Old info in Boot.ini after formatting?

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

I recently formatted a Windows 2000 machine and installed 2000 Server. I
formatted it using the 2000 Server CD, and after the instillation the
boot.ini file still shows the previous version of Windows as an option. I
have seen this a couple times before when reinstalling too. Does the CD not
do a complete format of the drive? Just a curiosity question.
17 answers Last reply
More about info boot formatting
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    You may have done a quick format. If you had deleted/ recreated the system
    partition then it would have been gone.

    --
    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "bvanderpool" wrote:
    |I recently formatted a Windows 2000 machine and installed 2000 Server. I
    | formatted it using the 2000 Server CD, and after the instillation the
    | boot.ini file still shows the previous version of Windows as an option. I
    | have seen this a couple times before when reinstalling too. Does the CD
    not
    | do a complete format of the drive? Just a curiosity question.
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    My understanding of this phenomenon is boot.ini is so small that it
    resides within the MFT, so format does not delete it. Removing the
    partition would.

    On Tue, 1 Feb 2005 10:39:04 -0800, "bvanderpool"
    <bvanderpool1@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >I recently formatted a Windows 2000 machine and installed 2000 Server. I
    >formatted it using the 2000 Server CD, and after the instillation the
    >boot.ini file still shows the previous version of Windows as an option. I
    >have seen this a couple times before when reinstalling too. Does the CD not
    >do a complete format of the drive? Just a curiosity question.
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    The "Previous operating system" entry is inserted by the Win2000
    installation process. It does not survive formatting. You can easily
    check this my changing the wording from "Previous" to "Former",
    then doing the usual format/re-install. The word "Former" will
    disappear.


    "bvanderpool" <bvanderpool1@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:8D5EE2D7-D4D5-499B-8F44-2BF89E5D99D1@microsoft.com...
    > I recently formatted a Windows 2000 machine and installed 2000 Server. I
    > formatted it using the 2000 Server CD, and after the instillation the
    > boot.ini file still shows the previous version of Windows as an option. I
    > have seen this a couple times before when reinstalling too. Does the CD
    not
    > do a complete format of the drive? Just a curiosity question.
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    AFAIK, a "quick format" would require an "undelete" to
    retrieve a pre-existing file. Are you suggesting that the
    Win2000 installation process uses "undelete" to restore
    an old boot.ini file?


    "Dave Patrick" <mail@Nospam.DSPatrick.com> wrote in message
    news:OaMOmXMCFHA.1424@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > You may have done a quick format. If you had deleted/ recreated the system
    > partition then it would have been gone.
    >
    > --
    > Regards,
    >
    > Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    > Microsoft Certified Professional
    > Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    > http://www.microsoft.com/protect
    >
    > "bvanderpool" wrote:
    > |I recently formatted a Windows 2000 machine and installed 2000 Server. I
    > | formatted it using the 2000 Server CD, and after the instillation the
    > | boot.ini file still shows the previous version of Windows as an option.
    I
    > | have seen this a couple times before when reinstalling too. Does the CD
    > not
    > | do a complete format of the drive? Just a curiosity question.
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    No. It happens all the time. Possibly read from the partition boot sector.

    --
    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    | AFAIK, a "quick format" would require an "undelete" to
    | retrieve a pre-existing file. Are you suggesting that the
    | Win2000 installation process uses "undelete" to restore
    | an old boot.ini file?
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    This sounds all very strange to me, and totally contrary to my
    knowledge and experience. Are you (and Andy) suggesting
    that boot.ini will survive if I do the following:
    - Install Win2000 in a NTFS partition
    - Modify c:\boot.ini so that I can recognise it later on
    - Re-install Win2000
    - Select "quick format" when prompted

    If you are confident that boot.ini will survive then I'll
    try it for myself, just to satisfy my curiosity.


    "Dave Patrick" <mail@Nospam.DSPatrick.com> wrote in message
    news:eKafgvNCFHA.400@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > No. It happens all the time. Possibly read from the partition boot sector.
    >
    > --
    > Regards,
    >
    > Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    > Microsoft Certified Professional
    > Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    > http://www.microsoft.com/protect
    >
    > "Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    > | AFAIK, a "quick format" would require an "undelete" to
    > | retrieve a pre-existing file. Are you suggesting that the
    > | Win2000 installation process uses "undelete" to restore
    > | an old boot.ini file?
    >
    >
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    No first-hand experience, just many-many observations of the issue in these
    groups.

    --
    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    | This sounds all very strange to me, and totally contrary to my
    | knowledge and experience. Are you (and Andy) suggesting
    | that boot.ini will survive if I do the following:
    | - Install Win2000 in a NTFS partition
    | - Modify c:\boot.ini so that I can recognise it later on
    | - Re-install Win2000
    | - Select "quick format" when prompted
    |
    | If you are confident that boot.ini will survive then I'll
    | try it for myself, just to satisfy my curiosity.
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    I don't trust hear-say experiences - too many of them are
    just plain myths that nobody bothered to verify. This one
    sounds like one too, especially in view of the comment
    made by Andy, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt
    until I've done the test below. Watch this space!


    "Dave Patrick" <mail@Nospam.DSPatrick.com> wrote in message
    news:Op2WofYCFHA.3928@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
    > No first-hand experience, just many-many observations of the issue in
    these
    > groups.
    >
    > --
    > Regards,
    >
    > Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    > Microsoft Certified Professional
    > Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    > http://www.microsoft.com/protect
    >
    > "Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    > | This sounds all very strange to me, and totally contrary to my
    > | knowledge and experience. Are you (and Andy) suggesting
    > | that boot.ini will survive if I do the following:
    > | - Install Win2000 in a NTFS partition
    > | - Modify c:\boot.ini so that I can recognise it later on
    > | - Re-install Win2000
    > | - Select "quick format" when prompted
    > |
    > | If you are confident that boot.ini will survive then I'll
    > | try it for myself, just to satisfy my curiosity.
    >
    >
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    I would agree except as I said I've seen the issue documented in detail too
    many times to just dismiss it.

    --
    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    |I don't trust hear-say experiences - too many of them are
    | just plain myths that nobody bothered to verify. This one
    | sounds like one too, especially in view of the comment
    | made by Andy, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt
    | until I've done the test below. Watch this space!
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    I was ready to relegate this phenomenon to the realm of
    urban myths but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt
    until I had run a rigorous test myself. Much to my surprise
    I found that it was correct: The file c:\boot.ini does indeed
    survive the format process during the Win2000 installation.

    Strange . . .


    "Dave Patrick" <mail@Nospam.DSPatrick.com> wrote in message
    news:uTwYWoyCFHA.2960@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    > I would agree except as I said I've seen the issue documented in detail
    too
    > many times to just dismiss it.
    >
    > --
    > Regards,
    >
    > Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    > Microsoft Certified Professional
    > Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    > http://www.microsoft.com/protect
    >
    > "Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    > |I don't trust hear-say experiences - too many of them are
    > | just plain myths that nobody bothered to verify. This one
    > | sounds like one too, especially in view of the comment
    > | made by Andy, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt
    > | until I've done the test below. Watch this space!
    >
    >
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    Thanks for letting us know.

    --
    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    |I was ready to relegate this phenomenon to the realm of
    | urban myths but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt
    | until I had run a rigorous test myself. Much to my surprise
    | I found that it was correct: The file c:\boot.ini does indeed
    | survive the format process during the Win2000 installation.
    |
    | Strange . . .
  12. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    In deference to the 'ol' MVPs I didn't want to say anything. Now after
    confirmation that the "phenomenon" does occurs I thought I should post this:

    BOOT.INI Not Cleaned Up After Repartitioning
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=141188

    It seems this is one of these quirks with NT Operating Systems under
    specific conditions.

    John

    Pegasus (MVP) wrote:

    > I was ready to relegate this phenomenon to the realm of
    > urban myths but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt
    > until I had run a rigorous test myself. Much to my surprise
    > I found that it was correct: The file c:\boot.ini does indeed
    > survive the format process during the Win2000 installation.
    >
    > Strange . . .
    >
    >
    > "Dave Patrick" <mail@Nospam.DSPatrick.com> wrote in message
    > news:uTwYWoyCFHA.2960@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    >
    >>I would agree except as I said I've seen the issue documented in detail
    >
    > too
    >
    >>many times to just dismiss it.
    >>
    >>--
    >>Regards,
    >>
    >>Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    >>Microsoft Certified Professional
    >>Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    >>http://www.microsoft.com/protect
    >>
    >>"Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    >>|I don't trust hear-say experiences - too many of them are
    >>| just plain myths that nobody bothered to verify. This one
    >>| sounds like one too, especially in view of the comment
    >>| made by Andy, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt
    >>| until I've done the test below. Watch this space!
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    >
  13. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    The link you mention includes this sentence:

    "Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 3.51. We
    are researching this problem and will post new information here in the
    Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available."

    Now WinNT 3.51 was a loooooooooong time ago. The article
    itself was last reviewed on 7 May 2003. I suspect that someone
    at Microsoft is dragging his/her feet.

    I suspect that the cause is nowhere near as exotic as some
    respondents in this thread have suggested, e.g. that boot.ini
    "dwells in the MFT" etc. etc. A more likely explanation is
    that the installation process reads boot.ini at the start of the
    installation process, keeps the contents in memory, then
    replicates some of the original lines when the new boot.ini
    is generated. This would line up with the fact that none of
    the Win2000 boot files (c:\ntldr, c:\ntdetect.com, c:\boot.ini)
    need to be located in a specific sector of the disk (like some
    DOS boot files). They can occupy any physical location,
    and can deleted/copied/replicated freely, as long as their
    logical location is the root directory of the active partition.


    "John John" <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
    news:enmSyx9CFHA.3376@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > In deference to the 'ol' MVPs I didn't want to say anything. Now after
    > confirmation that the "phenomenon" does occurs I thought I should post
    this:
    >
    > BOOT.INI Not Cleaned Up After Repartitioning
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=141188
    >
    > It seems this is one of these quirks with NT Operating Systems under
    > specific conditions.
    >
    > John
    >
    > Pegasus (MVP) wrote:
    >
    > > I was ready to relegate this phenomenon to the realm of
    > > urban myths but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt
    > > until I had run a rigorous test myself. Much to my surprise
    > > I found that it was correct: The file c:\boot.ini does indeed
    > > survive the format process during the Win2000 installation.
    > >
    > > Strange . . .
    > >
    > >
    > > "Dave Patrick" <mail@Nospam.DSPatrick.com> wrote in message
    > > news:uTwYWoyCFHA.2960@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    > >
    > >>I would agree except as I said I've seen the issue documented in detail
    > >
    > > too
    > >
    > >>many times to just dismiss it.
    > >>
    > >>--
    > >>Regards,
    > >>
    > >>Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    > >>Microsoft Certified Professional
    > >>Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    > >>http://www.microsoft.com/protect
    > >>
    > >>"Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    > >>|I don't trust hear-say experiences - too many of them are
    > >>| just plain myths that nobody bothered to verify. This one
    > >>| sounds like one too, especially in view of the comment
    > >>| made by Andy, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt
    > >>| until I've done the test below. Watch this space!
    > >>
    > >>
    > >
    > >
    > >
  14. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    Part of the reason I always suggest delete, restart, create the partition
    when clean installing the OS.

    --
    Regards,

    Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    http://www.microsoft.com/protect

    "Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    | The link you mention includes this sentence:
    |
    | "Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 3.51.
    We
    | are researching this problem and will post new information here in the
    | Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available."
    |
    | Now WinNT 3.51 was a loooooooooong time ago. The article
    | itself was last reviewed on 7 May 2003. I suspect that someone
    | at Microsoft is dragging his/her feet.
    |
    | I suspect that the cause is nowhere near as exotic as some
    | respondents in this thread have suggested, e.g. that boot.ini
    | "dwells in the MFT" etc. etc. A more likely explanation is
    | that the installation process reads boot.ini at the start of the
    | installation process, keeps the contents in memory, then
    | replicates some of the original lines when the new boot.ini
    | is generated. This would line up with the fact that none of
    | the Win2000 boot files (c:\ntldr, c:\ntdetect.com, c:\boot.ini)
    | need to be located in a specific sector of the disk (like some
    | DOS boot files). They can occupy any physical location,
    | and can deleted/copied/replicated freely, as long as their
    | logical location is the root directory of the active partition.
    |
    |
    | "John John" <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
    | news:enmSyx9CFHA.3376@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    | > In deference to the 'ol' MVPs I didn't want to say anything. Now after
    | > confirmation that the "phenomenon" does occurs I thought I should post
    | this:
    | >
    | > BOOT.INI Not Cleaned Up After Repartitioning
    | > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=141188
    | >
    | > It seems this is one of these quirks with NT Operating Systems under
    | > specific conditions.
    | >
    | > John
    | >
    | > Pegasus (MVP) wrote:
    | >
    | > > I was ready to relegate this phenomenon to the realm of
    | > > urban myths but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt
    | > > until I had run a rigorous test myself. Much to my surprise
    | > > I found that it was correct: The file c:\boot.ini does indeed
    | > > survive the format process during the Win2000 installation.
    | > >
    | > > Strange . . .
  15. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    Yes NT 3.51, at the bottom it says:

    APPLIES TO
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
    • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
    • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
    • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
    • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

    I'm along with you on the possible reason, I kind of think that it reads
    the boot.ini file and temporarily store it in the RAM, then restores it.
    I'm inclined to believe that if one was to use W98 disk and format or,
    format the disk slaved in another NT pc that it would be toast. It says
    in the article that it happens if you use an NT setup cd. It's probably
    is one of these quirks that just carried on from version to version.
    Like W95 things that still apply to NT. As for MS dragging their
    feet... well I guess it isn't much of an issue other than academia.
    Maybe it will be different with Longhorn setup cd... whenever it comes out.

    John

    Pegasus (MVP) wrote:

    > The link you mention includes this sentence:
    >
    > "Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 3.51. We
    > are researching this problem and will post new information here in the
    > Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available."
    >
    > Now WinNT 3.51 was a loooooooooong time ago. The article
    > itself was last reviewed on 7 May 2003. I suspect that someone
    > at Microsoft is dragging his/her feet.
    >
    > I suspect that the cause is nowhere near as exotic as some
    > respondents in this thread have suggested, e.g. that boot.ini
    > "dwells in the MFT" etc. etc. A more likely explanation is
    > that the installation process reads boot.ini at the start of the
    > installation process, keeps the contents in memory, then
    > replicates some of the original lines when the new boot.ini
    > is generated. This would line up with the fact that none of
    > the Win2000 boot files (c:\ntldr, c:\ntdetect.com, c:\boot.ini)
    > need to be located in a specific sector of the disk (like some
    > DOS boot files). They can occupy any physical location,
    > and can deleted/copied/replicated freely, as long as their
    > logical location is the root directory of the active partition.
    >
    >
    > "John John" <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
    > news:enmSyx9CFHA.3376@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    >
    >>In deference to the 'ol' MVPs I didn't want to say anything. Now after
    >>confirmation that the "phenomenon" does occurs I thought I should post
    >
    > this:
    >
    >>BOOT.INI Not Cleaned Up After Repartitioning
    >>http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=141188
    >>
    >>It seems this is one of these quirks with NT Operating Systems under
    >>specific conditions.
    >>
    >>John
    >>
    >>Pegasus (MVP) wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I was ready to relegate this phenomenon to the realm of
    >>>urban myths but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt
    >>>until I had run a rigorous test myself. Much to my surprise
    >>>I found that it was correct: The file c:\boot.ini does indeed
    >>>survive the format process during the Win2000 installation.
    >>>
    >>>Strange . . .
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>"Dave Patrick" <mail@Nospam.DSPatrick.com> wrote in message
    >>>news:uTwYWoyCFHA.2960@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>I would agree except as I said I've seen the issue documented in detail
    >>>
    >>>too
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>many times to just dismiss it.
    >>>>
    >>>>--
    >>>>Regards,
    >>>>
    >>>>Dave Patrick ....Please no email replies - reply in newsgroup.
    >>>>Microsoft Certified Professional
    >>>>Microsoft MVP [Windows]
    >>>>http://www.microsoft.com/protect
    >>>>
    >>>>"Pegasus (MVP)" wrote:
    >>>>|I don't trust hear-say experiences - too many of them are
    >>>>| just plain myths that nobody bothered to verify. This one
    >>>>| sounds like one too, especially in view of the comment
    >>>>| made by Andy, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt
    >>>>| until I've done the test below. Watch this space!
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >
    >
  16. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    On second thought there may be a perfectly sensible answer for this
    behaviour. If one has more than one OS on more than one partition it
    would make sense to keep the boot.ini paths to the other OS. I mean why
    should formating one operating system break the loader to the other
    captured Operating Systems? More or less like boot loaders that want a
    small dedicated partition I guess.

    John

    Dave Patrick wrote:

    > Part of the reason I always suggest delete, restart, create the partition
    > when clean installing the OS.
    >
  17. I know its years later but I am building franken computers all the time out of peoples old stuff. Happy to have found this thread. This was always strange to me.

    I have my own input to throw a curve ball into the mix. I have this happen all the time as I have reformatted windows xp now a couple hundred times. Today I actually used a windows xp home cd, deleted two partitions on the hard drive until it was just unpartitioned space and installed using quick format. Afterwards the option to boot from the previous is there.

    I usually right click on my computer, then properties, then advanced, then under Startup and Recovery on the advanced tab click Settings. Then you have two options. Either just uncheck the Time to display list of operating systems check box or you can click edit and delete the bottom line of the file and then click save. *****be careful not to change ANYTHING else*****. I usually just uncheck the box as mentioned in the step before to avoid manual edit of the boot.ini file.

    I was always curious about that myself and I read a few replies and noticed people recommending to delete the partitions next time. Well, I just did that and it came back...again using the quick format. I like the suggestion about the file being small, but i was curious if anyone could explain how it survived in my case. I see no purpose in booting to the non existent partition. It seems like it might be useful if you wanted to have a list of operating systems. Maybe if you installed three different copies of windows on one large hard drive with multiple boot for nostalga...hmmmmmm.

    I am glad it is mysterious.


    Quote:
    Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    I recently formatted a Windows 2000 machine and installed 2000 Server. I
    formatted it using the 2000 Server CD, and after the instillation the
    boot.ini file still shows the previous version of Windows as an option. I
    have seen this a couple times before when reinstalling too. Does the CD not
    do a complete format of the drive? Just a curiosity question.
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