Deleted XP Boot File

October 12, 2011 at 02:32:22
Specs: Windows XP
Hi, I have Windows XP service pack 2 and a while back partitioned it to install linux and Windows 7. Both additional operating systems have been deleted leaving only Windows XP on my machine which is a Dell Dimension 3000 desktop. When I start I still had options of what OS to boot so to try and resolve this issue I deleted part of the boot ini file, problem is I deleted the part of the file which started XP, so now XP won't start. No disks whatsoever came with the PC as XP was pre installed, I haven't even got a recovery disk and can't create one from the PC because it won't boot and when I try to get the system restore at start up I can't. Any ideas how I can restore my beloved PC back to factory settings?

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#1
October 12, 2011 at 13:19:03
Borrow any similar xp cd to use for repairs. There are a number of things from command line to automated repair. Just don't use the other cd to install.

You could use linux live cd's to get data off or make a barts PE disk.

Many OEM's offer a cd for a small charge.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#2
October 12, 2011 at 17:07:57
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 .
E.g.
http://www.myrecoverycds.com/index....

Excerpts:
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. .


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#3
October 12, 2011 at 22:59:17
"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. '

You need to use the bootcfg/ rebuild command there, but that's more complicated than doing the following, and you'll probably need to remove what are now useless lines from boot.ini in Windows after you run it, otherwise you'll still have a multi-boot menu.

"OR - you can boot the computer from any CD that (has an operating system installed on it 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."

The boot.ini file is a normally hidden file on the root folder (usually C:\ itself, on your own computer). If you don't see it, you'll need to figure ouit how to un-hide it (I know very little about Linux, so I can't tell you how to do that in Linux).

Manage/Remove Multi-Boot Option
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Mana...

Scroll down to
Don't forget to backup the file in any situation. It will keep you out of trouble!

Click on the first screen capture below that to zoom in and see an example of what the text in boot.ini should be if XP is on the first partition on the first hard disk, the last word is /fastdetect
(partition numbers do not start ar zero like some other things in Windows do)

Delete any other lines that are below the [operating systems] line, and that will result in you not having a multi-boot menu when you boot the computerr. .


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