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Remove a Dual-Booted Windows

Last reviewed: January 2007

A reinstall should not be necessary.
How to remove Win9x from Dual-Boot with XP/2K/NT.
How to remove XP/2K/NT from Dual-Boot with Win9x.
How to remove XP/2K/NT from Dual-Boot with XP/2K/NT.
How to remove XP on same partition as another XP.
How to remove XP/2K/NT on NTFS, and create FAT/32.
How to remove a hard disk from a dual-boot.
How to edit Boot.ini.

Items to consider:
1. The system partition and boot partition.
2. The boot files, especially Boot.ini (on the system partition).
3. The Windows installation folder (on the boot partition).
4. The Programs Files folder (on the boot partition).
Plus, if removing a hard disk:
5. The Primary Master.
6. The Active drive/partition.
7. The location of all required boot files.

Do not use these instructions if using hard disk management software (such as OnTrack Disk Manager or Micro House EZDrive).


PRINCIPLES OF REMOVING A DUAL-BOOT

This page is designed for home PC users. Use this information at your own risk.
No comments on this page refer to NTFS unless specifically stated.

Boot: Under a Win9x/Me + XP/2K/NT dual-boot, boot up control is from the first FAT/32 partition (PC system partition) - nearly always the C: drive. This needs to be:
  Replaced if removing XP/2K/NT and keeping Win9x/Me (SYS.COM is used), or
  Not Replaced if removing Win9x/Me & keeping XP/2K/NT (Boot.ini must be edited).

Boot Files: Boot files for all installed Windows are on the root of the system partition. Many boot files have Hidden, Read-only, and System attributes set. Read Notes #2, below.
  XP/2K/NT has: Boot.ini, Bootsect.dos, Ntldr, Ntdetect.com and perhaps Ntbootdd.sys
  WIN9x/Me has: Io.sys, Msdos.sys, Command.com and probably Autoexec.bat and Config.sys.

Win9x Boot Disk: You'll need the Win9x boot disk in most cases. It will have to contain, at least, Sys.com, and Format.com, Attrib.sys, Deltree.exe.

Windows XP/2000/NT CD or Setup Boot Disks: You'll also need the installation CD, or Setup floppies, in many cases.

Program Files: This folder is on the root of the installation drive (called the OS boot partition).

Windows Folder: All the folder/files of each installed Windows are wherever you installed that Windows (the OS boot partition); typically _:\WINNT for Windows 2000, and usually _:\Windows for Win9x/Me & XP.

Other Folders: XP/2K/NT create other large folders that should also be deleted (but not if the OSs are installed on the same partition).

BOOT.INI - EDIT OR RECREATE

Boot.ini is the Windows XP/2000/NT boot up initialization file (boot menu options).
Boot.ini, and all other boot files, must always be on the root of the system partition. Boot.ini contains the OS boot options.

The Boot.ini file must always be edited to correctly remove a dual-booted Windows. Read below, or go to Edit Boot.ini, to learn how to edit it. It's a Read-only, System, and Hidden, file by default so you may not be aware of it.

To find Boot.ini:
Go to Windows Explorer - Tools - Folder Options - View.
Now tick Show hidden files and folders - and untick hide protected operating system files (Recommended).
Click OK when finished. Boot.ini will now be visible in the root of the system partition (usually C:).

To rebuild boot.ini for Win XP/2K:
Run bootcfg /rebuild from the Recovery Console. Read Bootcfg Command Usage for details.

A typical dual-boot boot.ini file looks like this: (use attrib -r -h -s Boot.ini to edit it)
[boot loader]
timeout=15
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows NT ..."
C:\="Microsoft Windows 98"


Explanation: (Note: The "multi(0)disk( ..." lines do NOT contain a drive letter)
[boot loader] section defines the timeout (in seconds) before the default OS loads.
[operating systems]. Each line specifies an OS to load.
  multi(m)disk(s)rdisk(n)partition(p)\directory="menu text"
  'm' is the number of the IDE channel (counting from 0). A scsi(m) would be for SCSI
  controllers without an enabled BIOS but multi(m) is still used if BIOS is enabled.
  's' is for a SCSI option and identifies which disk on controller contains the OS files (start at 0).
  'n' is the disk number on that channel (counting from 0)
  'p' is the partition number on that hard disk (counting from 1; Primaries first)
  'directory' is the name of the installation directory of that Windows
  'menu text' is just the description of what appears in the Boot Loader menu.
  C:\="Microsoft Windows 9x" This line is vital to boot a Win9x (edit it in if absent).
   The text between the quotes can be anything if it's different from other entries.

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FORMAT A PARTITION

Formatting the System Partition will make Windows Unbootable.

Formatting deletes all files on the formatted partition. You will be prepared for this by backing up any important data, passwords, e-mails, etc.

However, the PC system partition (usually C:) always contains all boot files for every Windows installed! These boot files usually have the Hidden attribute set and they can easily be ignored. Formatting the system partition will delete all boot files and your computer will be unable to boot to any Windows. Reinstalling a Windows will not restore the dual-boot!

This problem is easily overcome by FIRST copying all boot files from root of the PC system partition to a floppy, NOW formatting the partition, and THEN copying the boot files back.

A backup of boot files is best achieved by creating a Rescue Boot Disk. This floppy can also boot your Windows even if the boot sector gets damaged or boot files go missing/damaged.

When Win9x is part of a dual-boot system, the first FAT or FAT32 partition on the first hard disk is the system partition. It will be allocated C:. You will see the boot files on it when the Hidden attributes are Off - read Notes #2 below to Change File Attributes.

Note: The first FAT/32 partition is normally the first partition (partition1). However, if partition1 uses NTFS, then the first FAT/32 partition will be partition2 (but will still be seen as C: by Win9x/DOS as the NTFS partition is ignored).

REMEMBER: Check for the presence of boot files on a partition BEFORE you Format it!

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REMOVE Win9x/Me : KEEP XP/2000

This section has been expanded and moved to it's own page at Remove Win9x/Me from Dual-Boot

Included on that page:

Each Windows on its own Drive

Both Windows on Same Drive

Click here to go there now.

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REMOVE XP/2K/NT : KEEP WIN9x - SAME FAT/32 PARTITION

Remove Win XP/2000/NT & Keep Win9x when Both use the Same FAT/32 Partition.

This describes how to uninstall the Boot Loader menu to remove XP/2K/NT from a dual-boot installation with Windows 95/98/SE/Me when they use the same FAT/32 partition, and leave Win9x/Me as the bootable OS.

The following steps apply only to computers in which the bootable drive (C:), and all other drives, use the FAT or FAT32 file system, and the bootable drive contains the Win9x boot files (the hidden Io.sys, Msdos.sys; plus Command.com and, maybe, Autoexec & Config).

Uninstall XP/2000/NT from a Dual-Boot with Win9x (same FAT/32 partition):

1. Uninstall all XP/2K/NT software. Backup critical data. Verify that the PC does not have a virus.

2. Use the Win9x boot disk to boot up the computer.
    At the A:\> prompt, type - and the press [Enter]
    SYS C:
The Sys command transfers the boot files to drive C and copies the boot sector. You should see a System transferred message. All future reboots will start the Win9x/Me. Reboot now.

3. Now delete these (some Hidden) boot files from the root folder: C:\Boot.ini, Bootsect.dos, hiberfil.sys, ntbootdd.sys, Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, Pagefile.sys (not all are always present).

4. Finally, delete the Windows XP/2000/NT installation folder (typically \Winnt). Do not Format the C: partition (it's the PC system partition, and contains the Win9x boot files and Win9x folder/files!).

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REMOVE XP/2K/NT : KEEP WIN9x - DIFFERENT FAT/32 PARTITIONS

Remove Win XP/2000/NT & Keep Win9x when Both use Different FAT/32 Partitions.

This describes how to remove the Boot Loader to remove XP/2K/NT from a dual-boot installation with Windows 95/98/SE/Me when they use different FAT/32 partitions, and leave Win9x as the bootable OS.

The following steps apply only to computers in which the bootable drive (drive C:), and all other drives, use the FAT/32 file system, and the bootable drive contains the Win9x boot files (the hidden Io.sys and Msdos.sys, Command.com, and, maybe, Autoexec.bat & Config.sys).

Uninstall XP/2000/NT from a Dual-Boot with Win 9x (different FAT/32 partitions):

  1. Backup critical data from the XP/2K/NT drive. Verify that the PC does not have a virus.
  2. Use the Win9x boot disk to boot up the computer.
        At the A:\> prompt, type - and the press [Enter]
        SYS C:
    The Sys command transfers the boot files to drive C and copies the boot sector. You should see a System transferred message. All future reboots will start the Win9x/Me. Reboot now.
  3. Now delete these (some Hidden) boot files from the root folder: C:\Boot.ini, Bootsect.dos, hiberfil.sys, ntbootdd.sys, Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, Pagefile.sys (not all are always present).
  4. You can now reclaim hard disk space used by the removed Windows - but exercise some caution.
    • If the Windows XP, 2000 or NT WAS installed on the C: drive (the first partition) you can delete its installation folder, plus Documents and Settings and Program Files folders.
    • If the Windows XP, 2000 or NT WAS NOT installed on the C: drive (not on the first partition) you can now Format the WinXP/2000/NT partition (preferably) or just delete its folders/files.

Caution: Do not Format the C: drive (it's the PC system partition and contains the Windows 9x/Me boot files!).

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REMOVE XP/2K/NT (NTFS) : KEEP WIN9x (FAT/32)

Remove Win XP/2000/NT & Keep Win9x/Me when both FAT/32 & NTFS are Used.

Method #1: If first partition on disk0 uses FAT or FAT32
(no change of Win9x drive letters - no reinstall required - partition utility is NOT required)
If the NTFS partition(s) comes after the FAT/32 partitions, use the method described above in Remove XP/. FAT #2. When finished, the NTFS partition can be converted to FAT/32.

Method #2: If first partition on disk0 uses NTFS
(no change of Win9x drive letters - no reinstall required - partition utility IS required)
This is a problematic because multiple Primary partitions exist. Also Win9x drive letters will change if the NTFS partition is converted to FAT/32. THPC always uses PartitionMagic, version 5 or later, to easily overcome these problems.

Uninstall XP/2K/NT (NTFS on partition1) from Dual-Boot with Win 9x
1. Save all appropriate data, settings, passwords, e-mail addresses, etc.
    - Uninstall all XP/2K/NT-specific software installed on FAT/32 partitions.
2. Boot up with PartitionMagic floppy disk(s) or a similar NTFS-capable partitioning utility.
    - Select the NTFS partition and click Delete in Operations.
    - Now select the first FAT/32 partition and Resize it (to maximum).
    - Then click Apply to execute both operations.
3. Reboot with your Win9x boot disk inserted.
    - At the A:> prompt, type in (and press [Enter])
      SYS C:
4. Remove floppy, and reboot. Win9x boots normally. FAT/32 drive letters are unchanged.
5. Optionally, delete these (some Hidden) XP/2K boot files from the root drive: C:\Boot.ini, Bootsect.dos, Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, and maybe Ntbootdd.sys.

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REMOVE A XP/2K/NT : KEEP OTHER XP/2K/NT

Remove a XP/2K/NT and keep a different XP/2K/NT (both using same file system on different partitions).

To remove Win #2 we just make Win #1 the Default OS. Then edit Boot.ini to remove the Win #2 line. Win #1 will now boot directly. The Win #2 directory can then be deleted.

Do not use System or Msconfig to disable the Win #2 - that's unsatisfactory.

Example: Remove 2K and keep XP (same file system): (other combinations are similar)

Tip: Boot 2K. Uninstall any 2K-only applications/software. Backup important 2K data.
Tip: Create a 'temporary' Rescue Boot Disk for your current situation (1 floppy disk).

1. Boot XP.
    - Make XP the Default OS: (Control Panel > System > Advanced tab
   > Startup and Recovery > Settings > "Default operating system" list in System startup).
2. Edit Boot.ini on the system partition (usually C:) - read Edit Boot.ini #1 below.
    - Confirm the Default= line points to your XP installation, and NOT to 2K.
    - Delete the 2K line in [operating systems] [multi(0 - it will be obvious which is for 2K].
    - Save as Boot.INI
    - Click OK until exited. Reboot.
3. If satisfied, delete the 2K installation directory (usually \WINNT) and any non-essential 2K data.
4. When all is satisfactory, create a new Rescue Boot Disk to reflect your new situation.

Warning: DO NOT format the drive containing Boot.ini (but read Format ? above).

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REMOVE A WINDOWS XP WHEN WINDOWS XPs SHARE ONE PARTITION

How to remove one Windows XP when two or more Windows XPs are installed on the same partition.

It's vital to accurately identify two items that relate to the XP you wish to REMOVE:
a The name of its installation folder/directory (we will remove that folder).
b Which is its line in the boot file Boot.ini (we will remove that line).

  1. Optionally first create, and test, a Rescue Boot Disk for your current situation (1 floppy disk).
    Skip the next section if you cannot boot to the Windows XP to be REMOVED
    (though you should try editing Boot.ini to make it bootable!).
  2. Boot to the Windows XP you wish to REMOVE.
    and note its position in the Boot Menu during bootup.
    Uninstall any software/applications that are specific to only this Windows XP.
    Now go to Start > RUN. Type in (and then press OK).
    CMD
    Type in, and then press [Enter]
    %windir%
    You will see the name of the Windows folder you are using and you wish to REMOVE
    (if it's not visible, click View, Toolbars, and select Address Bar).
    Note that name and then exit the Command Prompt.
  3. Boot to a Windows XP you wish to KEEP
    and note its position in the Boot Menu during bootup.
    Make sure this Windows is the Default option in the Boot Menu
    (the Windows to be removed MUST NOT be the Default in the Boot Menu).
    Now go to Start > RUN. Type in (and then press OK).
    CMD
    Type in, and then press [Enter]
    %windir%
    You will see the name of the Windows folder you are using and you wish to KEEP.
    (if it's not visible, click View, Toolbars, and select Address Bar).
    Note that name and then exit the Command Prompt.
  4. Backup Boot.ini (it's a Hidden file, usually on drive C:).
    Now edit Boot.ini (see also on this page) and remove the line referring to the XP installation you wish to REMOVE
    - the order in Boot.ini is the same as you see in the Boot Menu and you also now know the name of the Windows XP folder(s) you wish to keep.
  5. Reboot.
    Make sure you boot directly to a Windows XP you wish to KEEP.
    If that XP does not boot, restore your backup of Boot.ini, and start at step 3 again.
  6. Use Windows Explorer to identify the Windows folder you wish to REMOVE
    and then RENAME the Windows folder you wish to REMOVE
    (right-click on the correct folder/directory and click Rename, and then rename it).
    Test all the software and applications you wished to keep.
    If you are not happy with the situation, return the original name to the renamed folder and also restore the original Boot.ini, and then start at step 3 again.
  7. If all is satisfactory, DELETE the RENAMED Windows folder - that's the Windows XP to be REMOVED.

Caution: DO NOT delete ANY boot files.
Caution: DO NOT interfere with the 'Documents and Settings', or 'Program Files', or any other folders except the Windows XP folder to be removed.

Advise: You can now recreate the Rescue Boot Disk to reflect your new situation.

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REMOVE NTFS #1: REPLACE WITH FAT/FAT32

How to totally remove XP/2000/NT on a NTFS system (not dual-booted) so a FAT/FAT32 Windows, or MS-DOS, can be installed (alone, on a newly created FAT/FAT32 partition).
Caution: All data on the NTFS drive(s) will be destroyed.

Uninstall XP/2000/NT using NTFS, and install a FAT/32 Windows instead:
1. Backup all appropriate data, passwords, e-mail addresses, etc.
2. Boot up with the XP/2K/NT CD inserted (or use the Setup boot disks).
    - Select new installation when asked to install or repair XP/2K/NT.
    - Remove the XP/2K/NT NTFS when Setup asks you to select a partition,
    - Create a new partition in its place.
    - Exit the Setup program (F3) without installing.
3. Boot up again with the XP/2K/NT CD (or use the Setup boot disks).
    - Press R to enter the Recovery Console.
    - Type in MAP and identify the new partition.
    - Type in (where x is drive letter of new partition, and fat32 is for FAT32)
      format x : /fs:fat32
4. Boot up with Win9x boot disk inserted, and type in (press [Enter] after each line)
    FDISK /MBR
    SYS C:
  . Also use Fdisk (option 2) to ensure the C: partition is marked Active.
5. A Windows using FAT32 can now be installed in the standard manner.

Uninstall XP Upgrade.
To uninstall an XP upgrade, use Add/Remove in Control Panel,
or read MS's "How to Manually Start the Uninstall Process to Remove Windows XP" Q312569
or: "How to Manually Remove Windows XP and Restore Windows 95, 98, or Millennium" Q314052

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REMOVE NTFS #2: Bootable Primary

Removing a Primary bootable NTFS Partition.

You may experience problems if trying to remove or alter a primary, bootable, NTFS partition. MS-DOS versions 5.0 and 6.0 do not recognize an NTFS partition, and Fdisk may report incorrectly. However, you have a variety of options.

XP/2K/NT Installation CD or Setup Disks:
Boot up with the Windows NT CD or Setup Disks. Select new installation. When prompted, press P to delete the partition, and then create a new partition. Then exit without installing. Now, optionally, format the new partition as FAT or FAT32 from the Recovery Console, using
format x : /fs:fat32
where x is the letter of the drive you want to format and :fat32 is the file system you want (or use :fat or :NTFS). You can first type MAP (and press [Enter]) to help identify the drive letter.

Delpart:
Use the Delpart tool (Delpart.exe) to delete the NTFS partition. The Delpart tool was included with the Windows NT 3.1 Resource Kit only. You can download Delpart.exe from here (124 KB, freeware).

MS-DOS 6 Installation:
Boot MS-DOS version 6 from a floppy disk and press RETURN to continue installing MS-DOS 6. When you are prompted to do so, choose Remove Files.

OS/2 Floppy:
Boot OS/2 version 1.x from a floppy disk and run its Fdisk program. To remove the partition, specify the /D option.

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REMOVE 1st HARD DISK

Remove the first hard disk (Primary Master) and still boot XP/2K/NT installed on second disk:

Read Replace the first Hard Disk if you wish to replace the first hard disk instead of removing it from your system.

The current 2nd hard disk will become the Primary Master (with an Active drive C:).

If the 2nd disk does not have a Primary partition, you must (a) reinstall new, or (b) retain the current configuration (though you can backup all boot files and important data from 1st disk, clean that disk, restore the boot files/data, and then use Fixboot to restore the XP/2K/NT boot).

The following indicates of the type of action that will work. Please adjust according to need.

Example: Remove first hard disk when XP/2K/NT is on 2nd hard disk

Win98SE is on C: (1st hard disk, - Primary, Active, system partition on Primary Master disk)
XP/2K/NT is on D: (2nd hard disk - Primary partition on Secondary Master or a Slave)

Tip: Create this Rescue Boot Disk - it's your failsafe!
1. Boot XP.
    - Make XP the Default OS: (Control Panel > System > Advanced tab > Startup and Recovery
      > Settings > "Default operating system" list in System startup).
    - You are strongly advised to remove any SPs that are later than those on your installation CD.
      Otherwise you may not be able to run a Repair of XP!
    - Copy the hidden files NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM from the root of C: to the root of D:
      (this is precautionary - those two files are also in the \i386 folder on XP's CD).
2. Shut down. Open the computer box.
    - Remove 1st hard disk.
    - Set 2nd hard disk as Primary Master.
3. Cold boot with Win9x boot disk inserted.
    - Type fdisk and press [Enter].
    - Press 2 and make the new C: partition Active.
4. Reboot entering the Setup / BIOS / CMOS (press DEL, or F1, or ..., early in boot up).
    - Make sure the boot order has CDROM before the hard disk (IDE0).
5. Remove the floppy, and boot with the XP CD inserted,
    - Press [Enter] to install. Do NOT press R yet (that opens the Recovery Console).
    - Accept the License Agreement,
    - Now press R to Repair XP (it will feel like a reinstall)
      (Note: Exit setup immediately if the Repair option is not available).

All your data, and previous settings, should be intact. Reinstallation of SP1/SP2, XP updates, and some software is likely to be necessary.

This method was tested just twice by THPC using XP with SP1. Only a minimum of software had first been installed on either occasion. All settings, passwords, preferences, etc were retained. ZoneAlarm (firewall) and AVG (anti-virus) and some other software had been installed and all ran normally after the repair. Office or similar software had not been installed.

Nothing is ever certain, so BACKUP vital data, passwords, etc. BEFORE YOU START.

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REMOVE 2nd HARD DISK

Remove a Second Hard Disk when dual-booted Win9x + XP/2K/NT:

This assumes the 1st hard disk is the Primary Master with an Active C: drive (PC system partition), and this 1st disk contains Win9x (or Win9x + XP/2K/NT) we wish to retain. We wish to eliminate a dual- or multi-boot with any Windows on the 2nd hard disk.

Caution: Win9x folders must be on C: because removing 2nd disk alters other drive letters.

#1 If 1st hard disk contains ONLY a Win9x:

1. Boot with a Win9x boot disk inserted. Type in - press [Enter] after each line
      FDISK /MBR
      SYS C:
    - (note the space before the /MBR and before the C:). Now Reboot (remove floppy first!).
2. Remove the 2nd hard disk, or Fdisk/Format it.
3. Delete the XP/2K/NT boot files - C:\Boot.ini, NTLDR, Ntdetect.com, Bootsect.dos.

#2 If 1st hard disk contains a Win9x + XP/2K/NT:

1. Boot XP. Make Win9x the Default OS: (Control Panel > System > Advanced tab
      > Startup and Recovery > Settings > "Default operating system" list in System startup).
2. Backup, then Edit C:\Boot.ini (Read Edit Boot #1 below)
    - Remove the lines that refer to any Windows on the 2nd disk - lines with rdisk(1).
    - Save Boot.ini.
3. Remove the 2nd hard disk, or Fdisk/Format it.

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EDIT BOOT.INI #1

How to Edit the boot file Boot.ini in XP Home and XP Pro.
Windows (specifically Ntldr) uses the Boot.ini file to determine the operating system options to display during the startup (boot) process. Boot.ini is a Read-only, Hidden, System file (Attributes +r +h +s) on the root of the system (boot) partition (usually C:).

Making changes (all methods) - read Edit Boot.ini in Windows or MS-DOS.
Never edit Boot.ini until you have created a backup first.
Always Create this Rescue Boot Disk for your current situation (1 floppy disk).
If there's a problem (typing error!), rename the backup to Boot.ini (from Windows or DOS).

BOOT.INI
[boot loader]
 • If only one OS will remain, TIMEOUT= is ignored.
 • Confirm that the Default= line points to the correct Windows installation.
[operating systems]
 • Delete (or edit) the XP/2K/NT line that's not correct.
 • If removing Win9x/Me, delete the line [C:\="Microsoft Windows 9x"].

Method 1: Edit from Windows XP/2K
1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
    -or- Use Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > System
2. Click Advanced tab > Startup and Recovery > Settings >System Startup.
    Click Edit. This opens the Boot.ini in Notepad ready for editing.
3. Always backup Boot.ini first. Go to Menu bar > File > Save As.
    Name any safe folder, and save Boot.ini as Boot.inn (or a similar name).
    Note: If you now edit Boot.INN, remember to Save it as Boot.INI.


EDIT BOOT.INI #2

Method 2: Edit Boot.ini from XP/2K CONSOLE
1. Boot XP. Go to Start > Run. Type in - press [Enter] after each line
       CMD
       CD\
       attrib -r -s -h c:\boot.ini
       copy c:\boot.ini c:\boot.inn
       notepad boot.ini
3. Edit/Delete the appropriate line (use Arrow keys and Del/Backspace).
4. On the Menu bar, click File and Save As Boot.ini. Exit Notepad.
5. Type in attrib +r +s +h c:\boot.ini
6. Close the Command box. Reboot.
If Boot.ini is not found on C:, use DIR ?: /A/O/P to locate the correct drive letter (?).

Method 3: Edit Boot.ini from MS-DOS (Win9x Boot Disk)
1. Boot up with a Windows 9x/Me boot disk.
2. Type in - press [Enter] after each line:
       attrib -r -s -h c:\boot.ini
       copy c:\boot.ini c:\boot.inn
       edit c:\boot.ini
3. Edit/Delete the appropriate line (use Arrow keys and Del/Backspace).
    Be sure you do not delete any part of any other line!
4. Press ALT-F-X, and press Y to Save Boot.ini
5. Finally, type in (and then reboot)
       attrib +r +s +h c:\boot.ini

Method 4: Alter Boot.ini with Bootcfg. Read the BOOTCFG COMMAND USAGE page.

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NOTES 1

Boot Process:
Start PC > Bootstrap > POST > BIOS > First sector (MBR) > Active partition > Boot sector gains control [> NTLDR > Boot.ini > Boot loader menu] > Boot files control > Load that Windows.

SYS C: & Win9x/Me Boot Disk:
When SYS C: is run from the floppy drive (A:) in true/real MS-DOS, it creates a Win9x C: boot sector, and copies the core Win9x/Me system boot files to the C: drive. These are Command.com, Io.sys, Msdos.sys (and also Drvspace.bin). On reboot, the Win9x boot sector will locate these Win9x boot files on the root of C:, load IO.sys into RAM, and read MS-DOS.sys. Those boot files contain the location of the Win9x, and that Win9x will now be loaded into RAM and then run.

XP/2000/NT CD and Setup Boot Disks:
A damaged XP/2K/NT boot sector can normally be repaired/replaced with the XP/2K/NT installation CD or Setup boots disks made at the time of installation. Furthermore, the boot menu options can be altered by editing C:\Boot.ini.

FAT, FAT32, & NTFS PITFALLS:
The bootable drive (system partition C:) must be FAT or FAT32 in a dual-boot involving Win9x/Me.
The Win9x/Me system drive (C:) AND installation drive (if different) must be FAT or FAT32.
Win XP & 2000 can use NTFS, FAT16 and FAT32.
Win NT can use NTFS and FAT16. NT can not access FAT32.
Win Me, SE, 98, 95OSR2+ can use FAT16 & FAT32 - they can not access any NTFS.
Win 95 & 95a(OSR1) can use only FAT16 - they can not access FAT32 or any NTFS.
Win NT uses a different NTFS from XP/2000 unless updated with Service Pack 6a.


NOTES 2

Active: Only one active partition can exist, but four primary partitions can be recognized.
However, a Win9x does not like more than one Primary partition per hard disk!

Identify Which File System is being Used:
Double-click My Computer on the desktop.
Right-click the disk you want, and then click Properties.
Look for the File System entry.

View File Attributes:
Double-click My Computer on the desktop.
Click Options on the View menu. Now click Show All Files.
To view file name extensions, click the Hide MS-DOS extensions for file types that are registered check box to clear it. Click OK.
Right-click a file in Explorer, and click Properties, to view & alter its Attributes (not System - that must be changed from DOS;   attrib -r -h -s msdos.sys).

Change File Attributes:
In Windows Explorer, click Folder Options on the View menu.
On the View tab, click Show All Files , and then click OK.
In Explorer, right-click the target file, and then click Properties.
Click to clear the Read-Only and Hidden check boxes if checked, and then click OK.
The System attribute must be changed from DOS (attrib -r -h -s c:\msdos.sys).
Restore File Attributes (example):
Open a DOS Prompt, and type (then press Enter):
attrib +r +h +s C:\boot.ini
using only attributes identified and changed earlier. Replace + with - to remove attributes.

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

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