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Multiple boot choices at start-up

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January 17, 2013 11:33:38 AM

hi,

I installed windows 7 on a new partition of my HDD (I use XP SP 2 btw) and when I noticed that it gives BSOD after BSOD after BSOD each time I tried to log in (only safe mode let me log on to my W7 desktop) I decided to remove it and I did this by formatting that partition.

Well, even though the partition has been formatted windows 7 still appears as a selection when I turn on the computer. I want this removed and I don't know how to do it. Any suggestions?

PS: I did try the suggestion with removing the path in boot.ini but there is no path in boot.ini to my W7. As a matter of fact here's how my boot.ini file looks like, as per following the steps Start > Run > msconfig + hit ENTER > boot.ini tab

[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS
[operating systems]
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows recovery Console" /cmdcons
UnsupportedDebug="do not select this" /debug
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
January 17, 2013 11:55:05 AM

Simple really. Follow the following steps.

1. Press "Windows" Key and "Pause" key simultaneously (alternately right click on "my computer" and select properties)

2. Select the "advanced" Tab

3. Click "settings" under "Startup and recovery"

4. Click "edit"

5. In the notepad you will be presented with the "boot.ini" file
Maximize the notepad...

6. Be careful here....
under [operating systems] you will have two lines
one starting with
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WI…

and 2nd starting with
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WI…

the second one is the windows installation on the D: drive

7. Delete the entire second line

8. Now you can safely delete the D:\windows\ directory or even format the D: drive...

WARNING!!!
if you had installed any programs in "D:\Program Files" it will be irrecoverably lost if you format D
Related resources
January 17, 2013 12:14:39 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Windows 7 created it's own boot loader. I think you will need to find a way to run bcedit or easybcd.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc709667%28v...

http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/


Not helpful man. I have no idea what to do with the info on these 2 links. If you could be more specific...

As I understood from the first link you gave me bcedit is only available with Vista and the newer versions of Windows so me having XP can't access them. Oh well, I'll wait for another reply. Thanks for your trouble, though
January 17, 2013 12:17:27 PM


Uhm, Ok but I have 3 lines of code under [operating system] not 2, and none of them has anything with partition(2) in it :) 

Just look at my first post and you will see what I mean. I gave the exact content of the boot.ini file that's on my computer, under PS.

Maybe you can look at it and tell me exactly what code/line I should remove/change/work with?



mohamedmoussa said:
Simple really. Follow the following steps.

1. Press "Windows" Key and "Pause" key simultaneously (alternately right click on "my computer" and select properties)

2. Select the "advanced" Tab

3. Click "settings" under "Startup and recovery"

4. Click "edit"

5. In the notepad you will be presented with the "boot.ini" file
Maximize the notepad...

6. Be careful here....
under [operating systems] you will have two lines
one starting with
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WI…

and 2nd starting with
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WI…

the second one is the windows installation on the D: drive

7. Delete the entire second line

8. Now you can safely delete the D:\windows\ directory or even format the D: drive...

WARNING!!!
if you had installed any programs in "D:\Program Files" it will be irrecoverably lost if you format D

January 17, 2013 2:27:13 PM

monere said:
Not helpful man. I have no idea what to do with the info on these 2 links. If you could be more specific...

As I understood from the first link you gave me bcedit is only available with Vista and the newer versions of Windows so me having XP can't access them. Oh well, I'll wait for another reply. Thanks for your trouble, though


My point is only XP will use the boot.ini file, vista and above do not. You need to download easybcd and edit the boot loader that windows 7 put on your drive. The only other way to access this boot loader is via bcedit which as you stated, Xp doesn't have. or use some other 3rd part boot loader editor.
January 17, 2013 3:40:02 PM

Ok, I will try the easybcd thingy and see if it helps :) 

Thanks for the tip

Hawkeye22 said:
My point is only XP will use the boot.ini file, vista and above do not. You need to download easybcd and edit the boot loader that windows 7 put on your drive. The only other way to access this boot loader is via bcedit which as you stated, Xp doesn't have. or use some other 3rd part boot loader editor.

January 17, 2013 6:19:34 PM

This is exactly what I did and I still have issues and I am not even sure I fixed anything by using Easybcd program. So anyway, here's what I did:

1) downloaded and installed Easybcd from the link you gave me
2) opened Easybcd
3) clicked on Edit Boot Menu and ticked Windows XP (Windows 7 was ticked by default)
4) saved settings and closed Easybcd
5) restarted PC
6) after restart no Windows XP option showed up at which point I totally freaked out because I have no backups created for my 500 GB disk and I would lose everything if something goes wrong.
7) under the panic that hit me I inserted the Windows XP disk and tried to repair, recovery or whatever the hell I did there cause I can't remember exactly what I did. Anyway, results: NONE. I just got directed at a MS-DOS command prompter saying c:\windows\
8) I started playing with the commands that I found by typing HELP hoping to find the one letting me log onto Windows. Needless to say I didn't find it.

Furthermore, I found one command (fixbootmgr I think was its name, or fixmgr, bootmgr or something like that) that I was just about to activate (I typed Y and was just about ti hit ENTER) and thus erasing everything on my HDD. Now, I am not sure if the result would have been losing all data on my HDD but at that point and by reading the command's tips and cautions it seemed that that's what was going to happen.

So anyway, I didn't hit the ENTER key but instead restarted the PC.

9) in a last attempt to log onto my OS I inserted a Linux Mint DVD that I just created hours ago (I will definitely switch over to Linux when I will have figured out how to use the program, cause it seems more complicated than Windows, at a first glance) and proceeded with the installation (or at least what I thought to be an installation)

Since I had no clue what to do in there (at some point I was just about to again format/delete everything while I tried to install it) I quickly pulled the DVD out of its unit and restarted the PC, totally frustrated and unknowledgeable of what to do anymore to just get back into Windows.

So, I restarted the PC and meanwhile I prepared the Windows XP CD for a fresh installation, thinking that I already lost what I had on drive C, but hoping to at least not lose everything on the entire disk.

Well, to my luck and surprise the boot menu appeared again (without having the installation disk inserted yet) and instead of the idiot Windows 7 option I saw something like this:

1
1
Recovery Console
Microsoft Windows XP

4 options that is, named more or less as above, with the mentioning that the first two 1s appear there as a result of me creating boot entries earlier in ms-dos while I played with the various commands.

Well, anyway, I picked the Microsoft Windows XP option and now I am back in my good old XP installation, writing this message to you to let you know that I didn't learn any lesson from all of these (I will still play with commands and ruin things if I feel like, with all the correspondent panic attacks and stuff that follow) but that I will indeed switch to Linux once I figure out how to install and dual-boot it along with Windows XP.

Also, I have no idea if EasyBCd was the real helper (with regards to removing Windows 7 from the boot menu) in my case or if something else did the trick, but I can tell you that the program - while pretty easy to understand and use - still behaves strange on my PC. For example, even though I specifically set Windows XP as the default boot option at the computer start (previously Windows 7 was set as default), and even though I manually removed the Windows 7 entry from the Edit Boot menu section of Easybcd, now that I am logged back on to Windows and that I have EasyBCD opened up and right in front of me, the idiot program still shows me only Windows 7, and nothing else (although, like I said, I MANUALLY removed the Windows 7 entry and saved the changes, not even touching Windows XP entry which is now gone from the boot menu section of Easybcd).

So, if nothing wrong comes along I will consider this issue solved although I have no idea how I solved it or if it's even me that did it, or if I just got lucky.

But anyway, one more question before I close: is it possible that Windows 7 also left other bits of data/files/whatever anywhere on my computer, besides that entry in the boot menu? If yes, how do I get rid of anything Windows 7 related? Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Windows 7 (I have friends who are very impressed with it and for them Windows 7 works flawlessly). But for my old (2007) PC, W7 doesn't seem like a good choice of OS.

Besides, I really wish to get a hang of Linux as I understood, it's the least susceptible OS to viruses and I've been dealing with viruses almost monthly over the last 2 years. I am pretty sick and tired of having having my system slowed down weekly, my internet connection constantly and automatically getting closed, PC getting restarted out of the blue sky and whatnot.

So, please let me know if it's possible for Windows 7 to have left anything else on my computer, besides that entry in the boot menu which again, seems to be gone at last.

Thanks and awaiting your reply!

PS: I hope you won't get mad at me for writing a novel about an issue that for you means almost nothing at all :)  I wanted to do this, however so that others who have the same problem like me know what to do/expect.

Hawkeye22 said:
My point is only XP will use the boot.ini file, vista and above do not. You need to download easybcd and edit the boot loader that windows 7 put on your drive. The only other way to access this boot loader is via bcedit which as you stated, Xp doesn't have. or use some other 3rd part boot loader editor.

January 17, 2013 6:35:09 PM

EasyBCD should have done the trick. Your many trials and sudden quits of programs could have easily clobbered your drive. When in doubt, backup/clone the drive first. The fixboot and bootmgr most likely made the win7 boot loader moot since those commands can restore/fix an XP boot loader.

Anyhow, it's stuff like this that makes me leary of any program that messes with partitions and boot loaders. If your bios has a boot option at startup, like F12-Boot, it would have been esier to install an OS onto each drive where each boot partition is on it's own drive. That is insert a new drive, unplug the current drive(s). Install the OS of choice and make sure it works ok. Now reconnect any remaining drives. Now when you start your computer, click F12-Boot and select the drive to boot from. No messy boot managers to mess with this way.
January 17, 2013 8:39:47 PM

By backup/clone you mean copy the entire 500GB disk to another disk or what exactly are you referring to?

Also, about the fixboot and bootmgr commands, was there any chance that I would've erased the disk had I ran any of these commands? Which one?

Then, what do you mean by "insert a new drive"?? For me drives and partitions are the same thing, and none of them can be inserted into anything. Eventually partitions can be created when you format a disk, or maybe in some other ways that I am not yet aware of. But anyway, do explain the insertion of drives thingy, as I am not following you on these specs (drives, f12-boot, etc)

And one last thing, if its not too much trouble: what does "leary of" mean? I can't find it in any dictionary as dictionaries usually translate single words, rare do they translate 2 or more word phrases. Could you please replace "leary of" with a synonym or something so I can figure out the meaning of your words? :D 

Thanks!



Hawkeye22 said:
EasyBCD should have done the trick. Your many trials and sudden quits of programs could have easily clobbered your drive. When in doubt, backup/clone the drive first. The fixboot and bootmgr most likely made the win7 boot loader moot since those commands can restore/fix an XP boot loader.

Anyhow, it's stuff like this that makes me leary of any program that messes with partitions and boot loaders. If your bios has a boot option at startup, like F12-Boot, it would have been esier to install an OS onto each drive where each boot partition is on it's own drive. That is insert a new drive, unplug the current drive(s). Install the OS of choice and make sure it works ok. Now reconnect any remaining drives. Now when you start your computer, click F12-Boot and select the drive to boot from. No messy boot managers to mess with this way.

January 18, 2013 6:06:11 PM

Regading, backup/clone, yes, I mean make an exact duplicate of that drive so that if you clobber it, you still have the original.

Regarding leary, according to meriam-webster dictionary, another spelling for leery.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leary

insert drive = put drive in the computer.

Q: Also, about the fixboot and bootmgr commands, was there any chance that I would've erased the disk had I ran any of these commands? Which one?

A: All of them mess with the disk structure. Some are more sever than others. if you don't know what they do, don't use them.

Drives are not equal to partitions. A single drive can be partitoned quite a few times. each partition will appear as a drive to windows, but in reality, it's one drive. So if you have a drive with 3 partitons listed as drives C:, D:, and E: and this single drive dies, you actually lost all 3 (C, D, E)in windows. If you create one large partiton that uses the entire drive, then for all intent and purposes, a drive = partition.

Sorry, I can't reword the F12-Boot stuff any simpler. You'll just need to study up on ways to dual boot/multi-boot. just remember, it's very easy to install multiple OS's and mutli-boot, the touble is removing any of the OS's later.
January 18, 2013 10:10:16 PM

monere said:
hi,

I installed windows 7 on a new partition of my HDD (I use XP SP 2 btw) and when I noticed that it gives BSOD after BSOD after BSOD each time I tried to log in (only safe mode let me log on to my W7 desktop) I decided to remove it and I did this by formatting that partition.

Well, even though the partition has been formatted windows 7 still appears as a selection when I turn on the computer. I want this removed and I don't know how to do it. Any suggestions?

PS: I did try the suggestion with removing the path in boot.ini but there is no path in boot.ini to my W7. As a matter of fact here's how my boot.ini file looks like, as per following the steps Start > Run > msconfig + hit ENTER > boot.ini tab

[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS
[operating systems]
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows recovery Console" /cmdcons
UnsupportedDebug="do not select this" /debug
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


First thing to do is backup the boot.ini file... following mohamedmoussa's method, access the Boot.ini file and go to the File menu \ and sabe a copy in your user documents folder.

Next in the boot.ini file, place the mouse cursor right after "[operating systems]" and hit Enter... next select the complete last line (in blue) that starts with; "multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)", right click it and select Cut, and next paste it right under "[operating systems]", and delete the rest starting with "C:\" (in red). This last line appears to be an invalid Recovery Console entry which if you have it installed, you can reinstall it and it will edit the boot.ini file correctly.

[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS
[operating systems]
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows recovery Console" /cmdcons
UnsupportedDebug="do not select this" /debug

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
[/quotemsg]

CORRECT and default Boot.ini with only Windows XP installed... you can alternately delete all the Boot.ini contents and replace it with this part between lines.

-------------------------------------------------------------
[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 /NoExecute=OptIn
------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT: the CORRECT Boot.ini with Windows XP and the Recovery Console:
[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 /NoExecute=OptIn
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
January 19, 2013 1:38:27 AM

Ok, so now I understand what you meant to say in the previous reply and why I was so confused

Anyway, as much as I'd like to make that backup I can't do it because I can't afford another drive as you call it (I call it hard disk). This cost lots of money, that I don't currently have. Besides, that drive can brake out of the blue sky as well. I've seen a few cases like this at some of my colleagues when they purchased new desktops and after a few days their drive literally collapsed and they had to replace it. So, there's nothing sure about creating backups of full drives.

If it was something that could fit onto a Cd or DVD, other would have been the case. But in these circumstances I'll have to skip this step.

As for those 2 MS-DOS commands, I will do my best to stay away from them. I know I said that I will still mess with such commands if I feel like but not this time. I don't feel like losing the entire drive :) 

And also, it's Ok about the F-12 boot thingy. I still don't know what you mean exactly, but I have a hunch what you are referring to. And if you're referring to what I think you are, then I know how to do that (for my computer, F8 is the key that does what you say F12 does). I don't think I need this type of booting for my issue, which was just to remove that entry for Windows 7 from my boot menu. And which I did remove by the way, even though I created another 2 entries while I played with the MS-DOS commands.

But anyway, the point is that I managed to understand how to deal with this type of issues, thanks to your help :) 

So, this thread is pretty much solved in what concerns me. Just don't close it yet so I have time to respond to the other helpful persons who joined.

Hawkeye22 said:
Regading, backup/clone, yes, I mean make an exact duplicate of that drive so that if you clobber it, you still have the original.

Regarding leary, according to meriam-webster dictionary, another spelling for leery.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leary

insert drive = put drive in the computer.

Q: Also, about the fixboot and bootmgr commands, was there any chance that I would've erased the disk had I ran any of these commands? Which one?

A: All of them mess with the disk structure. Some are more sever than others. if you don't know what they do, don't use them.

Drives are not equal to partitions. A single drive can be partitoned quite a few times. each partition will appear as a drive to windows, but in reality, it's one drive. So if you have a drive with 3 partitons listed as drives C:, D:, and E: and this single drive dies, you actually lost all 3 (C, D, E)in windows. If you create one large partiton that uses the entire drive, then for all intent and purposes, a drive = partition.

Sorry, I can't reword the F12-Boot stuff any simpler. You'll just need to study up on ways to dual boot/multi-boot. just remember, it's very easy to install multiple OS's and mutli-boot, the touble is removing any of the OS's later.

January 19, 2013 2:05:20 AM

I did everything as instructed and now everything looks fine :) 

Just one more question though: should I keep the boot.ini file like it is right now (with this line of code only multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn) or should I also add the code for the recovery console to it as well?

What does the recovery console do, by the way? Do I really need it so badly in order to make it a bootable option?


Chicano said:
First thing to do is backup the boot.ini file... following mohamedmoussa's method, access the Boot.ini file and go to the File menu \ and sabe a copy in your user documents folder.

Next in the boot.ini file, place the mouse cursor right after "[operating systems]" and hit Enter... next select the complete last line (in blue) that starts with; "multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)", right click it and select Cut, and next paste it right under "[operating systems]", and delete the rest starting with "C:\" (in red). This last line appears to be an invalid Recovery Console entry which if you have it installed, you can reinstall it and it will edit the boot.ini file correctly.

[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS
[operating systems]
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows recovery Console" /cmdcons
UnsupportedDebug="do not select this" /debug

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect



CORRECT and default Boot.ini with only Windows XP installed... you can alternately delete all the Boot.ini contents and replace it with this part between lines.

-------------------------------------------------------------
[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 /NoExecute=OptIn
------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT: the CORRECT Boot.ini with Windows XP and the Recovery Console:
[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 /NoExecute=OptIn
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons[/quotemsg]
!