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Windows XP/how to eliminate double boot Win XP


QUESTION: During re-installation of Win XP I got interrupted while installation files were loaded and I shut down the PC.

When trying the re-installation a second time, the installation files were again loaded and the full installation of the OS went well.

However it seems the first installation files are still there...
If I want to boot the PC then I get the choice between two OS :
a) the first OS is the one I completely installed
b) the second OS is the one which was interrupted and if I click this option it wants to continue the interrupted installation.

It is a little bit annoying to have to choose with each boot and my question is if the second option can be easily removed from the system.

ANSWER: Ferdinand:  probably the best way to get rid of the second (interrupted) instance of the OS is to edit the boot.ini file.  That's a file that Windows uses to determine which operating system to display during startup.  Go to, read the entire article and follow the instructions.  That should get rid of the unwanted OS.  Give it a try and let me know how it works out.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Thomas
Sorry I have to come back with a second question because I am really new in this matter.
I openened Microsoft Support kb 289022 and it has a simple recommendation on how to delete the unwanted OS.

I tried
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /delete /ID#
Where # specifies the boot entry ID that you want to be deleted from the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file (e.g. 2 for the second Operating system that is listed.

My boot.ini file reads as follows
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.0="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

The second OS can been seen easily...
My question : which is the exact wording which I should write after RUN and bootcfg /delete /
I tried ID2 or 2 only or I copied the full text of the second OS...but always without being able to delete it.

Ferdinand:  my concern here is that both OSes are identified with 1.  Look at your boot.ini file.  There is no #2.  I'm not sure if you enter the number 1 that it won't delete them both - and then you'll have no OS with which to boot.

Did you make a copy of the boot.ini file like the article said?

If you did, then I would suggest that you follow the instructions for checking the boot.ini file - i.e. the last part of the article.  Once you get the boot.ini file on the screen, manually delete the last line then save the file and reboot.

Again, a caution.  I'm pretty sure that the second line is the interrupted install. That's why it is important to make a copy of your current boot.ini file.

Let me know how it turns out.


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Thomas Mihalik


Can assist with most issues involving XP - system configuration, drivers, recovery, home network set-up/maintenance and so forth. Can also help with issues like viruses, system cleanups and peripherals such as printers, external hard drives as well as other USB devices.


Was system administrator for over 45 users at a major research university in the Chicago area for 10 years (before I finally was able to hire someone to do it). Also have owned/configured computers for over 20+ years. Also volunteer locally to fix computers for seniors.

NACUBO SCUP United Way Humane Society

B.A. Humanities, Purdue M.S. Management, Purdue

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