Solved Invalid XP boot.ini

October 2, 2011 at 11:54:11
Specs: windows xp sp3, Pent4/2ghz 1gb

XP Boot.ini invalid I was reading older comments on somewhat similar problem. All was well until i started to notice at posting a 2 line statement that my Boot.ini was invalid. I forgot the second line, regardless it never stopped me from getting into windows. Stupid me i had to mess the ini file by editing it ( not really know what i was doing ) but copied a sample at the MS web site. I installed it into the root dir of my C drive and now i cannot get into windows. When i boot up i do see that i am given 2 options...windows xp or windows ( default )..neither one works after choosing them. I have my original cd xp with sp1, but even after setting up bios to start with it, it does not start up. I used an old 98 startup floppy and it gets me with the command prompt with CD option. Now i am able to see the dir of my OS cd, but i get a message that i need windows for it to work...ugh.

See More: Invalid XP boot.ini

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✔ Best Answer
October 3, 2011 at 13:55:27

A few details of your defunct desktop would be helpful.

The reason that your Command prompt shows your hard drive as empty is probably because a true Dos system cannot see the NT File System NTFS.

You have a burner on your defunct desktop so you have a cd/dvd reader. Ubuntu Linux like every other live cd can load an OS and run from the cd/dvd without the need to start Windows. Another live cd which may be of use for you is NTFS4DOS which is a Dos like system. Both Ubuntu Linux and NTFS4Dos have the capability of reading/writing NTFS files. They are stand-alone systems and the discs are bootable provided that the cd/dvd rom is the first boot option in bios..

But, you must have access to a system which will allow you to download the software and burn to cd/dvd, a friend or local computer club may be able to assist you, someone may be able to lend you a live cd. Another option is to buy a copy of Ubuntu Linux or NTFS4Dos which should cost less than ten dollars.


Please come back & tell us if your problem is resolved.



#1
October 2, 2011 at 13:41:15


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#2
October 2, 2011 at 13:43:13

What are you trying to do?

1: Repair the XP install.

Or,

2: Reinstall XP & lose everything.


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#3
October 2, 2011 at 13:49:44

repair...i know its got to be the boot.ini file that got me into this mess after tweaking it mistakenly. my cd only mentions at start up;;recovery console? or install xp? i do not want to install xp and lose everything and yet if i pick recovery console i am told that i would lose everything...so there doesnt seem to be a choice. i need to fix that file.

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Related Solutions

#4
October 2, 2011 at 14:25:06

One of the complications you appear to have, is that you don't have a slipstreamed SP3 XP disk.

See if this link helps.

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


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#5
October 2, 2011 at 15:48:59

I booted my os disk and got as far as administrator password. i entered it and then it asked me for my startup password. I do not know what they mean i never had a startup password,..but i entered my admins password again to no avail and i cannot go any furthur

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#6
October 2, 2011 at 15:56:34

"i entered my admins password again to no avail"
Did you try leaving it blank?

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#7
October 2, 2011 at 19:06:07

Boot.ini is not needed to boot XP provided you have a viable system installed at C:\Windows which is the NTLDR default. If Boot.ini is missing NTLDR will issue the advisory two-line message "Invalid Boot.ini file Loading from C:\Windows" then proceed to load from that folder.

Suggest you rename or delete Boot.ini using the Recovery Console or a live cd such as Ubuntu Linux or another, there are plenty of them available free. Once you have booted Boot.ini is easy to reconstruct using a plain text editor.

Good luck.


Please come back & tell us if your problem is resolved.


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#8
October 3, 2011 at 06:11:10

Thanks...perhaps u know how to rename the boot file, when i cannot get into windows. Command prompt shows my C drive empty. As for ubuntu, i see where it maybe the size of 8gb. The largest usb drive i have is 4gb. I have a net book which does not come with a cd drive. If i copy it, how would i be able to send it to my defunct windows desktop,where i do have a burner?

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#9
October 3, 2011 at 13:55:27
✔ Best Answer

A few details of your defunct desktop would be helpful.

The reason that your Command prompt shows your hard drive as empty is probably because a true Dos system cannot see the NT File System NTFS.

You have a burner on your defunct desktop so you have a cd/dvd reader. Ubuntu Linux like every other live cd can load an OS and run from the cd/dvd without the need to start Windows. Another live cd which may be of use for you is NTFS4DOS which is a Dos like system. Both Ubuntu Linux and NTFS4Dos have the capability of reading/writing NTFS files. They are stand-alone systems and the discs are bootable provided that the cd/dvd rom is the first boot option in bios..

But, you must have access to a system which will allow you to download the software and burn to cd/dvd, a friend or local computer club may be able to assist you, someone may be able to lend you a live cd. Another option is to buy a copy of Ubuntu Linux or NTFS4Dos which should cost less than ten dollars.


Please come back & tell us if your problem is resolved.


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#10
October 3, 2011 at 15:34:20

Thanks, i have another hd in my desktop. perhaps swapping it with my primary and install win xp on that temprorary and get at my windows from there...hopefully i can delete the boot.ini file from that. Do you know if i could install unbuntu on my desktop at the command prompt?

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#11
October 4, 2011 at 00:30:12

Swapping the HDDs is a reasonable fix provided you have the ability to install XP once swapped i.e. you have a genuine XP install disk.

If you mean the command prompt in the dos system you already mentioned then no, it's pointless. You have not identified the Dos system you are using, it might not even have support for optical devices. OS cds/dvds are designed to be self bootable so attempting to install from a true Dos OS could cause all sorts of problems.


Please come back & tell us if your problem is resolved.


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#12
October 4, 2011 at 05:40:29

Thanks...I will attempt the swap and yes, its the original CD with SP2. Just for the record, what do u mean what type of DOS system that i have? I thought getting a command prompt was the old type of DOS? BTW, i came across a small cd disk that my vendor had sent me...forgot i had it. It turned out that is has PowerMagic vers 7 on it. Would u know if i can handle my problem with it, before attempting the swap? As i recall, its been years since i last used it, i may be able to move partitions. also another helper said that i am asking for trouble if i delete my corrupted boot.ini file.

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#13
October 4, 2011 at 06:33:49

I thought getting a command prompt was the old type of DOS?

It isn't. A command prompt is a command prompt and nothing else. DOS (Disk Operating System) is an operating system in its own right, 16 bit, single tasking, text based Operating System. Windows 98 needed DOS to work but since Windows 2000/XP there has been no DOS.

The command prompt that you get with later version of Windows has a DOS emulator that will execute some DOS commands but it is not DOS. If you had ever used the proper MS-DOS you would better appreciate the difference.

Why not just boot from our Windows XP disk to the recovery console and the use the bootcfg /rebuild command from the recovery console. If that doesn't fix the problem then there is something more than a corrupted boot.ini causing the problem

Stuart


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#14
October 4, 2011 at 09:28:36

Why not just boot from our Windows XP disk to the recovery console and the use the bootcfg /rebuild command from the recovery console. If that doesn't fix the problem then there is something more than a corrupted boot.ini causing the problem

Stuart

I thought i made that clear.in previous posts.after entering my adminstrator password and accepts it..it asks me for a startup password...which i don't even know or heard of a startup password, so that prevents me from going further with the disk. Do u know what they mean about a startup disk password?


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#15
October 4, 2011 at 10:55:16

I know nothing of a startup password iether. You only need one password to get into the Recovery Console and that is the Administrators password. If you are being asked for a second passowrd then there is somethething going on that you are not telling us about.

The only ppossibility is that you are using a laptop that has a hard disk password. If that is the case then there is nothing that can be down unless you can find out what thepassword is.

Stuart


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#16
October 4, 2011 at 16:56:05

i guess your getting tired of my problems, so here goes my last attempt. I called my vendor who even they never heard of a startup password. My net book has nothing to do with this problem. It is what i said in my op about the invalid boot.ini...file anything else i am not aware of as well as you. The vendor told me h0w to get into editor and fix the problem...so i was able to see my boot file, added attributes and the editor comes back telling me that the file cannot be modified cause its a "R" file. -R,-H does not work...so enough of a so called editor. going on vacation Friday and wanted to get desktop back and running lots if vital info which i donot want tolose. I guess i have todo it the hard way swapping hd's

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#17
October 10, 2011 at 07:45:37

When My boot.ini file became corrupt after many tries at trouble shooting the problem I finally gave into it and reformatted and reinstalled the O/S ! I hated the thought of doing it since this would be the second time in 5-6 years . However after the fresh re-install I found my O/S working much better and all the old errors and reoccuring problems disappered. The biggest hassle was re-doing all the Windows updates and my anti-virus also ! What ever you decide best wishes on the out come !
Good Luck Nick

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