When you open the System tool in Control Panel, and then click the Advanced tab in the System Properties dialog box to make changes to your System Startup options on a Windows Server 2003-based computer, you may receive the following error message:
The C:\boot.ini file can not be opened. Operating System and Timeout settings can not be changed.
Note To open the System Properties dialog box, click Start, point to Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
This problem may occur if the partition where Windows Server 2003 is installed is assigned any letter other than "C." This issue may occur in a dual-boot scenario or when the drive letters have been reassigned by a third-party program such as Citrix DriveRemap.exe.
Windows stores the System Startup options in the hidden Boot.ini file that is located in the root of the system partition. In this scenario, Windows incorrectly enumerates the drive letters on the system and uses the default path of C:\Boot.ini. Because "C" is typically used for the system partition, this problem does not occur on most systems, where this is a valid path.
A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.
If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.
Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.
No prerequisites are required.
You must restart your computer after you apply this hotfix.
Hotfix Replacement Information
This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.
The English version of this fix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
Date Time Version Size File name -------------------------------------------------------------- 20-Aug-2003 20:14 5.2.3790.78 274,432 Sysdm.cpl 12-Aug-2003 16:54 271 Branches.inf 20-Aug-2003 21:05 10,091 Kb827180.cat 20-Aug-2003 20:17 354 Updatebr.inf 20-Aug-2003 20:17 5,095 Update_rtmqfe.inf
Date Time Version Size File name -------------------------------------------------------------- 20-Aug-2003 20:14 5.2.3790.78 475,136 Sysdm.cpl 20-Aug-2003 20:14 5.2.3790.78 274,432 Wsysdm.cpl 12-Aug-2003 16:54 271 Branches.inf 20-Aug-2003 21:04 10,444 Kb827180.cat 20-Aug-2003 20:19 354 Updatebr.inf 20-Aug-2003 20:19 5,355 Update_rtmqfe.inf
To work around this problem, manually edit the Boot.ini file in Notepad. To do this, follow these steps:
Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Notepad.
On the File menu, click Open.
In the Open dialog box, change the selection in the Files of type box to All Files, and then change the selection in the Look in box to the root of your startup (boot) drive.
In the root folder of your startup drive, open the Boot.ini file.
Note The Boot.ini file is a hidden operating system file. To find the Boot.ini file, change your folder options in Windows. To do this, follow these steps:
Right-click Start and then click Explore.
On the Tools menu in Windows Explorer, click Folder Options.
On the View tab, double-click Hidden files and folders, and then click Show hidden files and folders.
Click to clear the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) check box.
Click Yes to the following message:
You have chosen to display protected operating system files (files labeled System and Hidden) in Windows Explorer.
These files are required to start and run Windows. Deleting or editing them can make your computer inoperable.Are you sure you want to display these files?
Click OK to close the Folder Options dialog box.
Make the changes that you want to the Boot.ini file, and then on the File menu, click Save.
On the File menu, click Exit to close the Boot.ini file and to quit Notepad.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.