´╝× Windows Recovery & Repair ´╝×Edit Boot.ini File

Edit Boot.ini File in Windows XP/2000/Vista/7

What's the Boot.ini File?


Boot.ini is a Windows system configuration file that contains entries required to build the boot loader menu. With it, you can select a system out of multiple one. If the boot.ini file is missing, damaged, or contains incorrect entries, you will be failed to start Windows.

Example of Windows Boot.ini File

Here is an standard boot.ini file for Windows. You could find it under %systemroot% drive, usually C:/. Can't find it? Make sure you have checked the option "Show hidden files and folder" and unchecked the option "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" through Tools/Folder Options/View of File Explorer.

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINNT="Windows 2000 Server" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINNT="Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

Explanation line by line:

[boot loader] %boot loader section starts%

timeout=30 %how many seconds that the menu will remain on-screen before trying to boot up the "default" OS.%

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINNT %specifies the default OS%

[operating systems] %operating systems section starts%

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINNT="Windows 2000 Server" /fastdetect %ARC (Advanced RISC Computing) paths to specify the location of various boot partitions.%

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINNT="Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect %an alternative Windows system%

Important: before editing the boot.ini, you'd better save a backup copy of boot.ini by CTRC-C and Ctrl-V after opening %systemroot% drive. Sometime, you also need to clear the Read-only attribute through properties option by right clicking.

How to Edit Boot.ini File in Windows XP

To edit the Boot.ini file:

1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties, or click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
2. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
3. Under System Startup, click Edit.

How to Edit Boot.ini File in Windows 2000

You need to open a text editor, e.g. Notepad, to edit your boot.ini file in Windows 2000.

1. Open Start -> Run, input Notepad, and click OK.
2. In Notepad, click Open on the File menu.
3. Select the %systemroot% drive (Usually C:/) in the Look in box,
4. Choose the Boot.ini file, and then click Open.

How to Edit Boot.ini File in Windows Server 2003

To modify the Boot.ini file, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, go to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
2. In Control Panel, double-click System.
3. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
4. Under System startup, click Edit.

How to Edit Boot.ini File in Windows Vista and Windows 7

In fact, A Windows system after XP doesn't have a boot.ini file. But if you have installed dual or multiple Windows systems on a computer, you could still edit boot.ini file in Windows Vista or Windows 7. It's similar to description above. Find boot.ini file and modify it with your favorite text editor. But make sure boot.ini file is not hidden or protected, and a backup copy has been created.