Unable to access Windows XP

  Bobus 21:34 19 Jan 04

I have Windows XP installed on Disk D & Windows 98 on C, both FAT 32.
I recently reinstalled Windows 98 on C and have lost the Boot Manager on start up and can only access Windows 98. Can anyone suggest how I can restore the Boot Manager please so that I have the choice of 98 or XP again?
Thank you.

  spikeychris 21:48 19 Jan 04

Boot from the XP CD, get into the Recovery Console, and type the following commands:




click here for the 6 floppies if you wish.

  temp003 02:31 20 Jan 04

On a dual boot with your original configuration, all the boot files (for both OS's) were on C, and the C partition boot sector uses the XP boot sector to start up.

When you reinstalled 98, it changed the C boot sector back to 98. So when you start computer, it won't look for the XP boot files.

If your reinstall was done without formatting the C partition (that is, it was a repair installation over the top of the original 98), then follow spikeychris's instructions. This is because without formatting, the original dual boot files, ntldr, ntdetect.com, boot.ini and bootsect.dos (the last one was to boot into 98 which had been created by the XP installation process).

If your reinstall was done after formatting 98, you would need to re-create the boot files, in which case please post back for instructions.

  temp003 02:32 20 Jan 04

Sorry, third paragraph above should end with ... are still on the C partition.

  Bobus 15:18 20 Jan 04

spikeychris: Thank you for your very quick response
tempo003: thank you for yours - I am knocked out at the quick replies!
I had reformatted my C disk and would be very grateful if you would let me have instructions re the boot files

  spikeychris 18:25 20 Jan 04

The files Bobus that XP shoves on the C drive are boot.ini, ntdetect.com, ntldr
Hal.dll, ntbootdd.sys

  temp003 01:00 21 Jan 04

I assume when you say XP is on Disk D, you mean XP is on a separate hard disk, which is the primary slave? If incorrect, please post back. I also assume yours is XP Home.

The instructions are long-winded and look complicated, but they are in fact simple to follow.

Some explanation first. What you need to do is a "partial installation" of XP. It's not a reinstall at all. You go through the initial part of the installation where XP Setup will copy installation files to your hard disk and most importantly, re-create the dual boot files on the computer and the XP boot sector (which is what you need). At that stage, normally computer needs to restart and boot from the hard disk, to continue with the installation. You DO NOT restart. Instead, now that you have all the boot files you need, you edit the boot.ini file to re-create the option for XP in the boot-up menu.

Boot into 98. Insert XP CD. Choose to install Windows XP. Then choose "install a new copy (Advanced)" from the drop down list. Then just follow the prompts as if you wanted to install a fresh copy (don't worry, it won't overwrite anything). In case you're asked where to install the fresh copy, just point to the existing XP partition. You will not lose any data.

After answering all the prompts, temporary installation files will be copied to the hard disk. After that, you will be told the computer needs to restart to continue with the installation. You should get a choice not to restart but to continue with installation later. Select that.

In case there's no such option and the computer restarts, don't panic. Just turn off the computer power or reset, and start computer again. Remove CD. When computer restarts (let it boot from hard disk), get your finger ready on the DOWN arrow on the keyboard. You should then see a boot menu, with choices of (1) Microsoft Windows XP Home Setup and (2) Microsoft Windows 98. Press the DOWN arrow and select Windows 98.

If for any reason, you are too late or make the wrong selection and go into XP Setup, restart computer and go back into 98.

Once in 98 (with or without restarting), in My Computer, go to your C drive, and click View, Options, select "Show All Files", and deselect "Hide MSDOS extensions for file types that are registered". Click OK.

Now under C, you should see a file called boot.ini (along with ntldr, ntdetect.com, bootsect.dos). Right click boot.ini, Properties, and if the Read-Only box is ticked, untick it. Click OK.

Double click boot.ini which opens in Notepad. Edit it so that it reads as follows:

[boot loader]



[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home" /fastdetect

C:\="Microsoft Windows 98"

After making the changes, click File, Save. Exit Notepad.

Restart computer. You should get your old boot menu back with the options of XP and 98. Select XP and see if it loads. If it doesn't, don't worry (likely the path to XP in boot.ini is wrong). Restart and select 98, and post back.

If XP loads properly (and if 98 does as well), go back to C drive and delete the entire folder called $WIN_NT$.~BT under C (this is the folder where the temporary installation files are stored - you don't need them).

  temp003 01:17 21 Jan 04

If all goes well, I suggest you make a backup of the boot files which are required to load both 98 and XP. They are all under the C drive: ntldr, ntdetect.com, boot.ini and bootsect.dos

The file bootsect.dos is in fact the file needed to load 98 in a dual boot with XP. They are created by the XP installation process from the original 98 boot files on the computer. The other 3 files are easy to re-create but bootsect.dos is more complicated. (That's why I've suggested the partial reinstall method to repair your computer). So a backup is a good idea.

Boot into XP. Insert floppy. Right click Drive A and select Format. On the next window, just click Start (do not tick any of the options). You must do it in XP and must take this step even with a brand new floppy.

After formatting, copy the 4 files to the floppy. Remove floppy and label it "Dual boot floppy". This is a bootable floppy. With the floppy drive coming before hard disk in boot sequence in BIOS, the floppy will boot up and give you the boot menu and load either OS just like the hard disk. It also serves as a backup of the boot files (you can also back up the files somewhere else in addition, since floppies deteriorate with time).

  Bobus 10:02 21 Jan 04

spikeychris & temp003 - thank you both very much for your instructions.
I will follow your suggestions in the next couple of days and get back to let you know how I get on

  spikeychris 10:37 21 Jan 04

temp003, very impressive post.

  Bobus 19:15 23 Jan 04

Hello temp003
I carefully followed your instructions, deleted the old C:\Boot.ini & replaced it with exactly the details you gave me.
I am delighted to say that I have been able to boot into XP.
On the start up menu I now get
Microsoft Windows XP
/fast detect
I am so pleased to access XP at all, but is there any way of removing /fast detect from the
Very grateful thanks

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