4 instances of 'XP Home Edition' at boot...only need 1...how to, please?

Hello there.

I'm trying to help some friends but I'm very much a beginner myself so would really
appreciate any help.

When they start their XP computer, they get a black screen with four choices of XP
Home Edition. They choose one (the second one) and they have a working pc, BUT they don't want the other 3.

I've already been discussing this on the Annoyances.org forum (see  http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp/1110938331),  and, despite the fact that 99% of the time I get problems solved there, this time I'm a little confused so I thought I'd throw this question open to here aswell, just to get even more thoughts.

As you'll see from the link, I've read about clean install XP and all that, but just need something clearer about how to make it so that the pc just boots up normally, into 1 single installation of XP.

Can anyone help a novice please? It would be eternally appreciated.

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Go to your Control Panels, System Control Panel, Advanced Tab, Startup and Recovery section "Settings" button, Then click the "edit" button on the System startup section in the new window that appears.  Remove the lines under operating systems that you don't want.

(BACKUP THIS FILE - JUST IN CASE).  If you're not certain what you are doing, post the contents of the file here and we'll help you!
leew's instructions are accurate.

however, this (in my opinion) is a much safer way of doing it.

running bootcfg/ rebuild will scan you pc for any versions of windows installed and rebuild your boot options according to what you actually have installed, eliminating the possibility of you deleting a line that makes you computer unbootable should you make a mistake editing the boot.ini

hope this helps.
You have to edit the Boot.ini file at the C prompt.

drop into a DOS session.

go to the root of your C drive.

type cmd <press enter>
type cd\

you will now be at the prompt of your c drive.
type attrib -s -h -r boot.ini
edit boot.ini

now, you are editing your boot.ini file. Check out if there is multiple instance of your win xp home entry.

remove them.


at c prompt, type attrib +s +h +r boot.ini



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leew way is the same thing btw.. just faster :)
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Faster for the typest, not for the point-and-click person - I'm a typist and use that method often, but for someone who doesn't know much, the control panel method is generally preferred.  Then they know how to do this again in the future, rather than having to remember commands.
tornshoesAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick responses so far folks....I'll do a bit more reading on this and get back to you all soon.

Thanks again, it's genuinely appreciated.

tornshoesAuthor Commented:

As it stands I'm thinking of doing the control panel, system control panel etc thing and removing 3 of the four instances of Xp Home Edition, if that's what I'll find there (if I ever get there!)

The boot.ini stuff scares me to be honest.

But anyway, will any of these methods actually remove the 3 not-needed instances of XP (if that's what's going on) or just stop the boot menu from showing them? In other words, will they (the 3 not-needed instances of XP)still be there on the pc taking up memory, resources and the like?

I must say that  I really do appreciate the suggestions I've received here, and I'm sorry that I'm still in a daze over all this...but at the end of the day, we are simply after a pc that just turns on when you turn it on, and boots up into 1 single instance of XP, without the choice of 4 XPs, and even without a boot menu at all.

Many thanks to you all.....I've read everything including all the links, and other links from the links, but I'm still a little lost. I just wish I knew exactly which way to go, and honestly am unsure about everything.

e.g if  I edit the boot.ini, what do I remove exactly?

If I go for the bootcfg /rebuild option will this get rid of the 3 instances of XP that I don't need, and without editing the boot.ini?

Sorry, just genuinely confused, and could really do with some clarification.


"The boot.ini stuff scares me to be honest."
> Considering the fact that if you do it wrong your OS won't boot, I suppose that is worth feeling scared about :)

"But anyway, will any of these methods actually remove the 3 not-needed instances of XP (if that's what's going on) or just stop the boot menu from showing them? In other words, will they (the 3 not-needed instances of XP)still be there on the pc taking up memory, resources and the like?"
> If there is *only* one operating system installed, and only one operating system referenced in the boot.ini, you should never see the boot menu, it should load it automatically since there is no other operating system to choose (this is, of course, *after* you remove the leftover three operating system entries)

"e.g if  I edit the boot.ini, what do I remove exactly?"
> If you post the current contents of your boot.ini file, I'm sure one of the experts here would be more than happy to show you what it *should* look like.

"If I go for the bootcfg /rebuild option will this get rid of the 3 instances of XP that I don't need, and without editing the boot.ini?"
> That is exactly correct. WIndows scans your computer for windows and recreates the boot.ini for you. if you only have one install of windows, you'll only have one boot.ini entry and you won't see the other three any longer...all without editing the boot.ini
tornshoesAuthor Commented:
Just thought I'd give an update on what the situation is. I saw the pc again last night, and will do so again in 3 or 4 days.

The boot.ini file read:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.2="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.1="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.0="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect

Now then, I changed it around so that the second line went first (as this appeared to correspond with the 4 choices on the boot menu, and also changed the default line to Windows.1, and changed the time to 10 seconds.
Now the pc at least boots into the good, fully working version without the user having to key down one option using the arrows, and now we don't have to wait 30 seconds either, only 10.
At the moment, this is progress.

However, here is some more detail, and I fear there might be a problem because of the disks they have:

Firstly, I booted into each instance of XP Home edition, and in terms of C: properties, the ones I could get into (3 out of 4) l take up around 10.8 Gb, which is around a quarter of the disk. (I don't know perhaps the 10 Gb is a figure which comes from a combination of the 4 installations).

So, XP Home Edition choice 1 on the original order (not used), has no icons on the desktop, except the recycle bin, and shows only a handful of programs installed in the Start, programs list, and shows 10.800, 623....GB in C: properties.

XP Home edition choice 2 (the used, good one) is fine...all icons on dektop, programs installed, and reads 10. 802, 638 ....GB in C: properties.

XP Home Edition choice 3 asks for the XP CD-ROM, so I didn't get any further than that.

XP Home Edition choice 4 asks us to click the user name before it boots up, and whilst there are a god few icons on the desktop, there are not as many as in XP Home Edition choice 2. Also, there are various messages, such as 'there are unused icons on the desktop' ... a 'works suite' window.... and another box with a red cross, and with the title 'SPRINGFLD_ADV_DAEMON. wksCal.exe - entry point not found' within this box it says; 'The procedure entry point_GetIUMS@4 could not be located in the dll MSDART.DLL'.
Also, when I clicked on My computer, I get a box or two saying it is configuring/installing Micosoft Money.
The size in C: properties is 10.804, 195....GB.

Ok, now some more information that I hope may be of use:

The only disks they have are:

1. Fujitsu Siemens, Product Recovery CD-Rom, Windows XP Home Edition.

2. Managed2 (small number 2 after the 'd'), Drivers and Utilites, windows XP.


-WinDVD 4.0 FSC disk.
-AOL disk.
-HP disk.
-Adobe disk.
-Microsft Works suite 2002 disk.
-Mouse software floppy disk.

Can they still uninstall/reinstall if they need to, with these disks? (I thought the recovery and drivers and utilities disks weren't the right ones for the whole operating system...don't know though...was jus wondering.)

Finally, some more information that I hope will be of help:

When you go into My computer, C: there are 5 separate folders called Windows -

Windows       (1.27 Gb)
Windows.1    (2.37 Gb)
Windows~1   (0 bytes)
Windows.2    (938 Mb)
Windows. 0   (394 Mb)

I assume these correspond to the the different operating systems choices 1 to 4 at boot up? ( the one with the ~ is just a temp file, I noticed)

So, with this information here, and with an edit of the boot.ini (i.e completely removing the other lines) can we boot straight into the 1 good XP and go about deleting the others manually by deleting the smaller Windows folders for a start.

(Especially if other options are closed to us because we don't have the right disks?)

I'll now be back on the pc in 3/4 days and will follow any advice or instructions posted in reponse to this lot.

Once again, we are genuinely appreciative of your time and help.


Go to START > RUN > type "cmd" and hit <ENTER>

at the command line, type "echo %winrdir%"

This will give you the exact windows directory you are currently logged into. That folder is the one you should not touch. If you are sure you don't need anything from the other windows directories (and you probably don't) you can safely delete them, then rebuild your boot.ini to reflect the changes. If you REALLY wanted to be safe though (i dont really think its necessary) you can always manually delete the extra lines from the boot.ini and leave the extra windows directories there anyway.

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tornshoesAuthor Commented:
DVation191, I can't thank you enough for the response.

I thought I'd hit a dead end with all this. Now though, thanks to your good self, I can do that and see which windows folders to get rid of, and edit the boot ini so that only the good one is there.

I'll let you know if it all works out well, and accept that answer.

Cheers. Very very much appreciated.
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