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How do I open the boot.ini file and edit it within the recovery console?

Posted on 2006-11-20
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I cannot get past the initial screen and need to do it from the recovery console.
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Question by:dwielgosz
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
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http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184

or:

In Recovery Console display the contents of boot.ini by typing C:\BOOT.INI

Because there's no text editor in the Recovery Console you now need a workaround which is to copy the text on another PC in a text editor, make the changes you want, and save it to a floppy as BOOT.INI

You can now put the floppy in the machine type: COPY A:\BOOT.INI C:\BOOT.INI and the new version will overwrite the old.

You can't simply copy the old file onto a floppy to edit elsewhere as Recovery Console will not allow copying to removable media - it will allow you to go the other way though!

Another alternative of course would be to take the drive and put it in another machine as a slave and make the amendments to boot.ini using the other machines text editor (eg Notepad)
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by:cloaked_identity
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Get a windows 98 boot disk from here:

http://www.bootdisk.com/

Then when you booted up with the Windows 98 Disk.

Type in EDIT and you will get a text editor.
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by:Zak-R
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i belive you have another pc right?... ok, get BartPE.
BartPE is a program that no matter what, it will by pass anything in you pc
even if there are some data lost in ini files or you pc registry or tem files.
BartPE website: http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder

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by:Merete
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Can you access safemode?
tap f8 continously then choose safemode yoru account press enter to by pass password
in windows r/click the my computer properties advanced startup and recovery settings>edit.
or go to start run type in msconfig press enter boot.ini uncheck boot options> all paths
---------------------------------------------------------------
The bootcfg command is a Microsoft Windows XP Recovery Console command that manipulates the Boot.ini file. This command has a function that can scan your hard disks for Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Windows XP installations, and then add them to an existing Boot.ini file or rebuild a new Boot.ini file, if one does not exist. The bootcfg command enables additional Boot.ini file parameters to be added to existing or new entries.

To use the bootcfg command, start the Recovery Console with the Windows XP CD-ROM, and then click Recovery Console. Or, install the Recovery Console locally, and then select the command from the Boot menu.
More information>>http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q291980/

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/win_xp_rec.htm

Windows XP Setup - Missing HAL.DLL
Error Message: Cannot Find \Windows\System32\hal.dll
How to edit the boot.ini
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_haldll_missing.htm

I wish you good luck and speedy fix
Merete
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by:Merete
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BTW have you tried last known good configeratiuon that worked  choose this from the advanced options tapping f8
how do you know its the boot.ini if the video card is faulty try starting in VGA mode tapf8 to access the advanced options.
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by:dwielgosz
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I manually used the RC to restore the PC to an earlier date & config. The MS article said to edit the Boot.ini to correct the error message "ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt and is preventing windows 2000 from loading" The odd thing is that the PC had been upgraded to XP (a long time ago) and the error is about 2000. I took the drives out and was able to look at the contents by connecting to another PC. I found one ntoskrnl.exe and replaced it with one from another PC but it still won't get past that warning screen at the very beginning of startup.
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by:Zak-R
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if you can't by past the initial screen, probabally you won't be able to use the
recovery console, fallow my advice, make a BartPE CD and use it to open the pipe.
then you should be able to work fine with the rest of the problem of that ini file.

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by:dwielgosz
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I couldn't find a download on your link to BartPE yesterday. What the..is a "pipe"?
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by:dwielgosz
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I did get to the recovery console yesterday from the XP install disk and used that to restore a previous date without any positive results on the ntoskrnl issue
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by:Zak-R
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thats right i suggested to use BartPE
here is the link: http://www.nu2.nu/download.php?sFile=pebuilder3110a.exe

BartPE is easy to use, download the package, then BartPE will burn the CD you need
then with that CD restart that computer and thats it. you can also add some plug-ins
depending on you needs, but don't add plugins, just burn the CD and use it.

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by:Merete
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As you could slave it can you access the files to save them off?
Please do so, I think whats happened is the previous MBR is still there.
Was this a fat?
The best option is delete the partiton and clean install.
Did your slave it to a windows 2000?
Slave it to an xp machine using either cdrom ide connectors or behind the master hdd
in control panel administrative tools computer manager disc manager you can delete the partition and format it ntfs.
Seems the simplest solution and as slaving works you wont lose too much. you can even save the emails, just use search for .dbx and copy off the entire lot.
C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Identities copy them out of that {D8010-4567  etc} save to a folder name it store folder.
Or you could use the file import while in this windows open outlook express create a new identity switch over and then import change the store folder so that you can save them
good Luck


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by:pgm554
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Why not just boot the XP CD and do a repair/ reinstall?

Takes about 30 minutes and should fix everything.

You might need to reinstall updates though.
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by:Merete
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@pgm554  I dis-agree i believe there is more at fault here than a repair can fix>>

Comment from dwielgosz
I manually used the RC to restore the PC to an earlier date & config. The MS article said to edit the Boot.ini to correct the error message "ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt and is preventing windows 2000 from loading" <<<

The odd thing is that the PC had been upgraded to XP (a long time ago) and the error is about 2000.
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by:dwielgosz
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a couple of notes:
I tried using the least destructive method possible first.
The PC is a workstation belonging to the owner of our company and he remotes into it via Gotomypc and uses the cad & 3d apps on it.
It started out, years ago, as a win2000 pc. it was upgraded to XP 9 months ago. It has two drives, the second (D:) drive was the boot drive.

I have gained access to it via BARTPE and replaced the "ntoskrnl.exe" file with appropriate replacements to no avail. I have looked at the boot.ini files on both drives and they are OK.
I am now reinstalling the upgrade OS to the C drive and reinstalling the many apps.
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pgm554 earned 250 total points
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If a repair doesn't work,then there is a HW issue or corruption issue.

In the latter case I would run a chkdsk /f out of a command prompt.

However ,the simplest and most reliable way to bring back the system is a reinstall /repair.

Maybe run a chkdsk  first,but the reinstall repair is a close 2nd.

The only other thing I can think of is that there is a leftover W2K system dir that the boot.ini might be trying to point to.
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by:Merete
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the second (D:) drive was the boot drive<< how is this possible is the drive at the master ide position
jumpers correct?
If windows was installed to C drive maybe the drive letter is the  problem?
As it has a slave drive take out the slaved drive I have found if the slave is faulty windows will not boot.
Have you possily spent so much time trying to fix you have mixed up the hdd/S
I would take out both HDD, try booting from one make sure all the jumpers are correct etc. Bios shows boot from HDO first.


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by:dwielgosz
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pgm554:
I think you hit it on the head with the following: "The only other thing I can think of is that there is a leftover W2K system dir that the boot.ini might be trying to point to."

"Have you possily spent so much time trying to fix you have mixed up the hdd/S"...no, that's not possil. This computer has gone through many changes over the years and had several systems rebuilt around whatever OS was the OS of the moment. For instance there are several "My Documents" folders on each drive from the many installations and reinstallations.
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by:Merete
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it was my comment that bring this to the attention of everyone.
So I  dont think pgm554  has hit it on the nail after getting my hit it on the nail pointers thru out this post,

Comment from Merete
Date: 11/22/2006 04:05AM EST
 Your Comment  
As you could slave it can you access the files to save them off?
Please do so, I think whats happened is the previous MBR is still there.<<<<<<

  And here again I was showing your comment pointing to the windows 2000 and a repair was not a good idea.
Comment from Merete
Date: 11/22/2006 05:55AM EST
 Your Comment  
@pgm554  I dis-agree i believe there is more at fault here than a repair can fix>>
>>I manually used the RC to restore the PC to an earlier date & config. The MS article said to edit the Boot.ini to correct the error message "ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt and is preventing windows 2000 from loading" <<<

so it comes easy for him to say  after all my pointing to MBR is pointing to windows 2000  yes
so I suggest clean install to fix after slaving it.
So how come you see his comment but missed mine?


 

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by:dwielgosz
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No offense intended, I just understood clearly what he said in that comment. I didn't intend to offend you, I apologize if I did.
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by:pgm554
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Dude ,don't pat yourself on the back too hard.

I really didn't read any of your earlier posts,so if you think I am stealing your thunder ,you are wrong.

I saw the comment about a W2K upgrade and knew from past experiece that you can do an upgrade or a new install using a different windows dir (winnt vs windows).

My offering up the suggestion that it it might be a different install dir ,was from past experience,not your posts.
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by:Obadah_HighTech
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Hello,

Without using any commands not typically in the Recovery Console you could do the following:
1. Lists the entries already in the boot menu list, to do this type:
       bootcfg /list
    Please note the existing "Operating System Load Options"
2. If the entry you want is there but is not the default boot entry type:
       bootcfg /default
3. If the entry you want is not there, Scans all disks for Windows installations, to do this type:
       bootcfg /scan
4. After the Scan, to enter the Windows installations it found in the Boot menu type:
       bootcfg /rebuild
    It will prompt you for each Windows installation it found if you would like to add it to the boot menu
      and to specify the "Operating System Load Options" you want (/fastdetect, as an example)

This SHOULD allow you to change the Boot.ini contents as you requested
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by:Caudax
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MASQUERAID:
>>there's no text editor in the Recovery Console

LIES, I tell you! It should support EDIT. If not, I know that it is possible to use EDLIN and COPY CON (but copy con is NOT recommended). Of course, copy con is a dubious (though usable) text editor at best.

So yeah, boot problems...

FIXBOOT and BOOTCFG are good. Try just using FIXBOOT (which, by the way, is built for the sole purpose of fixing a busted boot.ini) and see if that, by itself, will fix the problem.
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by:Obadah_HighTech
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Hello,

Comment for Caudax,

There is no Edit in Recovery Console and Copy Con doesn't work there either and MOST importantly
FIXBOOT is a tool that Writes a new boot SECTOR onto the system partition and has nothing to do with Boot.ini
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by:dwielgosz
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I decided to "punt" on it and reinstalled windows into a new directory and moved some non-system files around. The PC is back up and running as it should (as of Friday-Last) .

Any suggestions on the question's points would be most welcome.
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by:Merete
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Hi dwielgosz
Your wellcome to decide to split but if you could base your split points on what worked so that others can use your experience.
Good to see you resolved it with no loss of data.

 reading thru the suggestions non of us actually suggested installing to a new partition on the same drive, surprising really,
I suggested first that the master boot record has changed and clean install, would solve this. Which you kind of did.
Comment from Merete
Date: 11/22/2006 05:55AM EST
 Your Comment  
@pgm554  I dis-agree i believe there is more at fault here than a repair can fix.


Have a Nice Day
Merete


 
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by:dwielgosz
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At a loss on how to award the points I scrolled back to the frst mention of a reinstall of the OS. Not meaning to slight any other experts. You all did a great job in trying to resolve the issue. Thank you all.
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by:Merete
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yes you kind of resolved it your self but I cant speak for others, but as far as I am concerned that is.
cheers
Merete
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by:Obadah_HighTech
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Hello,

wasn't the question "How do I open the boot.ini file and edit it within the recovery console?"
how is it then the accepted answer has nothing to do with it ?!!
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