Original Windows XP system disk booting failure due to invalid "boot.ini" file

My "original" Windows XP system disk will not boot because the boot.ini file is incorrect.  I know that if I can simply delete this "boot.ini" file, that the "original" system disk will boot okay.  I have a second disk with a "new" Windows XP system installed.  I have made the "new" system disk the first one the IDE controller sees, and have hooked-up the "original" system disk on the second connector.  The "new" system boots fine, and Disk Manager sees the "original" disk, but I cannot seem to gain access to the "original" disk.  All Disk Manager will let me do to it is create a new partition.
Does anyone in this fine community know how I can get to the mis-behaving "boot.ini" file on the "original" disk, and delete it?
Thanks! Phill.

 

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Last updated August 12, 2018 Views 1,476 Applies to:

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put the original disk back up front, burn a cd with hiren's boot cd and from the Hiren's desktop edit the boot.ini

 

Courtesy of Jose Ibarra:

Anywho, to make a Hiren's boot CD, do this:

I am going to recommend you use Hiren's boot CD (it will also go on a USB drive).

This is good for you because it has many more tools on it that on the XP Recovery Console CD, does not care about your Administrator passwords and you will not have to futz around in your BIOS if any afflicted system has SATA drives - Hiren's can deal with that.

You will have a whole bunch of cool tools that you don't have in the XP Recovery Console...  a registry editor, password resetter, and a desktop that looks like Windows XP so you will feel comfortable maneuvering.

You can also easily copy your personal data (documents, images, music.) to an external drive.

From a working system, first download Hiren's Boot CD from here (it is a substantial download but worth it):

http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/    (look near the bottom of the page, do not click on any ads).


Unzip the Hiren's to some folder where you can find it.  There is a Hiren's.BootCD..iso in there that you are going to need next.

Hiren's has instructions to make a bootable USB that you can use, but it requires you to first burn the .iso to a CD and some other steps, so I suggest another way...

Download RUFUS 1.20 from here (read some stuff on the page so you can know more about it):

http://rufus.akeo.ie/

I will caution you to be careful that you don't accidentally format any of your hard drives - be sure your USB stick is in and know what the drive letter is!  This part always makes me a little nervous, so be careful.

Launch RUFUS and all the defaults should be okay, for the Device, choose your USB drive letter, Quick format, FAT32, label it if you want to and in the Format options box, click the little icon that looks like a CD and a window will open.  Navigate that dialogue to point to the folder that contains the Hiren's.BootCD.15.iso that you unzipped earlier and the box should change to say ISO image (RUFUS understands the Hiren's ISO file).

Double check you have the right Device selected in the top (NOT you HDD) Click Start, acknowledge the warning and let it finish (it will take a little while) as it copies the files.   The Hiren's ISO is also good size.

When RUFUS is done, it will say 'DONE' in the bottom.

Put the USB stick in the afflicted machine and reset/reboot and press whatever key you need to press to get to a boot menu where you can select the USB as the first boot device (that is F11 for me).  If you don't see a boot menu choice, you will have to adjust your BIOS to boot from the USB first instead of the HDD.

When the Hiren's menu comes up, choose the Mini XP Mode and it will start loading (slowly from a USB drive) and eventually you should see a Windowsy looking desktop.  You should recognize that part and feel comfortable, but it is not your desktop - it is the Hiren's desktop!

Remember:  You did not boot on your hard disk - you booted into the Hiren's desktop

 

 

http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd-on-usb-disk

Hiren’s for flash drive

------------------------------------------

 

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

How to edit boot.ini

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184

Invalid boot.ini

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-system/if-my-computer-wont-boot-how-can-i-fix-haldll/76b716c0-7f8e-4cf9-8f0d-8f84d4ee047a

Rebuild boot. Ini   second reply by Daavee

 

read all the above links

Dell Dimension 3000, Firefox, WinXP Pro/Sp3, 360 TSE by Qiho, MBAM

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Thank you Elizabeth23!

{And thank you Jose Ibarra!}

I guess it makes sense that one Windows XP system will not recognize another Windows XP
  system.  It seems that if one had the same installed program on both systems, and ran the
  program on the non-booted system, then things (such as the registry) could get damaged.

Does this assumption sound correct?

Thanks for your help!  I got to, and edited, the "boot.ini" file, and now have two properly working
  system disks.

Next question, if I may?  How may I now create a multi-boot system, using two
  Windows XP Pro. (SP3) operating systems, so I may choose which system to use?
  With this capability, and could have a system that is used for Internet access and email,
  playing-around, etc., and have a second development system isolated from the Internet.
  That would be cool!


Thanks!!

Phill.

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Oops!  Last message - please replace string ", and could have a system" with ", I could have a system".
Thanks!

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http://www.simplyguides.net/guides/dual_boot_xp_and_xp/dual_boot_xp_and_xp1.shtml

 

I searched Google for this, but I have never dual booted so read very carefully. :)

Dell Dimension 3000, Firefox, WinXP Pro/Sp3, 360 TSE by Qiho, MBAM

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Thanks Elizabeth23!

 

This article suggests that one build two Windows XP systems from scratch.

 

In my situation, they are already built, and exist on two separates disks.  I have an old

  Gateway computer (bought it in October of 2001).  The motherboard has two IDE/EIDE

  controller connections which will support four devices.  I have them populated with one

  Windows XP system disk (200GB), a data disk (120GB), a CD-ROM, and a DVD-R device.

 

My other Windows XP system disk (80GB) is connected to an IDE PCI controller card

  (a WinXP Promise Ultra100 TX2 (tm) IDE Controller), which uses a SCSI interface to the

  disk.

 

So I am thinking that I may be able to add a line in the "boot.ini" file that reads something

  like :

  scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(0)\WINNT"Second XP System" /fastdetect

 

But I am chicken at this point to try it until I have a disk-image backup of everything!

 

Thanks again!  Phill.

 

 

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Are both disks on the same IDE cable?  When booting with the new Windows XP disk Make sure that the jumper on the second IDE disk (the original Windows XP disk) is properly set for the new Master/Slave disk relationship, or leave it as a Master but connect it by itself on the second IDE controller.

John
Programmers are either not taught about Occam's razor or they forgot about it the following day.

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Is this second disk a replacement disk or is it a secondary disk, concurrently attached to the motherboard? Are these SATA or IDE disks? If both disk drives are attached and if they are IDE, which one is master?

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Hi John!  Thanks for responding!

One system disk (one with Windows XP Pro. SP3) is on an IDE cable coming from the motherboard.
  It has the CS (cable-select) setting, is at the end of the cable, and is recognized as the first
  device on the cable.  On this cable, also, is a "data" disk (a dynamic disk) that has no bootable-OS
  on it.

The other system disk (also having Windows XP Pro. SP3 on it) is on an IDE cable connected to
  a Promise Technology, Inc. "Ultra100 TX2" Ultra ATA/100 Controller for 66Mhz PCI.  This card is
  in one of the PCI slots on the motherboard - I didn't really research the interrupt vectors used by
  that particular PCI slot.  This other system disk is at the end of the IDE cable, has a CS setting,
  and is recognized as the first device.  There are no other devices connected to this controller card.

The system disk on the IDE cable coming from the motherboard is the one that boots automatically.
  Windows XP sees that there is a disk connected to the controller card, but that is it.  The only option
  I am given in the Disk Manager is "Delete Partition" (really nice of XP to offer that :).

Apparently Windows XP sees the PCI controller card as a SCSI device.  I wonder if I just
  add another line at the end of the "boot.ini" file, making it the second under
  "[operating systems]", that says something like:

scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Secondary Windows XP" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

  if it will work.  I cannot image this hurting anything; it seems the worst case is that the computer
  will hang if I select this booting option (if even presented).  Recycling the computer, if it hangs,
  one would think that one could select the first OS listed, and all would be fine.

But, I am too chicken to try this at this point ;-}   [Murphy does not like me recently]

Thanks!

Phill.

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Thanks, Daavee, for responding!

Please see response above (or I hope it ends up "above").

Thanks!  Phill.

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All three disks are IDE/EIDE/ATA - I don't know which acronym to use.  They are all Western Digital
  drives, and were purchases in, and before, 2002.

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