|Tell us the make and model of brand name computer, or if you have a generic desktop computer, the make and model of the mboard.|
If you have a SATA hard drive, not an IDE hard drive, there are additional things you need to be made aware of.
Were you having a problem with an existing Windows installation ?
If so, describe your problem(s).
"Trying to reinstall windows xp, and i got it to boot from cd first"
Did you want to run a Repair installation of Windows, or install Windows from scratch ?
Installing Windows from scratch will delete all the personal data you have added to the partition Windows is installed on, and is only the first step of many you will need to do.
If Windows is already on the hard drive but it's not working properly, you can try to run a Repair installation of Windows, which does NOT delete the personal data you have added to the partition Windows is installed on .
In order to have that choice, the Windows CD must be for the same version, Home or Pro, as that of the Windows installation.
To get the computer to boot from the Windows CD, the Boot Order or similar in the bios Setup of the mboard must be set so CD drive or similar is listed before Hard drive or similar - CD drive or similar does not necessarily need to be listed first, it just has to be before hard drive or similar. , Save bios settings if you changed that.
You DO NOT run the CD in Windows itself.
If that was set correctly,
- if the only hard drive has no operating system installed on it, the Windows CD will boot automatically
- if the hard drive already has an operating system on it, you see a line while booting "Press any key to boot from CD . " or similar - you must press a key while that line is on the screen to boot from the CD.
The Windows CD will load it's initial files for a while, then you'll see a screen where you can choose to Repair Windows or to Continue on to Setup. If you want to run a Repair installation of Windows, choose to Continue on to Settup, and you will be asked if you want to Repair an existing Windows installation later.
If your problem is the "invalid boot.ini" error when you attempt to boot normally, you can press R at that first screen, and try using the Recovery Console interface to run a command or a few of them and try to repair the problem, If you want to try that, we can supply more info. That takes the least time to try.
"i get a invalid boot .ini"
That's not a normal error message that you would get when you boot the computer from the Windows CD during the initial loading of the files .
If the drive has no operating system on it, the CD hasn't made boot.ini until the operating system has been loaded on the hard drive.
If the hard drive DOES have an operating system istalled on it, that's still not a normal message you would get when you boot the computer from the Windows CD during the initial loading of the files
"i also got 2 cd drives one and the original will not open but the other one does and is labled cd-rw drive (E:) and the original is cd drive (D:) if that changes anything"
Does the led on the front of the drive that won't open light up when you press the button on the front of it ?
Can you hear the mechanism inside the drive doing something when you press the button ? Does the tray move a bit or not at all ?
"if that changes anything"
Some bios versions will only boot from a bootable disk in a drive if the disk is in the first optical drive the bios detects, or is set to detect. If that applies to your situation, if default drive letters assigned were not changed in Windows, the bios will probably attempt to boot from the drive that won't open, and when it finds no bootable disk, will attempt to boot from the next drive in the Boot Order list, probably the hard drive If the hard drive already has an operating system on it but it's not working properly, then that will attempt to load and that's what is generating the " invalid boot .ini " error message.
In that case, you will NOT see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar while booting if the hard drive has an operating system on it.
In that case, you need to go into the bios Setup and find either
- a list of optical drives - the drive you want to boot a bootable optical disk from must be listed first, Save bios settings. Usually the models of the drives are listed
- or - less commonly - there is more than one optical drive listed in the Boot Order or similar list - the drive you want to boot a bootable optical disk from must be listed first, Save bios settings The models of the drives may be listed, or they may be listed generically, according to the order they are detected by the bios because of the way they are connected to the mboard, or the way they are jumpered on the back of the drrives if they're IDE drives.
Other bios versions wiil boot from a bootable disk in any optical drive a bootable optical disk is detected in. If only one bootable disk is inserted then it will boot from that one You WILL see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar while booting if the hard drive has an operating system on it