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How to view, edit and delete System Boot.ini files in the WindowsOperating Systems

Using Recovery Dialog and within the Startup, you can easily view and manually configure the “Boot.ini’ file in the Windows XP Operating System. However, you have to follow the steps given in this article in order to perform the Operation. Before performing the operation, it is required to backup the Boot.ini files. In this article the first tasks will involve modifying folder option.
How to save a Backup Copy of Boot.ini
1. Go to System Properties from right clicking on the My Computer or by typing “sysdm.cpl” and then clicking OK in the Run Command Window.
2. Then, on the Advanced tab, click Settings under the Startup and Recovery.
3. Now, click Edit under System Startup.
4. This will open the file in Notepad ready for editing.
5. Now, in the Notepad, go to File from the Menu bar and then choose Save As.
6. Then, right click on the empty area of the Save As Dialog Box.
7. Choose New in the context menu and then choose Folder.
8. Now, name the folder.
9. Then, double click the new folder that you’ve created and then click the Save button in order to save a backup copy of the Boot.ini file.



How to view and edit the Boot.ini file
1. Go to System Properties from right clicking on the My Computer or by typing “sysdm.cpl” and then clicking OK in the Run Command Window.
2. Then, on the Advanced tab, click Settings under the Startup and Recovery.
3. Now, click Edit under System Startup.



Sample Boot.ini File
This is a sample of a default Boot.ini file from a Windows XP Professional computer.
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
This is a sample of the above Boot.ini file with a previous installation of Windows 2000 on a separate partition.
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

How to modify the Boot.ini
While you can modify the Boot.ini file using the Startup and Recovery dialog, where you can select the default operating system, change the timeout value, or manually edit the file, the following method uses the command line utility, Bootcfg.exe.

If you’re modifying the Boot.ini file using the Startup and Recovery Dialog, you can select the default Operating System, change the timeout value or manually edit the file. You can use the command line utility “bootcfg.exe”. This command line utility is only available in Windows XP Professional and it is not available in Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition. Therefore, the section given below doesn’t apply to Windows XP Home Edition.

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. Open the Run Command Window from Start Menu or by pressing the Windows Key and the R Key simultaneously.
3. Then, in the Open text box, type ‘cmd”.
4. This will open the Command Prompt Windows on the screen.
5. Then, in the Command Prompt Window, type bootcfg /?.
6. After pressing the Enter key, you can view the parameters for the “BOOTCFG.exe”.

How to add an Operating System
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /copy /d Operating System Description /ID#
Where Operating System Description is a text description (e.g. Windows XP Home Edition), and where # specifies the boot entry ID in the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file from which the copy has to be made.

How to remove an Operating System
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /delete /ID#
Where # stands for the boot entry ID that you want to be deleted from the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file (e.g. 2 for the second Operating system that is listed.

How to set the Default Operating System
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /default /ID#
Where # stands for the boot entry id in the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file to be made the default operating system.

How to set the Time Out
At the command prompt, type: bootcfg /timeout# Where # stands for the time in seconds after which default operating system will be loaded.

How to open the Boot.ini File to verify the changes
1. Go to System Properties from right clicking on the My Computer or by typing “sysdm.cpl” and then clicking OK in the Run Command Window.
2. Then, on the Advanced tab, click Settings under the Startup and Recovery.
3. Now, click on the Edit option under the System Startup.
This article is applied to
• Microsoft Windows XP Professional Operating System.
• Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Operating System.
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