Boot.ini problem

By Namphonny
Nov 14, 2009
  1. I messed up big time when I installed another copy of XP. I normally just go to the boot.ini file and delete the unwanted version. This time there is a default OS option in the boot menu and it is selected on start up so that I have to scroll up. The problem is that I deleted the default from the boot.ini but that does not make any difference. Can anyone help me to get rid of the default option in the boot menu? The boot.ini file shows only the Windows(1) version.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    It must show two versions for you to "scroll up" to your one ;)

    How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP

    Please follow all steps in that link
  3. Namphonny

    Namphonny TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thx, but I am afraid not. This is the boot.ini file:

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

    But at the boot menu on start up there is an extra line "default operating system" and it is highlighted by default. If I just leave it the screen just goes blank ie there is not actually an OS there to load, so I have to wait for it and scroll up every time. I cannot understand where the extral line is coming from since it is not in the boot.ini file.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524


    Re-write the Boot.ini file. Actually here yours is:
    Delete yours fully, and put the new one in

    I can only think that something is hidden, OR you are not looking at the right Boot.ini file (even though there's only one)
  5. Namphonny

    Namphonny TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK. I did exactly as you said except that I saved the old boot.ini as boot.BAK, and then saved the new one as boot.ini.

    No difference!

    I have found one small possible clue but don't know enough to make use of it. If you start msconfig and go to the general tab, at the bottom is an option to use either the Original boot.ini or a modified one. This seems to imply that there is another one somewhere. I tried switching from one to the other but then found that it was greyed out. Fortunately I created a restore point first so am now back to where I was before.
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    You did very well to have a restore point to go back to. A drive image would be even better. I would suggest booting off an XP install CD and choosing recovery console option to run 'fixboot;'
  7. SimonPublic

    SimonPublic TS Rookie

    Same problem

    Hi there,
    I have exactly the same problem (so your not going crazy - its not "impossible" lol)
    Two entries on startup - but only one in the boot.ini file.

    I have 2 sata drives.
    Running xp x64. Fresh install a few weeks ago and everything was fine.
    After installing a program this problem started (but I cant remember which proggie!!!!)
    It was either HP USB disk storage format tool or PC wizard 2009.

    Fixboot did not work or me.

    I was going to repartition drive to install vista as a dual boot system. I am hoping that the boot and mbrs will be rewritten and the problem may go away.
    I have also tried easybcd, but that was no help either.

    I am wondering if there is a hidden boot.ini file somewhere, but i cant find one.

    Did you find a solution?
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,156   +598

    the only boot.ini that will get read is in the ROOT folder of and partition, eg



    verify your BIOS is reading ONLY from the HD of your choice
  9. SimonPublic

    SimonPublic TS Rookie

    Can only find one boot.ini on c drive.
    Not showing onywhere on d drive (even with hidden folders, etc showing).

    boot.ini only lists one os, but I am presented with 2 on startup.

    weird huh!!
  10. Namphonny

    Namphonny TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I have not fixed the problem but have found that there is another boot.ini file in a folder in Windows called Pss. It is a backup file. Unfortunately, it is an exact replica of the one that I have on the C drive so it doesn't help.

    It is maddening not to know how Windows is getting that extra line onto the boot menu but I am afraid that I am close to reformatting and reinstalling Windows so I shall probably never know now!
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