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Any way to bypass boot.ini?

By CMB from Omaha ·
Ever have one of those "oh, no!" moments just as you hit "Send" or "Enter"?

I was following directions from HP web site on how to uninstall/reinstall a scanner I'm having trouble with. Without thinking it thru, I followed the directions to change the boot.ini to safe boot/minimal (did this using msconfig). Upon rebooting, of course, I could not log in with any of my user accounts--which all require a domain. (I don't have a local account for the PC, and the default local admin and guest accounts are disabled).

So my question is this: is there a way to restart Windows XP Pro (SP2) and have it bypass the boot.ini file so that it will boot to the network?

I have already tried the old "F8" trick--none of the options (Start Windows normally, safe mode with networking, last known good config, etc.) works--b/c I was dumb enough to actually change the boot.ini vs using the command line interface.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can get me out of trouble with my organization's help desk! They really didn't need this right now.

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by p.j.hutchison In reply to Any way to bypass ...

Boot with the REcovery Console, then run the bootcfg /rebuild command to rebuild the boot.ini file. Reboot again to get Windows to load.

Ideally you should NOT disable the local administrator, rename it yes otherwise its impossible to recover a machine!

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by wcp In reply to Any way to bypass ...

Make a bootable floppy for Windows XP Pro and boot from it. Then make a change in boot.ini.

The best way to make one is from a XP (not from Windows 98 or ME) system.
Boot to Windows XP, format the floppy in FAT and copy the boot files; boot.ini, NTLDR,, and other files if necessary (bootsect.dos or Ntbootdd.sys).

Refer to - How to use System files to create a boot disk to guard against being unable to start Windows XP

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by wcp In reply to

Those files are hidden.
Open Windows Explorer and Tools > Folder Options > View and
check on Show hidden files and folders and uncheck Hide protected operating system files.

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by dmiles In reply to Any way to bypass ...

How to rebuild the Windows boot.ini

Additional information:

Additional information and help with the boot.ini can be found on document CH000492.

Users who have a corrupt or missing boot.ini file, are running Microsoft Windows XP, and have a Microsoft Windows XP CD can rebuild the systems boot.ini file by following the below steps.

Insert the Microsoft Windows XP CD into the computer. Note: If you have a system recovery CD or restore CD these steps will likely not work for your computer.
Reboot the computer with the CD and press any key when prompted to press any key to boot from the CD. If you do not receive this prompt and/or are not able to boot from the CD see document CH000217.
Once in the Microsoft Setup menu press R to open the recovery console.
Select the operating system you wish to use; if you only have Windows XP on the computer you will only have one prompt.
Once prompted for the password enter the Admin password and press enter.
Once at the command prompt type bootcfg /rebuild to start the rebuild process.
The rebuild process will step you through a number of steps depending upon how many operating systems you have on the computer and how the computer is setup. Below is a listing of the common steps you are likely going to encounter.

* Prompt for the identified versions of Windows installed. When you receive this prompt press Y if the bootcfg command properly identified each of the Windows operating systems installed on the computer. It is important to realize this command will only detect Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT installations.

* Prompt to enter the load identifier. This is the name of the operating system for the boot.ini. For example Microsoft Windows XP Home users would enter "Microsoft Windows XP Home edition".

* Prompt to Enter OS load options. When this prompt is received type /fastdetect to automatically detect the available options.

Exit and Reboot

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by CMB from Omaha In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

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by lastchip In reply to Any way to bypass ...


Boot from any live Linux distro - Knoppix springs to mind and modify the boot.ini file to taste.

Simple, but effective.

Also, Barts PE is ideal for just this sort of situation.

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by CMB from Omaha In reply to Any way to bypass ...

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