Booting multiple installations of XP

June 29, 2009 at 11:09:08
Specs: Windows XP
I would like to know how the system file boot.ini in
windows XP recognizes partitions on my hard drive.
Im using a utility allows me to select a partition at
boot time. It Makes the selected partition 'active'
and hides the other primary partition. On both partitions
I have windows XP installed. The file boot.ini on
both partitions looks like this:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS= ...etc

1 primary 50Gig (active)
2 primary 50Gig (hidden)

when I boot like this all is ok, but when I try

1 primary(hidden)
2 primary(active)

It boots up to a point, then complains about
certain system files not being available Im guessing
it is because the 'partition(1)' parameter is incorrect.

See More: Booting multiple installations of XP

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June 29, 2009 at 11:13:35
No the boot.ini is correct in both cases.

I would suspect the 2nd drive was not installed in this system.

The system utility which is doing just like you would do if you used the system bios to designate which drive is bootable, simply tells the system which is the bootable hard drive.

In this case, no matter which you designate as bootable, each drive will come up as c:

Are you using partition magic's pqboot.exe?

If the 2nd drive is as I suspect a repair install will correct the bootup.

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June 29, 2009 at 11:21:05
Ok thanks. I think some files in my \system32 directory got corrupted or deleted when I tried this and forgot to hide the other partition. Im using osl2000 to select the partitions.

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June 29, 2009 at 18:38:12
If it is one drive with 2 partitions, it does not matter if the partition is hidden, XP still sees the entire in the MBR. The one boot ini.file needs to be:

Just verified on my comp with 3 installs of XP and I use XOSL boot manager, and hide prior partitions on same hdd.

If it is 2 different hdds then that is different and above does not apply.

One question is , 1 or 2 hdds ? or 1 hdd with 2 primary partitions ?

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Related Solutions

June 29, 2009 at 20:02:35
thx for the tip farmer. so I would not need to hide partitions? I only have 1 drive and my partitions are like this:

1st (primary)
2nd (primary)
3rd(extended) { e, f logical }

I turned the 'auto-hide partitions' option off in osl2000
how would i set up the boot.ini file on my first 2 partitions?

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June 30, 2009 at 06:37:42
If both installs are C: then you might need to hide the first primary partition (I do) but not 100% sure if needed, likely not. You do not need to hide the 2nd partition, but if you want to you can.

on the 2nd primary partition:
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS= ...etc

you first boot loader is OK.

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