|In which order did you install the operating systems ?|
Did you use the built in multi boot feature of the operating systems ?
Windows 7 doesn't have boot.ini - only XP and 2000 do.
If you installed Windows 7 last, it was controlling the multi-boot feature, not XP's boot.ini.
I have worked on a friend's Dell Dimension 3000 desktop computer. It had XP Home on it and it DID come with at least one disk - a Dell labeled XP Home Re-installation CD or similar. Going by other Dell CDs I've examined, it's contents are probably the same as those on a regular Microsoft OEM XP Home CD that has the same SP updates included, except that certain *.oem files have been modified so that the CD cannot be used to install Windows, or to run a Repair installation of Windows, on any computer except the same model, or a small group of models Dell made at the same time.
If you bought the computer new, you probably have that CD somewhere and have forgotten you had it, or if you bought it off of someone you know and can still contact, they may still have that CD.
It may have also come with a Dell labeled Drivers and Applications CD or DVD or similar.
There are a few web sites that have collected the Recovery CD sets for many brand name computer models - for a reasonable fee you can buy the set for your model if they have it for your model. You may be able to download them (ISO files) as soon as your payment you make for them clears, and make them with a burning program that can make CDs from ISO files .
Please note recovery cds are compatible ONLY with the system they were originally designed for.
Our recovery sets are ONLY for PC's distributed in North America
In order to properly work on your system you must have a Certificate of Authenticity affixed to your
case, which contains your Microsoft Product Key.
You need an XP CD to boot the computer with - it probably doesn't matter whether it is for Home or Pro, Retail or OEM. You just need to boot the computer from it and load the Recovery Console by pressing R at the first screen you see after the initial files load.
OR - you can boot the computer from any CD that can read the files on the drive - e.g. a Linux CD - and edit the boot.ini file so it works, if you know what to do. .