View Full Version : Dual boot system

03-22-2007, 03:50 AM
Hi all

I have a Dual boot system with XP and Vista, and on the POST it prompts you which OS to run to select it, and it always has by defualt the Windows Vista highlighted and after 30secs it runs Vista, which was the secong OS that was installed. How can I change or delete one of these options so that I can just have say the XP option and forget about the Vista install so it boots into XP automatically, or how can I change which one it automatically runs by default after the 30 second count.
I take it I have to alter the boot.ini file somehow

The reason I ask this question is that I dont see the POST when its plugged into my Plasma HD TV screen till the Radeaon graphic card (HDMI in use) has kicked in which is just about before the log on screen in Windows, which by then I can see Windows ok. At the moment I have to guess blind to select the XP option so it will boot XP, I can normally guess it ok because you have a 30 second period before it boots Vista.

All help much appreciated


03-22-2007, 03:57 AM
Hi all I think I found it!!!

Modifying the Boot.ini
While you can modify the Boot.ini file using the Startup and Recovery dialog, where you can select the default operating system, change the timeout value, or manually edit the file, the following method uses the command line utility, Bootcfg.exe.

Note The Bootcfg.exe utility is only available in Windows XP Professional. This utility is not available in Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition. Therefore, this section does not apply to Windows XP Home Edition.1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open text box, type cmd.
3. At the command prompt, type bootcfg /?.
4. The help and parameters for BOOTCFG.exe will display.

Adding an Operating System
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /copy /d Operating System Description /ID#
Where Operating System Description is a text description (e.g. Windows XP Home Edition), and where # specifies the boot entry ID in the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file from which the copy has to be made.

Removing an Operating System
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /delete /ID#
Where # specifies the boot entry ID that you want to be deleted from the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file (e.g. 2 for the second Operating system that is listed.

Setting the Default Operating System
At the command prompt, type:
bootcfg /default /ID#
Where # specifies the boot entry id in the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file to be made the default operating system.

Setting the Time Out
At the command prompt, type: bootcfg /timeout# Where # specifies the time in seconds after which default operating system will be loaded.

Back to the top

Open the Boot.ini File to Verify Changes
1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
2. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
3. Under System Startup, click Edit.

Paul Komski
03-22-2007, 05:54 AM
If you added Vista then boot.ini is only relevant to WinXP.

Should I replace the code that used to work with Boot.ini to now use BCD on Windows Vista?

No. You will need to alter your code so that it uses Boot.ini for the older operating systems, and so that it uses BCD on Windows Vista.


03-22-2007, 12:31 PM
No, you didn't find it! Did you read the little note that Vista left you in boot.ini!

;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.

You can not change it from XP you have to do it from Vista. Bootcfg.exe can only change the Win XP boot menu and you don't even see that boot menu, you would see it if you had more then one copy of XP installed, or ME and XP. If you had two copies of XP and one copy of Vista you would get the Vista boot menu that you get now then if you choose "Earlier version of windows" you would get the Win XP boot menu where you choose which copy of Win XP to boot. If you also had Linux installed it would add a boot menu before the Vista boot menu. I have a PC with Linux Mandriva 2007, Win ME, Win XP Pro, and Vista Ultimate RC1 and have to go through 3 boot menus to boot to Win ME or XP Pro.

To change the Default OS in the Vista boot menu; Boot to Vista, right click on "Computer" and choose properties. In the left pane choose "Advanced system settings". In the startup and recovery box of the Advanced system settings select settings in the drop down menu select "Earlier version of windows" and set the time to display list of operating systems to 10 seconds.
If you uncheck the "time to display list of operating systems" box or set the time to 0 you will not be able to boot to Vista.

03-23-2007, 08:10 AM
Ok well thanks for both replies; you have put me right!!

Thanks for the help guys