One Installed Operating System Is Missing from the Startup Menu in a Multiple-Boot Computer

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 307061 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q307061
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

SYMPTOMS

After you install Windows XP on a computer that is configured for multiple booting, one of the installed operating systems may be missing from both the Startup menu and the Boot.ini file, which is the source of the Startup menu. As a result, you cannot start that operating system.

The computer has an existing installation of Windows XP, Microsoft Windows 2000, or Microsoft Windows NT, and also an existing installation of Microsoft Windows Millennium (Me), Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows 95.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this behavior, use one of the following methods to add the missing operating system to the Startup menu:
  • Use the bootcfg /rebuild command in the Recovery Console.
  • Manually edit the Boot.ini file.

Use the Bootcfg /Rebuild Command in the Recovery Console

Note: If your hard disk does not have enough free space to install the Recovery Console, or if you do not want to install the Recovery Console, you can load the Recovery Console when you start the computer if the boot sequence in the computer BIOS is set to include CD-ROM functionality. Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM in the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, and then press R at the "Welcome to Setup" screen. For additional information about using the Windows XP Recovery Console, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314058 Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console
307654 HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP
For additional information about the bootcfg command, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
291980 A Discussion About the Bootcfg Command and Its Uses
The following steps assume that the computer has the following setup and that Windows XP is the operating system that is missing from the Startup menu and the Boot.ini file:
  • Windows Me is installed on the first (primary) partition.
  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server is installed on a logical drive on a second (extended) partition.
  • Windows XP is installed on a second (primary) partition.
  1. Log on to the computer in Windows 2000 Advanced Server as an administrator.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type the following command where e represents the drive letter for the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, and then press ENTER:
    e:\i386\winnt32 /cmdcons
  3. Restart the computer. When the Startup menu appears, select Microsoft Windows Recovery Console.
  4. Select option 1 to log on to the Windows 2000 Advanced Server installation.
  5. Type the administrator password if automatic logon with the administrator password is not enabled.
  6. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    bootcfg /rebuild
    The following information appears:
       Total identified Windows installs: 2
       [1]: D:\WINNT
       Add install to boot list (Yes/No/All)
       Choose "Y" (enter)
       Enter Load Identifier: Type "Microsoft XP"
       Enter OS Load Options: Type "/fastdetect"
       [2]: F:\WINDOWS
       Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)  Choose "N"
    						
    (Optional) To view the Boot.ini file and verify that an entry was correctly added to the Startup menu, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    type boot.ini
    The following example shows what the Boot.ini file looks like before the bootcfg /rebuild command runs:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server" /fastdetect
    C:\ = "Microsoft Windows"
    						
    The following example shows what the Boot.ini file looks like after the bootcfg /rebuild command runs:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINNT
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
    C:\="Microsoft Windows"
    						
    Note that the Advanced RISC Computing Specification (ARC) path now includes Windows XP and the Recovery Console.
  7. Type exitto quit the Recovery Console. The computer automatically restarts and displays the updated Startup menu:
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
    Microsoft Windows Recovery Console
    Microsoft Windows
    The default is now the entry that you just added (in this example, "Microsoft Windows XP Professional").

  8. (Optional) You can specify the default startup operating system in a multiple-boot computer by using the System and Recovery settings. Follow these steps:
    1. Either right-click My Computer, and then click Properties, or start Control Panel, start the Performance and Maintenance tool, and then click System.
    2. On the Advanced tab, under Startup and Recovery, click Settings.
    3. Under System Startup, select a default operating system from the drop-down menu. This operating system will be listed first on the Startup menu and will be the operating system in which the computer starts after the timeout expires.

Manually Edit the Boot.ini File

If you do not have access to the Recovery Console, you can manually edit the Boot.ini file to make the same changes that are described in the preceding section of this article. Specifically, you must insert an ARC path to designate the operating system that is missing from the Startup menu. For additional information about ARC paths, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
102873 BOOT.INI and ARC Path Naming Conventions and Usage
For additional information about editing the Boot.ini file in Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
289022 HOW TO: Edit the Boot.ini File in Windows XP

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

MORE INFORMATION

Bootcfg.exe is a Recovery Console utility that repairs or rebuilds the Boot.ini file, but it does not detect the Windows 95 or Windows 98 operating system.

For additional information about the Boot.ini file, Recovery Console, and related issues, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314081 The Purpose of the Boot.ini File
170756 Available Switch Options for Windows NT Boot.ini File
227704 Windows May Use Signature() Syntax in the Boot.ini File
234048 How Windows 2000 Assigns, Reserves, and Stores Drive Letters
229077 Mirroring Prevents Pre-Installing the Recovery Console

Properties

Article ID: 307061 - Last Review: August 6, 2002 - Revision: 1.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbenv kbprb kbsetup KB307061

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com