What's Boot.ini file?
Boot.ini is a Windows NT/2000/XP/Server 2003 hidden text file that contains information needed to build the boot loader menu. It's usually located in the root of C drive. It usually offers users the option to choose a system to access when they have installed multiple operating systems on the computer.
Rebuild the systems boot.ini file with Windows OS CD from a computer that can't be started.
1. Insert the Windows 2000/XP/2003 CD-ROM.
2. Restart your computer.
3. When prompted to "Press any key to boot from CD", press the "Space" bar.
4. At the "Welcome to Setup" message, press "R" to start the "Recovery Console".
5. Then you need to Select Operation System you're going to use. If you multi-boot this computer, select the installation of Windows XP that failed to start.
6. When password requirement is prompted in the screen, please type the administrator password and press "Enter".
7. When the command prompt opens, type bootcfg/list and press "Enter" to display the entries in the boot.ini file.
8. Type bootcfg/rebuild and press "Enter" to scan your hard drives for Windows NT-based installations.
Follow the on-screen instructions to add installations to the boot.ini file.
9, When all available options is done, you can be back to reboot the computer. The boot.isi issue is fixed then.
Note: If you don't have Windows OS CD, this solution might not work for you.
Fix Boot.ini on Working Computer
Check reasons for Boot.ini missing issue
If you received the error message saying that "Cannot fins the C:oot.ini file" or "Invalid Boot.ini, loading from C:Windows", there would be errors caused due to the corrupted or missing Boot.ini file. You can check it as below:
1. Type "Msconfig" in "Start", and run it. If the Boot.ini file is missing, there will be no Boot.ini tab displayed in the "System Configuration Utility" panel as the image below.
2. You also can verify it by typing "C:Boot.ini" in "Start", run dialog. If you get a message of "Access Denied" or similar error messages, that explains the problem.
Fix the Boot.ini missing problem
If the system file is installed in the root of C drive, you still can start your computer with the Boot.ini missing, while it's not in C drive, you can't do it. Actually, as single system users, the system file is always installed in the root of C drive. Then how to fix this Boot.ini file missing problem? Here's the solution for you.
1. Right click on My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> Startup and Recovery, click Settings.
2. Click "Edit" in the red area in the picture below.
3. Then your boot.ini file will be open, but if there isn't one, you can click "OK" to create a new one.
4. Now copy and paste the following code in it.
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"/fastdetect
When the boot menu is started and users didn't do any operation in 30 seconds, then it will access the default system automatically. 30 seconds is the default time, if you only have one system, you can set it as 0. Or set other time you think it's OK if you have multiple systems.
This is the default system.
This part is always the one we edit. Partition (1) means the first partition, usually the C drive, and WINDOWS is the system folder. If you want to set XP in the D drive as your default system, you should edit it as partition(2)WINDOWS. multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"/fastdetect This part is the same as the "default" part, and Microsoft Windows XP Professional is the name of the system.
/fastdetect: lots of websites recommend to edit as "nodetect".
5. Click "Save" and exit.
6. A new file boot.ini will be created in the C drive on your computer, now we need to give it system attributes.
7. Open command prompt (click "Start" on your computer, and type "cmd" in the run box).
8. Then type the following command
attrib C:oot.ini +s +h
and press "Enter".
9. You've solved the problem now.