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Old 10-24-2003, 06:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Help! Recovering Multi-boot Menu

I'm about to go nuts...just when I needed to use them..argh!

Here's my prob. I'm on 3ple-boot (WinXP,Win2000,&Win98). I've been running them fine ever since, until I got an Invalid System Disk prompt with Win98...so I thought I'd promptly fix it with a SYS C command using my start-up disk and it worked fine (or so I thought...hey the helpfile suggested it) Until I discovered to my horror that I've lost the other 2 OSes..WinXP and Win2000...basically, I just lost my boot menu (i'm just unable to choose them anymore) I know they're still there (please God, let them still be there)

Any fast & "painless" way to recover the boot menu???
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Old 10-24-2003, 11:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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go to start, run then type C:\boot.ini
try and add the other OS's like what is shown with the 98 system
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Old 10-25-2003, 02:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmmm...let me just clarify if I got this correct k? You mean, I should find the boot.ini file of Windows 98 right? and copy that same boot.ini file into the respective directories of WinXP and Win2000?? In my case, u see my Win98 is in partition drive C: and Win2000 is on drive D: and WinXP is on E: Just by doing that will fix the boot menu?? coz right now, I only have 1 boot.ini file and it resides on drive C:

Or, do you mean like actually changing something within the boot.ini file?? This one is something i'm not inclined to do coz i have absolutely no idea what i'll be doing. Messing around with boot.inis is not exactly my cup of tea...unless you guys give me specific instructions on how to go about it...

Cheers!
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Old 10-25-2003, 03:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Four_of_Five
Hmmm...let me just clarify if I got this correct k? You mean, I should find the boot.ini file of Windows 98 right?
Your boot.ini is usaully stored on the boot partition (makes sense right) of the first drive, so if your first partion is 98 then that is where it is.

If you are not really sure about what you are doing, I suggest you backup your boot.ini file and save it to a floppy disk and then get REAL familar with the path to your boot.ini file incase you mess it up worse (not booting at all) you can restore from you floppy drive.

From there you need to find out where the other OSes reside on your HDD(s). And this is the technical part...


This is an example of what a boot.ini file looks like. Don't be scared... TF has your back. I will try to explain, but will probably need MicroBell to watch my back... lol.
Code:
[boot loader]  <-- start of file
timeout=10  <-- How long before it goes to default OS
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT <-- Which is here
[operating systems] <-- Specifies that you have more than one OS going on or different hardware profiles.
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows XP" <-- This is the location of your first OS, let's say XP
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows 2000" <-- This is the location of your second OS, 2000
mulit(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\Windows="Windows 98" <-- This is the location of your third OS, 98 in this case
[any text]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows XP"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows 2000"
mulit(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\Windows="Windows 98"
C:\="MS-DOS"
Pay close attention to the BOLD part, that is what you have to focus on.

The hard part (especially if you don't know already) is figuring out where to put a 1 or a 0. Multi() and disk() will almost ALWAYS be (0) unless you are using SCSI. (Are you?) Rdisk is the physical disk and can be (0) - (3). Partition is the number of the partition.
Example: If 98 was on the second HDD and 3rd partition the boot.ini file for that would look like this:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Windows 98".
WINDOWS represents the root folder for the OS, 98 uses WINDOWS, NT and 2000 use WINNT.

1. How many HDD(s) do you have installed?
2. How many partitions do you have and which drives do they resided on?

Let me know if this helps or if I have just confused the *&^% out of you... I am good at that.
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Old 10-26-2003, 12:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, I should have told you more how my multi-boot was set-up:

I only have 1 20gb disk drive and it's partitioned into 3, this way:
Drive C: Win98 (7.5gb), D:Win2000 (5gb) & E:WinXP (7.5gb). All Fat32 and Drive C: is primary, with D & E as logical.
When it was still working, the default boot was XP.

Here's how my boot.ini looks right now (it's only found on DriveC btw)
_________________________________

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOW S
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINNT="Microso ft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
C:\="Microsoft Windows"
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Old 10-26-2003, 01:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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it is only found on your drive C: becuase that is your boot partition, the first of the three.

This is your old boot.ini file correct?

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOW
S
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINNT="Microso ft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
C:\="Microsoft Windows"

Well it should be something like this: (hopes bell has his back as well)

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\micros oft WINDOWS 98
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows 98" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINNT="Microso ft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
C:\="Microsoft Windows"

But i am not entirly sure what to call th win98 partition to add here for the boot.ini, but i am pretty sure it should loo k something like that.
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Old 10-27-2003, 03:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ok, i'm getting a crash course in multi-booting boot.ini files, the past couple of days...

First off, I did manage to "fix" my posted problem, I got to restore my OS Boot Menu...yehey! Just to keep a loooong story short, I did a WinXP Recovery Console and bootcfg /rebuild thingie...

..The problem is...I'm back to square one...while I got back my WinXP and Win2K to boot up again...my Win98 is back to "Invalid System Disk..." wont launch...

Now, I tried your above suggestions...except, instead I used this: (coz I didn't want to change the boot.ini as much as possible)
_____________________
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\micros
oft WINDOWS 98
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINNT="Microso ft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows 98" /fastdetect

C:\="Microsoft Windows"
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and I got this error when I chose "Microsoft Windows 98":
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file

And btw, the "other" Windows 98 didnt disappear from the OS boot menu...so I think..it all boils down on how to fix the "Invalid System Disk..." of Windows 98 in the first place w/o resorting to a SYS C: (obviously, this solution, destorys the OS Boot Menu)
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