get very few problems. Microsoft recommend that you do not do this but XP and 2000 are very similar in may ways including sharing a lot of dynamic link libraries and drivers etc that you mostly get away with it. It would be a different story for Win95 and Vista on the same drive. When it comes to the x64 operating systems you will notice that they add a second directory of program files holding the 64bit programs but when you try and share a drive between 32bit and 64bit versions of WinXP or Win2k3 the Internet Explorer executables overwrite each other so that if you install the 64bit version last you will not have a working version of IE and will keep being informed that iexplore.exe is 'not a valid w32 application' until you run sfc /scannow to fix it.

 

 

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