Something keeps ereasing my Boot.ini File??

January 27, 2011 at 19:38:57
Specs: Windows XP, Intel Core 2 Duo
I’ve run multi boot, Windows XP, for years and now all of a sudden I’ve got problems with it. Something keeps erasing it from the root! I’m not using anything new. And I even put a year old backup on the computer to eliminate any new setting or things that would interfere. I can boot once and then it is erased and the multi boot is gone because the Boot.ini is gone. It doesn’t erase the Boot.ini files on the other partitions, but they don’t boot right either. Often it doesn’t go to the drive it is asked to but skips to another drive entirely. I’ve gone over the lines again and again and I can’t find anything wrong. I’ve reinstalled the old backup for those drive also, so it should work. C and D are primary drives on two hard drives respectively. The rest are logical. I don’t think that is it. I’ve worked on this off and on for days and I stumped. If any one out there has any ideas then please post them.

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional C Drive" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional G Drive" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional H Drive" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional D Drive" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional N Drive" /fastdetect

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January 27, 2011 at 23:24:57
Have you tried making boot.ini read only, system?

Could be malware?

Did you Google for an answer before asking the question?

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January 28, 2011 at 03:07:33
It doesn’t erase the Boot.ini files on the other partitions, but they don’t boot right either.

There is only a need for one boot.ini file on any Windows system and that resides in the root folder of the system drive, probably drive c: in your case. There is only ever one system drive. Boot.ini on any other drive will be ignored.

Boot.ini should be read only and system. If it is not Windows will make it so. If you don't not have your system configured to show hidden and system files then it will seem to have disappeared.

Why you would want five copies of the same operating system on one computer I have no idea but I would think about getting rid of some of them.


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January 28, 2011 at 07:49:06
Thank you StuartS and Wahine,

Yes StuartS you are right. The extras come from using the same backup on different partitions. Yes five is extreme it started out as two then went to three and so on. I'll go back to three. I did it so when I got a deep infection I could boot up on another partition and restore the system. It has been very handy in the past to get rid of malware when you don't know what it has done or was settings it has changed. Yes I have my system configured to show hidden and system files. Believe me it gets erased. I've used msconfig to verify that I wrote it right and that it was gone after boot. Also if it were there it would boot a second time with the multi boot option. It doesn't.

Wahine yes I have made it a read only, hidden, and system file. Also you maybe right about the malware. This started around the time I was "Chromed" by Google. I had to reload the backup to get rid of it. Uninstalling it did not correct the lost links and other damage. I can't see how the infection migrated into the new system. Another interesting thing is that since I wrote last I've done two virus scans and they both shut down by them selves when I wasn't looking. No data, nothing tagged or found. Just a message that the scan was interrupted before completion. The computer just shut it self down. That is very strange.

The thing is the multi boot worked at one time for a long time with no problems. Now it is not. I guess the next thing to do is turn on an event log. I notice I can add Bootlog in msconfig. I don’t know if that is what I want but I try it. Any other help or advice is always welcome.


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Related Solutions

January 28, 2011 at 08:30:20
I would suggest you go to a cmd prompt and typy chkdsk /f and answer yes to the question. Reboot so it runs to check for disk corruption.

You can't restore a OS from a backup to a different location. It simply won't work right due to over 4000 registry entries being invalid.

In laymans terms this means you can't restore a backup of c: to ANY other partition. You may think it works but its referancing what is on c: not what is on its partition.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
Sorry no tech support via PM's

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January 28, 2011 at 09:35:39
What's with the oddball timeout=606 , or is that a typo ?
That's ten minutes + 6 seconds.

Have you tried booting the computer from the XP CD, loading the Recovery Console (press R at the first screen where you are asked if you want to Repair Windows), and running fixboot and fixmbr ??

If you haven't used the Recovery Console before....

see response 11 in this:

starting at, scroll down to "If that won't work....."

It initially looks for existing Windows installations.

Multiple operating system installations should be listed. You probably need to type the number of the one you installed LAST, press Enter.
(If it doesn't find any at all, see the info at BELOW at the above reference.)

Usually there is no Administrator Password - just press Enter

Type: fixboot (press Enter)
Answer Y or Yes to any question.

Type: fixmbr (press Enter)
Answer Y or Yes to any question.

Type: exit (press Enter) to close the Recovery Console, which will also restart the computer.

DO NOT press a key to boot from the CD - boot normally and see if your problem has gone away.
If it hasn't, there are other things you could try.

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January 28, 2011 at 10:46:16
Would second wanderer's chkdsk & wahine's maybe malware. Quite honestly, I would just start from fresh! (ie, new single clean install of XP, after backing up your data). And rather than multiple copies of XP I'd just use an incremental image complete backup to external hard drive. Then if it goes wrong you can just restore to a day you know was ok (I use Acronis true Image for this, but there are a number of apps available).

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