How to manually start the removal process to remove Windows XP

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SUMMARY

If you cannot start Microsoft Windows XP in Normal mode or in Safe mode, you may have to manually remove Windows XP. You can also use the procedures that are described in this article to cancel the Windows XP Setup program if this option is not available at some point during the installation.

Notes
  • This procedure does not work if you upgraded from Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 or from Microsoft Windows 2000. The removal procedure is only supported for Microsoft Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) upgrades.
  • Sometimes, you may have to reinstall your original operating system after you complete these steps. Therefore, Microsoft recommends that you back up any critical data before you continue with these steps.
  • In this article, C is the drive name that is used for the hard disk where Windows XP is installed, and X is the drive name that is used for the CD-ROM drive.

MORE INFORMATION

Manually remove if you cannot start Windows XP

  1. Start the computer by using a startup disk for either Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me).
  2. At the Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition (Me) Startup menu, click Start computer with CD-ROM support.
  3. Confirm that the Boot.cab file is present in the DriveName:\Undo folder where DriveName is the name of the drive where you saved your back up information.

    To confirm that the files are present, run the following commands, and then press ENTER after each line:
    cd\
    cd undo
    dir /a
    If you receive an error message in response to the second command, change to other drives on the computer (for example, drive D or drive E), and then try the command again. If you locate the Undo folder on a different drive, modify the extract command in the following step with the correct drive letter.
  4. If the Boot.cab does not exist, follow the steps in the "The Boot.cab file does not exist" section.
  5. After you locate the Boot.cab file, run the following commands, and then press ENTER after each line:
    cd\
    extract c:\undo\boot.cab /e /y
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\txtsetup.sif
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\bootini.bak
    attrib -r -s -h boot.ini
    ren boot.ini boot.xx
    copy bootini.bak boot.ini
  6. After you run these commands, remove the startup disk, and then restart the computer.

    Click Cancel Windows XP Setup on the Boot menu.

Manually remove if you can start Windows XP

You may be able to start Windows XP, but you may not be to remove Windows XP through the user interface because of one of the following reasons:
  • The option is missing in the Add/Remove Programs tool. In this case, follow the steps that are listed in the "Manually remove if you cannot start Windows XP" section to remove Windows XP if the Undo folder is present and contains the files that you require.
  • You receive an error message. If the error message indicates that the removal information has been modified, you may experience problems while you try to manually remove Windows XP. In this case, Microsoft recommends that you do not manually remove Windows XP. Instead, follow the procedure that is described in the "You receive an error message" section.

You receive an error message

Note You may have to reinstall your previous operating system after you complete the following steps. Make sure that you back up any critical data before you continue. If you do not back up your critical data, you will lose it.
  1. Click Start, click My Computer, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
  2. Click Show hidden files and folders.
  3. Click to clear the Hide Protected Operating System Files (Recommended) check box, and then click OK.
  4. Open drive C.
  5. Open the Undo folder.

    Note If the Undo folder does not exist, or if the Backup.cab file does not exist, you cannot manually remove Windows XP.
  6. Double-click the Backup.cab file, and then locate the Extract.exe file (there may be more than one).
  7. Right-click the Extract.exe file, click Copy, and then close all windows.
  8. Double-click My Computer, double-click the Local Disk (C:) icon, and then paste the file in the root of drive C.
  9. Run the following commands, and then press ENTER after each line:
    cd\
    extract c:\undo\boot.cab /e /y
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\txtsetup.sif
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\bootini.bak
    attrib -h -s -r boot.ini
    ren boot.ini boot.xx
    copy bootini.bak boot.ini
  10. Restart the computer. On the Boot menu, click Cancel Windows XP Setup.
If this procedure does not remove Windows XP, or if the required files are not on the computer, you must manually reinstall the previous operating system.

The Boot.cab file does not exist

If the Boot.cab file does not exist in the Undo folder after you start the computer by using the startup disk for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Millennium Edition, follow these steps:
  1. Locate the $ldr$ file. If it is not in the root of the drive C, run the following command to copy it to that location:
    cd\
    dir c:\$ldr$
    If you find the file, go directly to step 2. If you receive a "File not found" error message, run the following command:
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\$ldr$
    If you find the file, go directly to step 2. If you receive a "file not found" error, run the following command:
    copy c:\windows\setup\uninst~1\$ldr$
  2. Locate the Txtsetup.sif file. If it is not in the root of drive C, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command to copy it to that location:
    cd\
    dir txtsetup.sif
    If you find the file, go directly to step 3. If you receive a "File not found" error message, run the following command:
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\txtsetup.sif
    If you find the file, go directly to step 3. If you receive a "File not found" error message, run the following command:
    copy c:\windows\setup\uninst~1\txtsetup.sif
  3. Copy the four text files (Deldirs.txt, Delfiles.txt, Mkdirs.txt, and Moved.txt) that are created by the installation to the C:\Undo folder. To copy these files, run the following command:
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\*.txt c:\undo
    If you find the file, go directly to step 4. If you receive a "File not found" error message, run the following command:
    copy c:\windows\setup\uninst~1\*.txt c:\undo
  4. Confirm that the I386 folder and the System32 folder exist in C:\$win_nt$.~bt folder. If they do not exist, you must create them. To confirm that these files exist, run the following command:
    dir c:\$win_nt$.~bt /ad
    If you find the file, go directly to step 5. If you receive a "File not found" error message, run the following command:
    md c:\$win_nt$.~bt\i386
    If you find the file, go directly to step 5. If you receive a "File not found" error message, run the following command:
    md c:\$win_nt$.~bt\system32
  5. Locate the Autochk.exe file. If the Autochk.exe file is not in the I386 folder, run the following command to copy it to the I386 folder:
    dir c:\$win_nt$.~bt\i386
    If you find the file, go directly to step 6. If you receive a "File not found" error message, run the following command:
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\autochk.exe c:\$win_nt$.~bt\i386
  6. Locate the Smss.exe file and the Ntdll.dll file. If you have to, run the following command to copy these files to the System32 folder:
    dir c:\$win_nt$.~bt\system32
    If you find the file, go directly to step 7. If you receive a "file not found" error, run the following command:
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\smss.exe c:\$win_nt$.~bt\system32
    If you find the file, go directly to step 7. If you receive a "File not found" error message, run the following command:
    copy c:\$win_nt$.~bt\ntdll.dll c:\$win_nt$.~bt\system32
  7. Run the following commands to back up and to create a new Boot.ini file, and then press ENTER after each line:
    attrib -r -s -h boot.ini
    ren boot.ini boot.old
    edit boot.ini
    Add the following entries to the Boot.ini file:
       [boot loader]
       timeout=0
       default=c:\$win_nt$.~bt\bootsect.dat
       [operating systems]
       c:\$win_nt$.~bt\bootsect.dat="Cancel Setup XP Pro" /rollback
    						
    Note This step renames the existing Boot.ini file and creates a blank Boot.ini file for adding the previous commands.
  8. Remove the floppy disk and the Windows XP CD from the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.

Error Code 14 appears

If you receive an error code 14 while you are trying to remove Windows XP, make a note of the file names, use the startup disk for Windows 98 or for Windows Millennium Edition (Me) with CD-ROM support, and then copy the files by running the following commands (where X is the CD-ROM drive name):
  • Autochk.exe
    copy x:\i386\autochk.exe c:\$win_nt$.~bt\i386
  • Ntdll.dll
    copy x:\i386\ntdll.dll c:\$win_nt$.~bt\system32
  • Smss.exe
    copy x:\i386\system32\smss.exe c:\$win_nt$.~bt\system32
  • Txtsetup.sif
    copy x:\i386\txtsetup.sif c:\
  • Ksecdd.sys
    copy x:\i386\ksecdd.sys c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • Ntfs.sys
    copy x:\i386\ntfs.sys c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • Spcmdcon.sys
    copy x:\i386\spcmdcon.sys c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • Biosinfo.inf
    copy x:\i386\biosinfo.inf c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • C_1252.nl_
    copy x:\i386\c_1252.nl_ c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • C_437.nl_
    copy x:\i386\c_437.nl_ c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • L_intl.dl_
    copy x:\i386\l_intl.dl_ c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • Ntdetect.com
    copy x:\i386\Ntdetect.com c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • Setupreg.hiv
    copy x:\i386\Setupreg.hiv c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • Vgaoem.fo_
    copy x:\i386\Vgaoem.fo_ c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • Kbdus.dll
    copy x:\i386\Kbdus.dll c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • Setupldr.bin
    copy x:\i386\Setupldr.bin c:\$win_nt$.~bt
  • Drvmain.sdb
    copy x:\i386\Drvmain.sdb c:\$win_nt$.~bt
After you copy the files, remove the disk and the CD, and then restart the computer.
For additional information about how to manually restore your previous operating system, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314052 How to manually remove Windows XP and then restore Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition
If you need help about how to install, reinstall, or uninstall Windows, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/help/install-reinstall-uninstall

Properties

Article ID: 312569 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 6.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbenv kbhowto kbinfo kbsetup KB312569

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