Solved XP installed but on boot asks to load Vista (not installed)

December 19, 2012 at 16:39:13
Specs: Windows XP
I currently use a Dell Optiplex 960 which runs windows XP. This is the only operating system that has been installed on it. I recently tried to delete some files, but I found it would require me to start up my computer in Safe Mode first to delete them. However, upon pressing F8 to pull up the option to startup in safe mode, I only get two options: Load Windows Vista (which has never been installed on my system), or run the memory test. When I select the windows vista option, my computer boots up as normal in XP. When I choose the memory test option, I get a message which states that there is some sort of error with a file called "\boot\memtest.exe" with the following status: "0x000000e".
Why is my computer telling me I have Vista installed? And how can I fix it? How can I make it possible for me to bootup in Safe mode again? And how can i fix the memory test issue? Any help would be appreciated. If more details are required, please let me know. Thanks.

See More: XP installed but on boot asks to load Vista (not installed)

Report •


#1
December 19, 2012 at 18:02:47
Right click on my computer, left click on properties, left click on advanced & startup & recovery. Click the drop down arrow where is says default OS. What do you see?

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


Report •

#2
December 19, 2012 at 20:03:49
✔ Best Answer
My guess is that your model Optiplex came with Vista natively, but because of the unpopularity of Vista XP was offered as a downgrade option, which was taken. Thus you have the remnants of Vista still installed. You can verify this in Windows by right-clicking Computer and selecting Manage. Then go to Disk Management and see if there is a 100MB system reserve partition at the front of the C drive. That's a sign of Vista or 7. I suspect that is what you'll find.

But the real question is what happened to Safe Mode. Click Winkey-r and type in MSCONFIG. Go to the Boot tab and see what is checked or not. You can schedule a boot to safe mode there (see http://bcrawfordjr.wordpress.com/20... for details), but frankly I would be leery because something is screwed with the bootstrap. It seems that XP was improperly installed. A normal installation would have wiped the system reserve partition from the MBR. Instead, your boot sequence is using the Vista system reserved partition, but it is fractured. I would be afraid to schedule a Safe Mode boot via msconfig, lest the boot fail and you might not be able to get back to normal. Probably what I would do at this point is take a full system image so you can restore everything in case of disaster. Then do an XP "install in place" to correct the bootstrap and give you your boot options screen back.


Report •

#3
December 20, 2012 at 05:46:06
"My guess is that your model Optiplex came with Vista natively, but because of the unpopularity of Vista XP was offered as a downgrade option"

Me thinks you are correct. See page 2 - 'Operating Systems':

http://i.dell.com/sites/content/bus...


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
December 20, 2012 at 07:28:43
I used the msconfig method with networking to reboot and it worked great. It is probable that the boot options got messed up when the hard drive was reinstalled with xp (presumable overwriting vista before I got it). Thanks.

Report •

#5
December 20, 2012 at 07:43:10
My guess is that Whoever simply cloned the XP partition over the Vista partition and left the system reserve alone. If you go back into Disk Management you'll probably see System Reserve marked "Active". That works, but somehow Safe Mode got broken.

Sounds like you're good for now, but I don't think your safe mode access problem is solved if you ever can't boot into normal mode to preset it.


Report •


Ask Question