How to stop install

April 7, 2005 at 10:38:35
Specs: Windows 2000, Pen III

I would like to know how I stop Windows 2000 from installing on my computer. I am at the screen where it wants to search for my keyboard, mouse and etc. I already have Windows 2000 on my computer, I have had it for over a year. I would like to know if there is a way to stop this reinstallation. Thank you. I am free to answer any questions :)


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April 7, 2005 at 13:17:34

Just how does the (re-)installation process start; i.e. are you invoking/running it or does it happen all on its ownsome?

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April 9, 2005 at 02:58:53

Repeatedly hit F8 when the BIOS screen appears. This should give you a boot menu where you can select normal bootup rather than the install. Once booted, go to Settings/Control Panel/System and select the Advanced tab, then "Startup and Recovery", where you can select normal bootup rather than the install in the pulldown list.

Fully removing the install involves editing the hidden BOOT.INI file in the root folder of drive C, and should not be attempted unless you know exactly what you are doing, since you can "cut off the branch you are sitting on", so to speak.

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April 11, 2005 at 06:39:31

Sorry, I did reply to tlvlr but I guess it didnt show up. I replied and then it asked me to log in, I came back a few days later (yesterday) only to discover that my message never posted. Sorry, I wasnt ignoring you. The reinstall starts on its own. Where windows would normally just take me to my desktop, the set up starts. (first it says that set up is restarting)


I tried what you said and I was able to boot normally, only it still takes me to start up. Is there a way to just c:\del windows start up?? Like whats the name for the start up? Can I run my original windows from a c:\?? Whenever I go to the recovery console it gives me three choices:

1. Windows
2 Winnt <-- My GOOD copy!
3. Winnt1 <-- The set up file that I would like to erase!!

What do you think??


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Related Solutions

April 11, 2005 at 21:15:54

You appear to have two versions of W2K (windows and winnt) installed (or at least the GOOD one plus one other - that latter may not be complete version(?) - plus the setup folder/files (also possibly an incomplete installation; or is the windows reference to another OS ('9x)?

Can/will you clarify re' the "windows" entry and also post the boot.ini here; it may allow a "kwik" fix...

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April 12, 2005 at 10:00:45

What do you mean by booot.ini file? How do I get to that??? How do I go about clarifying the windows file??? I am sorry, I know computers but this is advanced for me!!! I will be sure to get it for you. I used to have Windows 98 then I upgraded to 2000 (not a clean install, just an upgrade).

I dont know what the 1. WIndows is, its just always been there and it never bothered me so I never bothered it so to speak. After reading your post, I assume that it is prob the win 98, but how can it still be there if I upgraded???

2. WINNT is my good one. That was there already. This is what I like to keep!!

3. WINNT1 is what I put when I started this new install then changed my mind hoping that this problem can be fixed! LOL.

A kwik fix sounds good and I would be forver greatful if you could help me, I AM GRATEFUL that you are helping me now... THANK YOU!!!

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April 12, 2005 at 22:08:57

Just clarify a little further.

If you choose (manually) to boot to windows (the top of your list as posted) do you actually bot to anything, and if so what?

Re' your queries:

What/where is the boot.ini?
It's (usually) a hidden file. It lists all the installed OS avaialble (including any incomplete installations). To see it... either go via Explorer\tools\folder-options\view

and check the "show hidden files and folders" and uncheck the "hide protected system files".

Then go via MyComputer\Advanced-tab\start-up/recovery button and there you can locate and edit the boot.ini.

Also if you go via Explorer (and once have enabled the show hidden files etc.) you should be able to see the boot.ini (or boot as it may be listed). It can be opened via notepad/wordpad etc. and edited that way too. Also you can copy it and post it here?

Before you go about editing the boot.ini back it up! You can save a copy to floppy (and lock the floppy afterwards - for safety) and also save it to the hardrive in a folder yiou can easily acces (perhaps create one on the c: drive as "boot-save" (no " ") and copy the boot.ini there. The backup allows you to recover the version as is if need-be and allow you to start playing with it again (if you get something wrong the first time...?)

Before you go about edting the boot.ini post it here, and also indicate what happens if you choose to boot to windows (the first item in your list as posted).

And a couple of useful links re' the boot.ini (frequently posted here by "Chuck2"):;en-us;314081;en-us;289022

They refer to XP but most applies equally to W2K and almost all to NT.

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April 13, 2005 at 06:08:48


I can't get into actual windows. I dont see a start up menu or anything, it takes me directly to set up. The only time I get to see what Windows (the 1,2, or 3) are on my computer are when I use the recovery cd and go through the recovery console. That takes me to a c:\ and I am able to pick which windows to fix. I dont know how to make windows run from there and whenever I tried to delete the winnt1 it would not let me.

When it boots to Windows it takes me directly to start up so I cant even get to the computer to even see any hidden files and folders. I dont know how to manually boot windows. If I could do that, is there a way that I maunally boot to my GOOD copy of Windows 2000?

Is there a way I can email you directly??


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April 13, 2005 at 07:45:52

What file format is the c: partition; is it fat32 or ntfs?

If you don't know at this time, then boot with a '98 bootdisk. At the a: prompt type:


and press Enter. If it's fat32 on c: then you should be able to change to c: drive/partition; if it's ntfs then it will not be recognised and you will not be able to access/see its contents.

If you can switch from a: to c: successfuly then you should be able to see/access the c: partition contents. To verify this (from the c: prompt) run the command:


(i.e. type dir and press Enter)

and see if you can view the drive's contents?

If you can then see drive contents it's fat32. If (hopefully) it is fat32 things are little easier to resolve.

You can also determine if it is fat32 or ntfs by booting with a '98 bootdisk and running the Fdisk routine.

Inspect partitions and it will tell you if it's fat32 (or ntfs). If it's ntfs then it will show as a non-dos partition; if it's fat32 it will indicate it.

Do no more than inspect partitions if you run Fdisk at this time. Exit it without maing any changes.

Fdisk tutorial:

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April 13, 2005 at 07:57:55

It IS fat32. I remember that. I never converted it when I upgraded from Windoews 98 (I still have that cd too). Thanks for this help, I think I will send you a card when this all said and done!

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April 13, 2005 at 13:06:27

OK with fat32 in c: you have a couple of routes that may get you back in...

If it was ntfs then you are slightly limited in your options; you would need to invoke (even install) the recovery console routes, or get in via safe-mode; or - run a repair installation routine. I think in your situation (where c: = fat32) you will be well able to avoid a repair installation; will be able to either edit the boot.ini or regain access via the safe-mode/recovery console.

So - boot with a '98 bootdisk, change to the c: drive, locate the boot.ini, copy it to a floppy (and lock it); then edit the version on the c: drive using the edit util on the '98 bootdisk. You would copy (most of) the line for W2K that works to the default OS to boot position (at the top of the boot.ini). At the least see if you can copy it to a floppy and post it here, and it may help simplify a resolution for you?

Essentially your boot.ini would (should) resemble (when all things are OK):

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

(Note that entry for default OS to boot is shortend version of that same entry present within the main body of the boob.ini)

There would also be line referring to the incomplete installation. At present that has set itself as default OS to boot (standard procedure during an installation) and it may also be that you previously set your time to boot to zero (the default is 30seconds...) If you did set time to boot to zero that's one reason you can't access start-up options.

With that in mind you could boot up as per norm and press F8 during normal boot-sequence so as to gain access to W2K start-up options. These will/should include safe-mode and in that mode you should be able go into Explorer and gain access to the boot.ini (as detaield in an earlier post). Open it via notepad/wordpad and make the changes described just above. (There are how to edit the boot.ini instructions also in the links that "Chuck2" regularly posts here - see my earlier post above.) You will need to logon as the Administrator when using safe-mode.

What you are attempting to do is to set the working version as default OS to boot - and to reset time to boot to at least 10seconds (you can do this whilst editing the boot.ini too, just change to time to boot=0 to =10). Save changes and exit; reboot and you may then boot to working version, via the boot-menu displayed for 10seconds...?

If you installed the recovery console in earlier times then that should also be an option in the start-up list (following F8). If it is there invoke/use that to gain access to the installed version. You will/should be able to select the working version and boot to it. Once in OK set it as default OS to boot (MyComputer\Advanced-tab\start-up/shutdown button) - and then reboot to verify it does just that. Presuming so - MAKE an ERD and keep it handy. Afterwhich you simply locate and delete the folders/files related to failed installation. Typically it will not be winnt; it may have a $ symbol at its start, and there may (will) be other folders/files that start with $ symbol. All of these can be safely deleted. Then access the boot.ini and edit out the refereces to the unwanted/failed installation. Reboot to verify working version is (still) OK; presuming so empty recyle-bin and defrag the drive (to clean up the scene). RENEW the ERD; lock the floppy and keep it safe.

If no recovery console alrady installed that too can be installed quite simply.

Perhaps initially access the boot.ini (via a '98 bootdisk boot), post it here, and save it to floppy as well. Then "we" can clarify what it should look like so that you can edit it accordingly. Afterwhich you should be able get back in and able clear away the the remaining junk/mess etc...

Ideally you should have had an ERD that was valid prior to the failed installation; also perhaps have had the recovery console installed - or at least be familiar with houw to add it to a system that won't boot to a working OS... Either would have allowed you back in rather easily... But then one learns from one's mistakes/diasasters etc.; and frequently even the Pros fail to have a valid ERD around when needed...

Note that on many (all?) '98 bootdisks the edit util is in a cab-folder and has to be extracted... You may not feel happy doing this although it's relatively easy... As obviously you have access to another PC you could make another copy of the boot.ini (from your non-working PC) to another floppy and edit that copy on another (working) PC. Then copy that edited version back to the floppy and thence to c: drive (on your non-working PC) - i.e. replace/overwrite the version already there. Then boot as normal etc. (no '98 bootdisk) and hopefully you come up in the version you want again?

Any of the above routes would/should get you going again; just read them thru and see which appeals to you; some are less involved than others?

And again perhaps initially post the boot.ini here before you start to edit it - unless you feel OK about it and can acces it either via the '98 bootdisk or a safe-mode or recovery-console access?

This labmice page also has lots of useful info for the future:

It's just one of many excellent resource sites to know about...

I'm really trying to give you an idea of the some the various ways you can get back into a system When it's fat32 you have more options than when it's ntfs. Also with fat32 you can usually gain access to data folders/files and get them off the system before geting into serious recovery routines (not necessary in your present situation).

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April 15, 2005 at 09:22:22


I tried to follow your directions but I dont know how to locate the boot.ini from the c:\. I tried typing help for a list of commands but that didnt work. Here is everything that I tried:

run boot.ini
start boot.ini
etc etc etc

I am not familiar with commands for c:\ the only thing that I remember is DIR and CLS and SETUP... which didnt help LOL....


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April 15, 2005 at 14:09:18

Probably the boot.ini is "hidden" and you need to "unhide" it; i.e. to reset the attributes for that file so you can see it listed when you type: "dir" (no " ") at the c: prompt.

Boot up with a '98 bootdisk and change to the c: drive (which you seem to be able to do OK)

Then at the c: prompt type:

attrib -h boot.ini

and press Enter.

This command should make the boot.ini visible (if it was set as hidden from within W2K - which is the default setting).

Then copy the boot.ini to a floppy and edit on another working PC? Afterwhich copy the edited version back to the c: drive of the non-working PC - all things being equal (and the moon in the seventh house etc...) you should be able to boot to W2K (working version). Perhaps make two copies to the floppy (one on the root of the floppy - i.e. it will show as a:\boot.ini - and the other in its own folder on the floppy - i.e. a:\save\boot.ini) then edit the one on the root of the floppy. That way you have an untouched version if need-be and need to start again?

Also print it out as is; hardcopy is often very useful to have around...

If the above seems a little cautious (a bit belt and braces (suspenders in the US), it's only because you seem a little unsure on one or two items; it's wiser to play safe etc. - go slowly at first so as to speed ahead later?

Perhaps once you have managed to locate the boot.ini and copied it to a floppy you can/will post it here before editing?

A few useful tutorial sites all about the assorted DOS command:

and type in:

dos commands

in the search box (left side column).

from the above site lists most of the dos commands with a brief description of each.

This one is really a very limimted selection - but the notes are pretty helpful. It does not include the attrib command however (which I feel is a serious omission).

posted from a book all about dos and its commands (the book can be downloaded too at that link...)

A trawl around the www via google/teoma etc. for:

dos commands

will bring up no end of sites detailing most/all dos commands and how to use them.

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April 18, 2005 at 06:56:13

On my way to class but when I type in attrib -h boot.ini it says that it is a bad command or file name. I dont know what that means. This is what is typed in:

c:\attrib -h boot.ini


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April 19, 2005 at 04:38:40

Sorry - I was forgettng you do "not" have dos/'98 installed to c: . The util is (should be) on the '98 floppy.

Boot with the '98 bootdisk and at the a: prompt type:

c:\attrib -h boot.ini

and press Enter.

Then when you change to the c: prompt and run the "dir" command (no " ") you should see the boot.ini...

Also perhaps verify the "attrib" (no " ") util is on the '98 boot disk; do this by typing "dir" (no " ") at the a: prompt. If it is there (it "usually" is - but not always...) it will be listed; if it's not then obviously it won't be listed... That being the case you have to extract it from the cab folder on the bootdisk (or add it from another source/bootdisk - or use another bootdisk with the util included).

Once you have revealed the boot.ini - copy it to a floppy and edit on another working PC (perhaps post it here first)?

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