Boot up problem

Hello, I'm hoping someone can help.
I have an old Dell Dimension 3000 PC that was given me. It worked but I couldn't update the OS (Windows XP Home) suggesting a bogus system had been previous installed.
I have a XP Pro disc that I have used successfully elsewhere so I decided to try and install this OS and delete the existing.
All went well with the disc installation (included a complete hard drive disc re-format) but when it comes to the boot of the OS the system gets caught in a loop and a messages flashes up that reads
Invalid BOOT.INI file
Boot from C:\Windows\
NTDetect failed

so the bootup rejects the boot.ini and keeps trying and ends up in a loop.
I've got to Recovery using the installation disc again and to the prompt
C:/Windows> (slash might be other way around..)
and tried to edit 'bootcfg' using 'bootcfg /rebuild'.
I've now got four boot options under 'bootcfg /list' partly because of my fumbling, but there's only the one OS on the disc ie: XP Pro.
I don't understand why the bootup process doesn't stop and ask me which of the four boots I wish to use.
Anyone help?
11 answers Last reply
More about boot problem
  1. It sounds as if the boot.ini is missing from the hard drive.

    I would just boot up from the cd and delete any partions and reinstall XP.
  2. danny2000 said:
    It sounds as if the boot.ini is missing from the hard drive.

    I would just boot up from the cd and delete any partions and reinstall XP.

    Hi, and thanks. I was getting confused. I did a complete installation using the OS disc and this time chose the full re-formatting (not the 'quick' option) and this has re-defined the 'boot.ini' file.

    I can get into the system prompt by taking the Recovery option on the installation disc and at the prompt if I run 'bootcfg /list' it now shows only one entry and it is this:

    ‘Microsoft Windows XP Professional’
    ‘OS Load Options: /fastdetect’
    ‘OS Location: C:\WINDOWS’

    That seems OK, does it not? Does this not suggest that the 'boot.ini' is present on the C drive as per normal?

    Yet at boot up I'm still getting this flash up briefly as it cycles:

    Invalid BOOT.INI file
    Boot from C:\Windows\
    NTDetect failed

    Any ideas?

    Many thanks,

  3. Does it load the o/s or is it rebooting?
  4. You can try a bootconfig /rebuild.
    Did you delete all of the partitions on that hard drive?
  5. Hi,
    Your suspicions are correct! There is an option to delete all partitions before re-formatting and I didn't take this option, but rather the one that still appeared to re-format the whole disc but it's obviously not doing the same thing! My apologies. I've now got past the problem I had so I'll see how I get on now that the OS is installing.
    Many thanks.
  6. It may have been a recovery or diagnostic partition; I have had problems reinstalling an o/s on a hard drive with those types of partitions on the hard drive.
  7. Glad I'm not the only one that comes up against obstacles! I'm a novice at this stuff but learning as I go. Still not installed Windows fully but will try to complete later.
  8. Hi Jim, Any further luck yet?
  9. Yep, thanks.
    Looks like that tiny partition was the cause of the problem. Once I deleted it and re-formatted the complete disc (raw) all went well and the PC is up and running and after a great deal of updating is now good!
    The small partition that was on the HDD fooled me as the option to 're-format the disc' didn't remove it and as it was so small it looked to me like I was indeed re-formatting the whole disc not just 99.5% of it! Live and learn I guess.
    My next challenge is another PC I have that works but HDD is very small and I have another to put in as a slave - both older PCs and both HDDs are IDE variety.
    Many thanks for your help. I appreciate it. J.
  10. Great, please choose to select my message as "best answer" so that it closes the topic on the board.
  11. Sorry I can't see how you do that!
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