Cannot Start Windows XP After You Install Windows 2000

This article was previously published under Q283433
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you attempt to start Windows XP after you install Windows 2000, you may receive the following error message:
"Starting Windows...
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."
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:
STOP 0x00000074
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 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:
  1. Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)
  2. Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
  3. Microsoft Windows 2000
  4. Microsoft Windows XP
If you do not want to start the computer in all the operating systems that are listed, skip the ones that you do not need.NOTE: Do not convert the hard disk from Basic Disk to Dynamic Disk until you install all of the operating systems that you intend to use. Once you convert the hard disk from Basic Disk to Dynamic Disk, you may be unable to install any other operating systems on that hard disk.

For additional information about dynamic disks, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
175761 Dynamic vs. Basic Storage in Windows 2000
114841 Windows NT Boot Process and Hard Disk Constraints
Ntdetect com

Article ID: 283433 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 23:34:26 - Revision: 3.3

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition

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