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Bootup Problems

By ultima424 ·
I have a machine that when you boot it up it asks which OS you want to boot up into, and the choices are two Windows XP Profesional. The first one on the list works fine, but if you go to the second one it says that it can't find the boot disk or drive. I have looked and there aren't any other partitions, and I would like to know how to get the second one off of the list so that it will automatically go into the working one.

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Need more info.

by deepsand In reply to Bootup Problems

For starters:

1) How did you check for multiple partitions?

2) Was there ever more than 1 partition on the hard drive?

3) If so, what were they? And, how was the partitioning changed?

4) Is this problem new?

5) If not, what was the last thing installed/changed before the problem arose.

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Ok I have seen this a number of times

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Bootup Problems

it happens when there has been a problem with the installation and XP has been reinstalled without a format of the disk. You can fix this simply by going

My Computer -- C drive (assuming that is the boot drive) -- and then highlight and right click the file 'boot.ini' select 'Open with' and then open with Notepad. delete the lines of text below the bit that should look something like this

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

your system should have two such entries and you need only the top one.

click on 'File', 'Save' and close. This should remove the second selection option from the menu and just go straight in

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kinda risky sir

by dawgit In reply to Ok I have seen this a num ...

yes, one could do that, I'm not saying you're wrong (you're not) but,..... if (fill in just about anything here) the sys will be disabled (maybe forever). I do believe I'd want more info first, to get to the why it started to do that. But good info. (really, I need to remember it, somehow) :-)

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Ok a bit more info as requested

by Deadly Ernest In reply to kinda risky sir

When you install an operating system it creates a 'boot loader' file to tell the computer where to find the operating system. In the days of DOS this was called 'autoexec.bat' in today's Windows systems it is called 'boot.ini' - ini stands for initiation file. When you load another operating system onto that computer it expands the boot.ini to include information for both systems.

If the current operating system has been rebuilt without removing that file you will have a second entry for XP, ditto if you started to install and stopped it.

You can either correct the file, as I previously suggested or you can set the system to NOT display the list. This can be done by:

My Computer -- Control Panel -- System -- click on the bottom right hand tab called 'Advanced' -- go to the bottom section called 'Startup and Recovery' and click on the button 'Settings' -- the first 'check box' (a little square with a tick in it' is called 'Time to display list of operating systems' -- simply click on the tick to make it go away -- then click OK and back out clicking OK.

This will stop the list from displaying. You could also use the 'Edit' function there to change the file as I suggested in the first place.

Now let us examine the file itself, here is a copy of mine:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

The first line is the description of what the file is.
Second line is the length of time set to display the OS list before automatically starting the default operating system (OS) - if there is only one OS it will usually ignore this line.
Third line is the details of the location of the default OS
Fourth line is the details of the first OS listed.
Fifth and other lines would be similar to line four and have the details of the other loaded operating systems.

I am not sure of what all of it means but the 'disk(0)' bit means the first hard disk found - ie the boot hard drive. 'partition(1)' means the first partition on that disk. '\WINDOWS' means the type of operating system that it is followed by the name of that system after the = you could change the info between the " " and it would make no difference as this is just a name tag. Not sure, from memory, of what the last bits mean but they relate to instructions on how to open the OS.

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I ment...

by dawgit In reply to Ok a bit more info as req ...

from ultema but that was good, maybe from that he / she can (should be) able to figure it out. Good info though. (Thanks for it too) -d

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No risk if you stick to the basics

by pennatomcat In reply to kinda risky sir

Basically, boot.ini exists to allow alternatives to the default boot settings. (It's great for managing multiple operating systems). Since it's little more than a menu, I suspect that XP will boot without an existing boot.ini.

Start by adding your proposed settings to the originals. If your new setting doesn't work, simply select the menu choice that loads the old settings.

If you follow some simple basic rules, you won't get into trouble:

Make a copy of boot.ini and name it something like boot.bak; you can quickly restore the original if your mods don't work well.

Have an alternate means of booting the computer on floppy or cd in case Windows doesn't boot.

Make sure that you have a current, reliable backup before you tamper with the system files.

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Here's a copy of my boot.ini. If you copy and

by pennatomcat In reply to No risk if you stick to t ...

paste this text (or Deadly's example) into a text file and save it as boot.ini, you should be good to go unless you have a very unusual setup:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]

To be on the safe side, follow the precautions outlined in my previous post.

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His point was not that the technique is inherently risky, but ...

by deepsand In reply to No risk if you stick to t ...

that, without knowing more about the problem, and its source, it may be an inappropriate solution.

Oddly enough, we're not getting any response to our request for more info..

I'm used to such in the Q&A forum, which is where this properly belongs, so I guess that it should come as no surprise to me that we see the same behavior here.

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Thank you..

by dawgit In reply to His point was not that th ...

I thought maybe I had been speaking Greek instead of Geek. I nice to see some one understood the 'Who' I had been talking about. -d

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It seemed crystal clear to me.

by deepsand In reply to Thank you..

But, that may be because I also raised the same issues, whereas Deadly's post suggests that he may have either not considered the issues we raised or had dismissed them as inconsequential.

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