Fix a Wacked Boot Screen In Window XP

Thanks to a friendly neighborhood trojan virus I had recently reinstalled the XP OS on my secondary PC. For some reason XP didn't want to install at first. Hell if I know why. I didn't do anything other than keep trying and suddenly it decided, okay, if you want me that bad you can have me.

Apparently this particular computer shipped from the manufacturer with Window XP Pro, but the reinstall operating system disc that shipped with it was Windows XP Media Center. I never noticed until it came time to redo everything (roughly 3.5 years later).

So even though I did delete and repartition/format the harddrives I guess the master boot record still had traces of the old OS. Cuz after many boring hours of waiting while windows reinstalled there was a shiny new boot screen before it would load. The boot screen asked if I wanted to load XP Pro or XP Media Center. Except, only XP Media Center was actually installed. Silly, silly, whimsical Windows and its odd sense of humor.

This is pretty easy to fix in XP though.

You should probably backup your boot.ini file first. It should be in the C:\ root. If you cannot find it you should turn on show hidden and sytem files. Link

Now to cure your problem...

Start Menu > Run and type msconfig. Click the Boot tab. Click the check all boot paths button. If you have a ghost of an OS in there windows will pop up a box explaining that and asking you if you would like to remove the reference. Tell it OK. Reboot to see - Problem solved.

Alternatively you can highlight the rogue boot path and delete it manually. But it always feels safer to have windows reassure you that it understands what you're thinking.