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boot.ini editing

Posted on 2006-05-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I have restored a disk image from a win2000 server to a new (same server). When booting, I initialy got two OS choices when booting - both called "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server". One entry worked ok, but the other gave an error message and didn't boot. I then edited boot.ini and found that the choice that didn't work had something like "default=signature(11111111111)" at the beginning of the lines. I removed this "signature" stuff and have now a boot.ini file that looks like this:

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

The strange thing is that when this machine is booting, there are two OS choices - like:

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
Windows 2000 (default)

When going into ControlPanel/System/Advanced/Startup&Recovery, however, there is only one choice - the first shown above. Since the system seems to pick the wrong OS choice - this creates problems whenever the server is booted. Any ideas how to fix this?



Question by:Olaf Berli
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 16790082
> Show hidden files and folders > Edit the ini in Notepad.
LVL 86

Accepted Solution

jkr earned 1000 total points
ID: 16790088
IMO that should be

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

The difference between the default and the actual entry probably causes this. They should be identical.

Author Comment

by:Olaf Berli
ID: 16790208
Thanks for the very quick answer!  Tried it, and after adding the (obvious) multi(0) to the default= line, the server boots like a dream. (Since there are only one OS to boot, the choices are not shown).

BTW, any ideas what the previous "signature" stuff at the beginning of each line is for?  


LVL 86

Expert Comment

ID: 16790283
Check out http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q227704/ ("Windows May Use Signature() Syntax in the Boot.ini File"), the scoop is


The signature() syntax is equivalent to the scsi() syntax, but is used instead to support the Plug and Play architecture in Windows. Because Windows is a Plug and Play operating system, the SCSI controller number instance may vary each time you start Windows, especially if you add new SCSI controller hardware after Setup is finished.

Using the signature() syntax instructs Ntldr to locate the drive whose disk signature matches the value in the parentheses, no matter which SCSI controller number the drive is connected to.

The signature() value is extracted from the physical disk's Master Boot Record (MBR). This unique hexadecimal number is either written to the MBR during the Text-mode portion of Setup, or is written by an installation of Microsoft Windows NT version 4.0 or earlier.


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