Edit boot.ini

Is there a way to the edit the boot.ini file in note pad so as to to be able to boot from two seprete hard drives? Ihave win xp 1.6 cpu 512mem.a 40&100G. HD. With xp on both.would like to boot to eather one. Thanks for any help you can provide.XBILL

Here is my boot.ini and it does just what you want…
It’s for Win2000, but you can compare it to your existing boot.ini, editable in notepad…

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT=“Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional_1” /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINNT=“Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional_2” /fastdetect

xbill, I think you’ll need some kind of boot manager because we are dealing with two HDD’s.

Exaple [I]pipemanid[/I] posted is about two partitions/OS’s on same HDD. Editing that boot.ini is not appliable in your situation.

Hope other members will fill in with more details because I never tried this kind of boot with 2 HDD’s involved. (Have no problem to run 4 OS’s from same HD though.)

Wrong, that’s 2 different HD’s, not two partitions on the same HD…
Look again, and take your time…
I have 3 computers with that exact same setup and it works fine…

Oooops. Sorry [I]pipemanid[/I]. Look like I missed a “(1)” when I read your post and your boot.ini. :doh:

I’m taking my time… :bigsmile:

So you agree that my original answer is accurate?

I did this with XP and 2000 and added vista all on their on HDD and did the same config as you did and it worked.

Windows has it’s own basic boot management, so simply installing the second OS, or even the drive with an OS on it, should (in theory) trigger the boot management. However, Windows being what it is, if you want complete control and flexability you should go with a 3rd-party boot manager which will allow you to change your mind and fix mistakes. Editing boot.ini is really not necessary unless you’re dealing with Win9x.

Another note, installing a HD with an OS on it that came from another system could be fraught with trouble, and may not boot at all.

The installation of an additional HD after the fact will not trigger the boot management capabilities…Just tried it, and it didn’t work…

I can’t see any reason to utilize a 3rd party boot manager when the one furnished with the OS works…And my setup has allowed me to access either OS installation for repair or maintenance…

I have utilized the multi boot capabilities since Win95 through Win2000…The only time it hasn’t worked was an attempt to use Linux…

Only on systems that differ appreciably…

My reply to the OP and Dr. Who’s experience should be adequate proof that the information furnished is accurate and addressed the question as posed…Everything else is just speculation and not based on facts…

It’s all works very well in practice, but it will never work in theory. /.

pipemanid :I typed, BOOT.ini in run opened in note pad,this is what i put in [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 Home Disk 1” /fastdetect /noexecute=optin
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS=“Microsoft Windows XP Home Disk 2” /fastdetect /noexecute=optin Then rebooted but it opened normal ,i checked run,and origenal was still there.Here is what is on there ,same as before.What steps do you do to edit this.Thanks XBILL [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 Home Edition” /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

The boot.ini is a hidden file and you need to go into Explorer, Tools, view, select Show hidden files and folders, OK and then go to the root of your boot © drive, double click on boot.ini and paste the info you just showed here…
Try that and see what happens…

Being a noob,this sounds dumb ,but what steps do you taketo go in to Explorer t0 get to the tools.do you have to uses internet explorer. iam useing Fire fox, thanks for any help you can give me on this. I am probley getting in over my head here! xbill

Why go to all that trouble ??? Just click and open [B]Run [/B] and type [B]msconfig[/B] and you have the boot.ini in front of you and can edit it from there! No need to go through all the work opening files and pasting into Note pad.

I went to msconfig and opened the BOOT .ini ,i there was no way to edit it.Ineed more info.

Why can’t you edit it? You can do it even under MS-DOS 5.0 on a 286 PC. Run CMD.exe or any other command prompt launcher, type “c:\boot.ini” and it will be there.

Sorry :bow: [B]xbill [/B] my mistake. This is what happens when you been using [B]Linux [/B] for to long! Start to forget all the commands for XP. I think its for the better as well lol… With msconfig you can only change the Boot order of the ‘boot.ini file to edit it open “Run” and type [B] C:boot.ini [/B] and it will open for you in Note Pad and then you can edit it. This time it will work for you :slight_smile:

If you are running XP, there is another way to edit boot.ini. Right click My Computer. Click Properties > Advanced tab > Startup and Recovery Settings.

From this window you can edit boot.ini by clicking the “Edit” button. You can also change the default OS, and change the “Time to display list of operating systems” by a click of the mouse without editing boot.ini directly.

Actually XP’s boot facility can boot Linux or any other OS. That’s the way I boot Linux. It does it the same way that it boots Win9x. It’s a bit complicated to set it up though. Linux gurus shouldn’t have a problem. It involves having the Linux installer put Grub on the first sector of the Linux root (or boot) partition instead of in the MBR. Then you use the Linux dd command to grab it and save it as a file.

[B]Save a Backup Copy of Boot.ini[/B]

  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. This opens the file in Notepad ready for editing.
  4. In Notepad, click File on the Menu bar, and then click Save As.
  5. Right click in an empty area of the Save As dialog box, point to New in the Context menu, and then click Folder.
  6. Type a name for the new folder, for example temp, and then press the ENTER key to create the folder named temp.
  7. Double-click the new folder named temp, and then click the Save button to save a backup copy of the Boot.ini file.

[B]Edit the Boot.ini File[/B]
To view and 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.

A good way to back up boot.ini is to make a “boot floppy” (or boot CD). This will allow you to boot up without using boot.ini from the hard drive. In fact it bypasses four files on the hard drive that are needed for booting. It uses the ones you’ve copied to the floppy instead. If you have an OS installed on your second hard drive it can bypass the first drive entirely.
http://www.hypercon.net/~blisscomm/xp_help_index_files/Page334.htm

pipermanid:Iwent to run/ sysdm.cpl edit &put this in [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 Home Disk 1” /fastdetect /noexecute=optin
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS=“Microsoft Windows XP Home Disk 2” /fastdetect /noexecute=optin rebooted but it opened in normel xp no menue to selectfrom .,i checked the edit isthere same as above.is theresome thing more to do to it? Thanks were gitting closer?