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3 Choices when starting Windows XP

By joehelf ·
I recently repaired my XP on a DELL desktop and now I have 3 choices when my computer boots. The problem is the default choice is says it can't boot because the hal.dll file is bad or missing. I then go back to reboot and choose #1 Windows XP which is from my C: drive. #2 choice is from my drive.
Can I delete the choices that do not work or is there a way to fix these OS starting?

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I'm not sure how you Repaired this

by OH Smeg In reply to 3 Choices when starting W ...

But you defiantly didn't use the Dell Recovery Disc. This performs a Format so the most you should have is 2 Options in the Boot Loader.

As for fixing this that is more difficult as there is a Multi Boot System in place with links pointing to either wrong or corrupt Windows Folders.

If all you want to do is get rid of the Boot Option Screen you just need to edit the Boot Loader and delete the extra entries.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289022

The bit that you need to look at however is this

Save a Backup Copy of Boot.ini
Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
-or-
Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
Under System Startup, click Edit. This opens the file in Notepad ready for editing.
In Notepad, click File on the Menu bar, and then click Save As.
Right click in an empty area of the Save As dialog box, point to New in the context menu, and then click Folder.
Type a name for the new folder, for example temp, and then press the ENTER key to create the folder named temp.
Double-click the new folder named temp, and then click the Save button to save a backup copy of the Boot.ini file.


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Edit the Boot.ini File
To view and edit the Boot.ini file:
Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
-or-
Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
Under System Startup, click Edit.


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Sample Boot.ini File
This is a sample of a default Boot.ini file from a Windows XP Professional computer.
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
This is a sample of the above Boot.ini file with a previous installation of Windows 2000 on a separate partition.
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect


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Modifying the Boot.ini
While you can modify the Boot.ini file using the Startup and Recovery dialog, where you can select the default operating system, change the timeout value, or manually edit the file, the following method uses the command line utility, Bootcfg.exe.

Note The Bootcfg.exe utility is only available in Windows XP Professional. This utility is not available in Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition. Therefore, this section does not apply to Windows XP Home Edition.
Click Start, and then click Run.
In the Open text box, type cmd.
At the command prompt, type bootcfg /?.
The help and parameters for BOOTCFG.exe will display.


Adding an Operating System
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /copy /d Operating System Description /ID#
Where Operating System Description is a text description (e.g. Windows XP Home Edition), and where # specifies the boot entry ID in the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file from which the copy has to be made.


Removing an Operating System
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /delete /ID#
Where # specifies the boot entry ID that you want to be deleted from the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file (e.g. 2 for the second Operating system that is listed.


Setting the Default Operating System
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /default /ID#
Where # specifies the boot entry id in the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file to be made the default operating system.


Setting the Time Out
At the command prompt, type: bootcfg /timeout# Where # specifies the time in seconds after which default operating system will be loaded.


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Open the Boot.ini File to Verify Changes
Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
-or-
Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
Under System Startup, click Edit.


If you want to fix it up properly you need to remove the extra Windows Folders which can have different names depending on how you chose to install the OS here.

Col

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Thats a geat answer

by tintoman In reply to I'm not sure how you [i]R ...

but it will still leave you with non-functioning windows installations on your computer - a waste of space at best
Your best bet would be to run your recovery disk as the man says

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That's why I put the bit at the bottom on Fixing it properly. < NT >

by OH Smeg In reply to Thats a geat answer
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mmm messy

by balge In reply to 3 Choices when starting W ...

hi
looks like a failed re-install plus you partitioned and installed a fresh copy as well..?
what does boot.ini say?
do you want to rip it up and start again or try to rescue one of these install?
cheers!

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I think you're right !?

by joehelf In reply to mmm messy

I had all kinds of problems with the last thing being the black screen with mouse cursor that moves only. So I researched until I found this article.
http://webcast.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=8658
I followed this guys instructions to the tee. When I was finished it worked and I did not lose any important files but there were still some missing windows programs. Also I had 3 choices from where to start with 2 out of 3 not bootable. I have multiple problems now and I am just trying to nip them one at a time.
My boot.ini says:
[Boot Loader]
Timeout=5
Default=C:\$WIN_NT$.~BT\BOOTSECT.DAT
[Operating Systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /noexecute=optin
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

Seriously, I'd like to rescue one of the installs if it's possible. One of the things I remember was that my CD says service pack 2 but I know the computer says service pack 3 and when I tried to re-install the whole XP it would stop and say the version on my computer was newer than the CD I was trying to install and it would all just quit. I hope you can help.

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repair install

by balge In reply to I think you're right !?

hi
well decide which install you want, then try to fix it! if not then its fresh start time!(may be quicker in the long run..)

http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-6150784.html?tag=rbxccnbtr1

you should still be able to install off your CD even if its older, you could slipstream to SP3 but shouldn't have too...should give the option to use older files.
Boot off the CD, it should find the two XP installs and let you choose which to log onto to repair
cheers

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Well you can use nLite to include SP3 if you like

by OH Smeg In reply to I think you're right !?

It's available free here

http://www.nliteos.com/download.html

Just be sure to read the Instructions listed here

http://www.nliteos.com/guides.html

But provided that you are Booting from the CD the Message that you have a newer Install that what you are attempting to install will not appear. This only appears when you try to work within Windows and make changes back to an Older Version.

For full Instructions for Doing a In Place Install follow the directions here

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315341

The bit you need to follow however is this

Prerequisites
Windows Installation CD
Before you start, have your Windows installation CD and the product key available. Without these, you cannot reinstall Windows. If Windows was preinstalled on your computer, contact the computer manufacturer for help in obtaining the Windows installation files and product key.
Device drivers
Many of the device drivers for your hardware components are integrated into Windows. However, devices such as printers, monitors, graphic cards, sound cards, modems, external drives, and scanners usually have separate installation CDs. If you do not have all the drivers for your hardware components, you can download the drivers from the Internet and then write them to a CD.

If your computer requires a third-party mass storage device driver or hardware abstraction layer (HAL), make sure that you have a copy of the files on a separate storage media before you start the reinstallation.
Internet Explorer 7
If Internet Explorer 7 is installed on your computer, you must uninstall it before you reinstall Windows XP. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
917964 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917964/ ) How to perform a repair installation of Windows XP if Internet Explorer 7 is installed
Programs
Collect and store the CDs and product keys for your programs in an appropriate location so that you can reinstall the programs after you have reinstalled Windows. These programs may include the following:
Microsoft Office programs
Antivirus software
CD writing software
Internet Provider software
Data backup
Before you reinstall Windows, back up all important data to another location. Data that you may want to back up could include the following:
My Documents (documents, pictures, music, videos)
Program folders (configuration data, user data)
Favorites
Address books
E-mail messages
Document templates
Macros
Boilerplates
The original backup copies of your registry files (located in the %systemroot%\Repair folder) are replaced when the reinstallation is completed. These original registry files in the Repair folder were created either when you started Windows XP or when you last used the Backup utility to back up the system state. If you think that you might have to use the registry backups after the reinstallation is complete, copy these registry backup files to another location before you perform the reinstallation.
Network settings
You can restore certain network settings after you reinstall Windows. Before you start the reinstallation, record your computer's network settings so that they can easily be available if this step is required. These settings include the following:
Computer name
Workgroup or domain
TCP/IP settings
To find these settings, do the following steps:
To find these settings, click Start and then click Run.
Type control ncpa.cpl in the Open text field and then click OK.
Right-click Local Area Connection and then right-click Properties.
Record the network settings.
Internet provider information
To make sure that you can reconnect to the Internet after you have reinstalled Windows, record your Internet provider information. This includes user name, password information, and names of mail servers.
Startup sequence
Warning This procedure may involve changing your CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) settings and changing your Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). Incorrect changes to the BIOS of your computer can result in serious problems. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems that result from changes to your BIOS can be solved. Change your CMOS settings at your own risk. Incorrect or corrupted CMOS and BIOS settings can cause startup problems or shutdown problems.

If you must adjust the BIOS startup sequence of your computer so that it can start from the installation CD, the sequence should be in the following order:
CD drive
Hard disk
Floppy disk drive
During startup, BIOS searches for a disk that has an operating system it can load. On a computer that has an operating system installed, this is usually the hard disk. The BIOS is configured to search disks on the computer in a certain order, called the startup sequence. If the computer hard disk is configured in the BIOS as the first disk in the startup sequence, the computer starts by using the hard disk and does not search the CD drive for a startup disk.

To configure the BIOS to search the CD drive for a startup disk before it searches the hard disk, follow these steps:
Restart your computer.
When the computer first starts, it performs the power-on self test (POST). This test checks that all connected devices are functioning. As part of the POST, the memory is checked. During the memory test, a message will appear that tells you how to access the BIOS. For example, you may see the following message or a similar message that explains how to start the BIOS setup:
PRESS DEL TO ENTER SETUP
In this example, you must press the DEL key immediately after the memory test is finished to start the setup process. You may have to press the key several times to make sure that you access the BIOS setup.

Tip There are other keys that may provide access to the BIOS. They include the following:
F1
F2
F10
CTRL+ENTER
ALT+ENTER
CTRL+ALT+ESC
CTRL+ALT+INSERT
If you are not sure how to access the BIOS setup, see the user manual for your computer's motherboard.
Look for the startup sequence settings (also known as boot sequence or boot order). You can usually use the arrow keys to move through the menus and settings.
When you find the startup sequence setting, you can usually press ENTER to modify it. Press the PLUS SIGN (+) or MINUS SIGN (-) key until the CD drive is selected as the startup disk.

Tip More information about how to modify the BIOS can be found in your user manual. It usually contains descriptions of the menus and instructions on how to modify the options. The BIOS itself usually contains context-sensitive Help with the individual steps.
As soon as you have specified the CD drive as the first location to search for a startup disk, you can usually press ESC to return to the menus. In the main menu, select the option SAVE AND EXIT SETUP or a similar option. When the confirmation SAVE TO CMOS AND EXIT or a similar option appears, select YES.
If you cannot select YES, type the letter y.

Note BIOS uses a QWERTY keyboard layout. If your keyboard settings follow a different layout, you will have to press the Y key as it appears on a QWERTY keyboard.
After you exit the BIOS setup, your computer will restart.
Make sure that the computer starts by using the CD drive. Insert the Windows XP installation CD and restart the computer. If this is successful, you can start reinstalling Windows XP.
If you are not comfortable trying to perform this task, you may want to ask someone whom you know for help. Or you may want to contact Microsoft Support to help you resolve this issue.
Windows XP preinstalled
If Windows XP was preinstalled on your computer, view the following article before you continue with reinstallation:
312369 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/312369/ ) You may lose data or program settings after reinstalling, repairing, or upgrading Windows XP
Note If Windows XP was preinstalled on your computer, you may not have the Repair option that you may require during the reinstallation process. Contact your computer manufacturer to make sure that you have the installation CD for a repair install.
Windows XP Service Pack 2
If Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) is already installed on your computer, you must reinstall SP2 after you reinstall Windows XP. One way to do this is to combine the SP2 files with the Windows XP files and reinstall them at the same time. Follow the links in this section to try this method.

Note There are also two methods to reinstall SP2 separately after you have reinstalled Windows XP. You can find those two methods in the "After you reinstall Windows XP" section.

Note Service packs are cumulative. Each new service pack contains all the fixes that are included with earlier service packs and any new fixes. You do not have to install an earlier version of a service pack before you install the latest version. For example, you only have to install Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), you do not have to install Windows XP Service Pack 1a (SP1a).
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Reinstall Windows XP
To reinstall Windows XP, try either of the following methods. If the first method does not work, try the second.

Note You may want to disconnect from the Internet during the installation. This helps protect you from malicious users.
Method 1: Start the reinstallation from Windows XP
To reinstall Windows XP by using Windows XP CD, follow these steps:
Start your computer.
Insert the Windows XP CD in your computer's CD drive or DVD drive.
On the Welcome to Windows XP page, click Install Windows XP.
On the Welcome to Windows Setup page, click Upgrade (Recommended) in the Installation Type box (if it is not already selected), and then click Next.
On the License Agreement page, click I accept this agreement, and then click Next.
On the Your Product Key page, type the 25-character product key in the Product key boxes, and then click Next.
On the Get Updated Setup Files page, select the option that you want, and then click Next.
Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to reinstall Windows XP.
If you successfully completed the reinstallation, congratulations. You are almost done. Please continue to the "After you reinstall Windows XP" section to finish.

If you received an error or if the reinstallation did not finish, try method 2.
Method 2: Repair install of Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP CD
Note If Windows XP was preinstalled on your computer, you may need the installation CD to reinstall. Contact your computer manufacturer to make sure that you have the installation CD for a repair installation.

To reinstall Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP CD, follow these steps:
Insert the Windows XP CD into your computer's CD drive or DVD drive, and then restart your computer.
When you receive the "Press any key to boot from CD" message on the screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.
The following message on the Welcome to Setup screen will appear:
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer: To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER. To repair a Windows XP installation by using Recovery Console, press R. To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
Press ENTER to set up Windows XP.
On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.
Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to reinstall Windows XP. After you repair Windows XP, you may have to reactivate your copy of Windows XP. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310064 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310064/ ) How to troubleshoot Windows XP Setup problems when you upgrade from Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition
If you successfully completed the reinstallation, congratulations. You are almost done. Please continue to the "After you reinstall Windows XP" section to finish.

If you received an error or if the reinstallation did not finish, unfortunately, this article did not resolve your problem. For your next steps, you may want to ask someone whom you know for help. Or, you may want to contact Microsoft Support to help you resolve this problem.
Back to the top
After you reinstall Windows XP
After you finish the reinstallation, complete the following final tasks.

Note You may also want to enable the firewall in Internet Explorer. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
283673 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283673/ ) How to turn on or turn off the firewall in Windows XP
Reinstall Windows XP Service Pack 2
If Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) was installed on your computer before you reinstalled Windows XP, you must reinstall SP2. If you did not already reinstall SP2 with the Windows XP in the previous section, use one of the following methods to reinstall SP2 now.
Method 1: Obtain the service pack CD and reinstall the service pack after you reinstall Windows XP
To order Windows Service Pack 2 on CD, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/updates/sp2/cdorder/en_us/default.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/updates/sp2/cdorder/en_us/default.mspx)
Method 2: Download the service pack after you reinstall Windows XP
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:


Col

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Either the following

by pnoykalbo In reply to 3 Choices when starting W ...

Either:
Backup your boot.ini, then edit the file. Remove the defective from the list then save the file.

Or:
Insert the XP installations cd and do a repair on the target c:
1. Boot with XP install CD
2. The XP installation process will locate the previous XP OS installed.
3. Select C then press R for repair.

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OK

by Jacky Howe In reply to 3 Choices when starting W ...

Default=C:\$WIN_NT$.~BT\BOOTSECT.DAT is the remnants of an install that possibly failed. It should look like this.

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS

This is a reference to the second install that you did.

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /noexecute=optin

And this is the reference to your original install.

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

What you should have done was to boot from your XP CD and press the second R to Repair the installation like this.

Press ENTER to set up Windows XP.

On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.

Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.

It should Repair the original installation but you will have to reapply the Service Pack and possibly Re-Activate.

If you are still having a choice of startup options select the Repaired install.

Press the WinKey + Pause/Break, Advanced System Settings, Startup and Recovery, Settings.

When you are in here you can select Edit to open your Boot.ini and remove the other references.

eXample:
Standard
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

Edit: You can remove the second installation by deleting the second Partition and recreating it.

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