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Cannot Start Windows XP After You Install Windows 2000
Article ID: 283433 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q283433
When you attempt to start Windows XP after you install Windows 2000, you may receive the following error message:
If the Windows XP install was an upgrade from Windows 2000, you may instead receive the following error message on a blue screen while attempting to start Windows XP:
Windows 2000 could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM.
You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows 2000 Setup using the original Setup floppy disk or CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair."
This issue occurs because Windows XP did not exist when Windows 2000 was released. The Windows 2000 bootstrap loader files are not aware of the changes that have been made in Windows XP. The computer needs these changes to load Windows XP.
NOTE: If you attempt to install Windows 2000 in a different partition while the computer is running Windows XP, you may receive the following error message:
This CD-ROM is from an older version of Windows than the one you are presently using. Setup functionality from this disk will be disabled.
To work around this issue, start the computer in Windows 2000, and then copy the NTLDR and Ntdetect.com files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP CD-ROM to the root of the system drive.
Even though a workaround for this issue is described in this article, you can only perform a dual Startup when you install Windows XP in a different partition after you install Windows 2000.
This behavior is by design. In general, products are not forward compatible with future products because the design updates of future versions are unknown.
If you want to start multiple operating systems, install each operating system in a different partition in the following order:
For additional information about dynamic disks, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/175761/EN-US/ )Dynamic vs. Basic Storage in Windows 2000
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/114841/EN-US/ )Windows NT Boot Process and Hard Disk Constraints