How to Repair Invalid boot.ini File
When open your Windows machine, and got the message of "Invalid boot.ini booting from c:Windows" or just "Invalid Boot.ini"? Then, you are in the right place. This article is to show you how to repair missing or invalid boot.ini file for your Windows system.
What's on earth a boot.ini file?
Boot.ini is a Windows NT/2000/XP/Server 2003 system and usually hidden plain text file that contains entries needed to build the boot loader menu. Therefore, you can select a system to enter if there is multiple ones. Invalid boot.ini file usually happens in a Windows 7/XP dual boot, Windows Vista/XP dual boot, and even double XP dual boot. You can't run your Windows system if the boot.ini file missing, damaged, or contains incorrect entries.
Repair Invalid boot.ini with Windows CD Disc
If you have a Windows system CD at hand, easily repair boot.ini error as followed.
1. Insert the Windows 2000/XP/2003 CD to your CD-ROM.
2. Restart your computer.
3. When prompted to Press any key to boot from CD, press the Space bar. If the option doesn't show up, you need enter BIOS to choose CD-Rom as the first boot up option.
4. At the Welcome to Setup message, press R to start the Recovery Console.
5. If you multi-boot this computer, select the installation of Windows XP that failed to start.
6. When prompted, type the administrator password and press Enter.
7. When the command prompt opens, type bootcfg/list and press Enter to display the entries in the boot.ini file.
8. Type bootcfg/rebuild and press Enter to scan your hard drives for Windows NT-based installations, and follow the on-screen instructions to add installations to the boot.ini file.
Repair Invalid boot.ini with PowerSuite Golden
Spotmau PowerSuite Golden can boot up any computer so that you can repair and install windows, backup windows and even retrieve lost files. When PowerSuite is installed on a CD or USB, you can run a virtual system and do almost everything as a normal system. Reparing a boot.ini file would be a piece of cake.
When your system is booted up by PowerSuite Golden, open My Computer and select the hard drive the boot.ini is located, usually the root folder of C:/. Since boot.ini is a hidden file, make sure you have selected the option "Show hidden files and folder" and unchecked the option "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" in View/Folder Options of Tools menu of the File Explorer.
Then right click the boot.ini file, select Open With..., in the pop up dialog, select Notepad or your favorite text editor. Here is an example of an valid boot.ini file. Refer to it for repairing boot.ini file.
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
Boot.ini Repairing Tips:
1. If you can start Windows and find out the boot.ini file is invalid, you could repair as followed:
a. Right click on My Computer, and go through Properties -> Advanced -> Startup and Recovery -> Settings.
b. Then click on Edit button to boot.ini with notepad by default. If the boot.ini doesn't exist, you will be prompted to create a new one. In the editing window, paste the valid code as above and save to the hard drive.
Also check the system lines in boot.ini file by clicking the button Check All Boot Paths to make sure the systems are correctly added.
2. If you use PowerSuite to repair your boot.ini, you are highly recommended to backup your system, so that next time you can restore it easily with PowerSuite again, even when you can't boot your Windows machine.