This step-by-step article describes how to view and manually configure the
Boot.ini file in Microsoft Windows Server 2003.
In Windows Server
2003, you can quickly and easily locate the Boot.ini file to verify or edit the
Microsoft Windows startup configurations
and make changes to the Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) path as required. Additionally, you can add switches to the Boot.ini file.
Edit the Boot.ini file
To view and edit the Boot.ini file, follow these steps:
- Click Start, point to
Settings, and then click Control
- In Control Panel, double-click
- Click the Advanced tab, and then click
Settings under Startup and
- Under System startup, click
: In a multiple-boot operating system configuration, select the
default operating system to start by clicking the operating system that you
want in the Default operating system
The following list describes some typical scenarios where the user
must manually update the ARC path in the Boot.ini file after storage
configuration has changed.
- If you add a new controller that has the BIOS disabled,
you may have to check and manually correct the ARC path in the Boot.ini file.
additional controller may also affect the
controller section of the ARC path.
- Whenever you add or remove disks from the computer, you
create the potential for a situation where the ARC path must be updated.
the operating system may sometimes
offer to update
the Boot.ini file, you still have to manually update the ARC
the ARC path must be manually updated depends on the extent and nature of the
changes to the Boot.ini file.
If this change
to the ARC path causes
problems when you start the computer, follow these steps:
you can use Recovery Console and the /bootcfg switch to fix the ARC paths in either Microsoft Windows XP or
Microsoft Windows Server 2003.
- Start the Recovery Console and run the map ARC command.
results of the map ARC command, you can determine the
correct ARC path.
- Create a new Boot.ini file on another
- Copy the new Boot.ini file. Use one of the following
- Copy the new Boot.ini file to a floppy disk, and
then use Recovery Console to copy the new Boot.ini file to the
- Copy the new Boot.ini file on an NT Boot floppy. If
the following files are also needed, copy them on the same floppy disk: Ntldr,
Ntdetect.com, and the Mass Storage Device driver that you have renamed as
The ARC path is not automatically updated
This section explains why the operating system does not
automatically update the ARC path when storage configuration changes are
Storage configuration changes can be made in such a way
that the operating system cannot determine whether problems in the existing ARC
path in the Boot.ini file may cause problems during the next startup. Because
ARC paths are updated only during startup (that is, when
removable hard disks are
plugged in), the operating system cannot determine what will be the ARC paths of the
hard disks. Neither can the operating system
determine whether the fact that the drives are present will affect the existing
ARC path in the Boot.ini file. Similarly, if changes to the storage
configuration are made offline, the operating system has no way to know about
For example, if a computer is shut down, the operating system
cannot discover the following kinds of changes until the next startup occurs:
- A controller is added.
- Storage is added.
- The BIOS of a controller is changed.
- Storage is added to an existing controller.
Your next attempt to start the computer may not work because the
startup process does
not contain any code that changes the
ARC path in the Boot.ini
Some third-party utilities change partitions or drives. These
utilities may create situations where the operating system is unaware of
changes that may affect the ARC path that is used during startup.
The ARC path is automatically updated
This section lists occasions when the operating system
automatically updates the ARC path in a Boot.ini file.
- Changes to a partition - When either
Logical Disk Manager or
tool is used either to create or to delete a
- Changes to a dynamic disk - When changes are made to a dynamic disk that has a retained
partition, you may be prompted to update your ARC path. This means that
information about the partition exists at Sector 0 in the partition table even
though this is a dynamic disk. This situation occurs if either of the following
conditions is true:
- If the partition existed before the disk was converted
to a dynamic disk.
- If the /retain command was run under the Diskpart tool to make sure that info about the
partition was added to the partition table.
additional information, click the following article numbers to view the
articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Safe-mode boot switches for Windows Boot.ini file
How to set up a remote debug session using a modem
Article ID: 317526 - Last Review: December 3, 2007 - Revision: 7.4
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
- Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition
- Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition
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