Booting Into Safe Mode

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by CWBillow, Jul 6, 2007.

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  1. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    My original boot.ini looked like this:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=3
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /FASTDETECT /NoExecute=OptIn
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional Safe Mode" /fastdetect /safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

    (I couldn't figger how to get around the word wrap; the lines that begin with "Professional" and :"Safe" actually belong to the line above)

    The way this worked gave me 3 seconds to pick, so that if I wanted to boot in Safe Mode, I could.

    Disk Director imported the boot.ini, but eliminated the Console line with a ";" and although it shows the Safe Mode line, if I select it, the boot process just goes on as normal, NOT Safe Mode.

    How do I fix it so that the Safe Mode will start as needed, and, if possible, how do I add back the Recovery Console into the choices?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Posting in [_code_] text [_/code_] tags keeps the text formatted as normal text. (Without the "_" characters, of course. I added those so it wouldn't be converted.)

    Code:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=3
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /FASTDETECT /NoExecute=OptIn
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional Safe Mode" /fastdetect /safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
    You're trying to add OSS entries for starting Windows in Safe Mode and for accessing the Recovery Console. Correct?

    I haven't tried that. I'd have to look at the bootwiz.oss file and see what needs to be edited. OSS may have to be "tricked" to get it to work (if it will work).
     
  3. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    1) I just pasted the text from your reply, and then enclosed in the "code" tags, but that didn't correct the wrapped lines; then I inserted the tag pair, and typed the text between them, but it still wrapped as well.

    I'm not grocking what you mean. ??

    2) Should I be able to run the "Safe Mode" line from within DD? If so, what do I need to fix on that line so it runs "right" and isn't just ignored?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The "Code" tags are just like the "Quote" tags, except you use the word "code" instead of the word "quote".

    forum_code.JPG

    If it's still line-breaking, make sure there are no line breaks. Sometimes I paste the text into Notepad first because it removes everything but the text and then copy it out from there to paste into the forum editor. Also, it will wrap the text in the editor, but when the post is saved it shows up in the Code box and scrolls as needed.

    I guess I'm not understanding what you mean by running the Safe Mode line from within DD.

    Is OS Selector installed (OSS)?

    If you are not using OSS, are you saying that DD changed the boot.ini file?
     
  5. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    That's what I was asking... I didn't try posting anything so I didn't see it "in action".


    Yes, OSS is installed.

    Without OSS installed, my boot.ini file had the line

    Code:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional Safe Mode" /fastdetect /safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog
    That gave me a choice of starting in Safe mode, without the need for the F8 hit.

    But after I installed OSS, that line is still there in boot.ini and the choice showing in OSS, but if I select "Safe Mode" it'll still start in "regular" mode.

    Then, I'd be curious to see what you find about running the Recovery Console; 'cause if you can not do so, what do *you* do if you need the RC?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I think I understand how you have it setup now.

    Was the Recovery Console option always available on your computer or did you add it to the computer afterwards (as shown in this Microsoft link)?
     
  7. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    I added it per the link, except that I have my XP CD copied to my HD, and the referral goes to there.

    CB
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Chuck,

    I have successfully replicated what you are wanting to do. I have OSS menu entries booting to the following:
    1) Directly into Windows XP Pro
    2) Directly into Windows XP Pro Safe Mode
    3) Directly into Windows XP Pro Recovery Console
    4) Directly to the Windows XP bootloader menu where you can select any of the above 3

    So, either scenario can work. You can use one OSS menu entry and recover your previous "3 second" menu or you can setup separate menu entries for each (or you can do both, as I did above).

    Before proceeding, I would remove the OSS "Safe Mode" entry that doesn't work. This should leave you with just the "direct to XP" entry.

    ----Recover the Windows Bootloader Menu------------------------

    Do you still have a copy of your original boot.ini file? I assume you do since you posted it. The orignial contents need to be put back into the boot.ini file OSS is using to boot your main XP.

    Start OSS from in Windows. Right-click on the XP menu entry. Select Properties. Click on the Files section. Click on the boot.ini file and then click the Edit button. Type in the changes (DO NOT PASTE -- see below). Here is my sample:
    Code:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Safe Mode)" /safeboot:minimal
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
    Click OK to close the edit Window, then click Ok to close the Properties box. Then repeat these steps and go back into the boot.ini file and make sure the changes are there. Sometimes OSS doesn't save the changes.

    When you reboot the computer to the OSS menu, also go into the properties and check the boot.ini file is correct. This was the hardest part as there did not seem to be any uniform pattern to when OSS would save/update the boot.ini file.

    Once the file is correct, and you boot to it, you should get the XP bootloader menu and it should work correctly.

    ----Create Separate Menu Entries------------------------

    OSS actually provides an option to do this. Start OSS from Windows. Click on the XP menu entry so it's selected. Then click the Edit->Create Shortcut menu item. This will create another menu entry based on the currently selected entry (in this case your primary XP entry). Rename the menu entry to what you want Windows XP Pro Safe Mode or Windows XP Recovery Console depending on which one you're doing.

    Now you have to edit the boot.ini file to make it correct. OSS will create a copy of the original OS's file. If you have the bootloader version then that's what will be copied and you can just edit it as necessary. Otherwise you'll need to type in (DO NOT PASTE) the information.

    This is the my boot.ini file for the "Safe Mode" entry:
    Code:
    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    ;multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Safe Mode)" /safeboot:minimal
    This is my boot.ini file for the "Recovery Console" entry:
    Code:
    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=30
    default=C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT
    [operating systems]
    ;multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    ;multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Safe Mode)" /safeboot:minimal
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
    This is my boot.ini file for the "Normal" entry (directly to XP):
    Code:
    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    ;multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Safe Mode)" /safeboot:minimal
    ;C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
    As you can see, I just commented out the parts not needed. Otherwise they'd also boot to the XP bootloader menu instead of directly where you want.

    ----Important Notes------------------------

    There are a few areas that can cause some problems which I will try and explain here in case you run into them.

    Problem #1 -- I edited the boot.ini file and my changes didn't get saved
    Solution: This happened every time. The first time I made changes to the boot.ini file (editing from OSS) it would not save the changes. The second time, it did save the changes. Just try again. You can also edit the boot.ini files for the non-booted system by browsing to it in the BOOTWIZ sub-folders and using Notepad.

    Problem #2 -- My boot.ini file looks correct when I edit it or look at it from OSS, but XP doesn't boot or hangs or gives an error message (missing hal.dll, etc)
    Solution: One thing I found that causes this is by PASTING text into the boot.ini file when editing it with OSS. This causes OSS to use only the LF (0x0A) character as a line-break instead of the normal CR/LF characters. When viewed in OSS it looks fine. When viewed with WordPad it looks fine. However, when viewed with Notepad (a plain text editor) it looks wrong. The XP bootloader apparently has a problem with this. Here is what it looks like in the Windows Notepad program:
    linux_lf.jpg

    To fix it, browse to the file and open it with Notepad. IMPORTANT NOTE: USE THE WINDOWS NOTEPAD PROGRAM TO VIEW OR EDIT THE BOOT.INI FILES. If you use a different editor you may not be able to fix the file. The boot.ini files need to be in a Plain DOS text format. Viewing the files in the Windows Notepad program will allow you to check this.

    The files are located in the BOOTWIZ folder under the "OS ID" subfolder (fa07d2ec, in this case):
    bootwiz_dir3.jpg

    Using Notepad, locate where the line breaks should be (the little rectangles) and delete them. Then press ENTER to pull the line down. Just fix the file so it looks correct (like the samples above) and then save it.

    Check ALL the boot.ini files (all the "OS ID" subfolders) and make sure they're correct.

    Problem #3 -- I have edited the boot.ini file in the C:\ directory and it doesn't change anything
    Solution: OSS basically takes over the booting "boot.ini" file. The only way to make changes to the currently booted boot.ini file is to edit it from the OSS program as outlined above.

    ----Other Thoughts------------------------

    It worked generally well and was relatively quick once I got the hang of it. The hardest part being getting the boot.ini files edited and saved correctly.

    I would suggest you only do one entry at a time and get it working correctly before you continue to the next one.

    Also, please note that ALL the problems I had figuring this out ONLY required getting the OSS entries and the boot.ini files correct. I did not have to do any XP repairs (to fix the hal.dll errors, for instance). Once the boot.ini files were correct, the errors were gone.

    If you have any questions post back. I'd also like to know of your success (which I sincerely hope you have).
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007
  9. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    First let me thank you for the time and effort. Time is a precious commondity.

    Now:

    I got my boot.ini to look right, both from within OSS and from notepad, but when I boot, and the OSS menu comes up, it still is not showing the (typed in) Safe Mode line or the one for the RC.

    I thought maybe I was supposed to "re-build" OSS's version, but couldn't find a way ro do so;

    I didn't thoroughly understand in your post: you show various versions of the boot.ini, with the (unwanted) lines remmed out, leaving only the one for that particular version.

    But then, you can't have 3 boot.ini files, can you?

    I did edit the boot.ini fom within OSS... and it looks OK there... but it don't wanna show itself in the OSS boot dialog...

    I THINK I'm close... hoping is a good thing.

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You can do your setup however you want. I am just trying to show the different ways possible.

    Are you trying to have separate entries for each (Normal, Safe Mode, Recovery Console)?

    Or do you want to use the Windows Bootloader Menu?

    In my test setup I did both (just to see how it works).

    Here is a screenshot of the OSS menu entries:

    oss_menu.jpg

    There are actually FOUR boot.ini files, one for each XP menu entry in the menu. I have shown all of them above, one for each entry.

    The "Shortcut" entries (the ones with the little arrows on the icons), are the entries created with the Edit->Create Shortcut menu option (using the Normal XP menu entry). Each of these "shortcuts" has its OWN boot.ini file. Each boot.ini file can then be edited (as shown in the previous post) so that that entry boots what you want.

    Here is a screenshot of the boot.ini file pulled up for the "XP (Menu)" entry:

    oss_editbootini.jpg

    -----------

    If you are going for the "XP Bootloader" approach, then you'll only have ONE menu entry in OSS for XP. Then when you select it, you'll get the standard "which Windows do you want to boot" text menu with the seconds counting down to the default (I think you had 3 seconds set on yours).
     
  11. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    Firstly, I *was* hoping to run everything through OSS... it seemed a bit more elegant, and also, I'm going to be putting Linux on this box as well, and I like the way OSS recognizes and handles Linux.

    That being said:

    If I'm understanding you here:

    - Each entry in the final OSS menu comes from a separate boot.ini;
    - Each ini is created through the "Files/Edit" function in OSS (then OSS manages where each boot.ini resides);

    Yes? 'Cause if THAT'S the case, then I jsut add each "piece of the original ini to each menu item separately -- yes?

    Regards,
    CB
     
  12. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    Also:
    How'd you get the different entries in there to edit in the first place? Do I take the boot.ini, create "several" duplicate entries,. And then edit them once they're able to be edited in OSS?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
     
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You should be able to do this. I also have Linux and OSS handles it fine.

    Each entry HAS its own boot.ini file, but it doesn't COME from it. Once OSS has created the menu entry, yes, it manages the copy of the boot.ini file.

    Start OSS. Click on your original XP menu entry to select it. Then click on the Edit menu and select the Create Shortcut option. That will create a "duplicate" entry (OSS usually adds a (2) to the menu name). Then you edit the boot.ini in the NEWLY CREATED SHORTCUT menu entry, change the menu name, etc. Make sure you ONLY use the "Create Shortcut" command on the ORIGINAL XP menu entry, not the other shortcuts.
     
  14. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    Uh...duh... I think the bulb MAY be going on... I'm gonna go try it ... dunno where you are so it may be close to your bedtime, but I'll be back...

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
     
  15. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    One (last?) Question: Is there a way to control in what order the different entries will appear when booting? Are the (always) alphabetical -- so that you control the order in how you name them?

    CB
     
  16. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, you can change the menu order. That's done by editing the bootwiz.oss file. It can be done when you finish getting this setup. Don't worry about it now.

    I'm doing a small video and I'll send you a link in a Private Message so you can see what I'm talking about.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2007
  17. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    Got it.

    I THINK i've got it now... I'll be waitin'. Thanks again, MC.

    Regards,
    Chuck
     
  18. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I sent the message with the video link.
     
  19. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    I'm 2 for 3.

    I've got the "regular" and the "safe mode" working.

    I cannot however, get the RConsole to take. It keeps just booting me into a standard WinXP startup.

    Here's the boot.ini I have there:

    Code:
    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=5
    default=C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT
    [operating systems]
    ; multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /FASTDETECT /NoExecute=OptIn
    ; multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional Safe Mode" /fastdetect /safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
    
    can YOU see anything wrong here? I can't.

    Well, I'm going to bed. I'll check back in the later am.

    CB
     
  20. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It looks okay to me. (There are spaces after the semicolons on the to commented out "multi..." lines, but I don't think that should matter...)

    Have you checked the boot.ini file by browsing the BOOTWIZ OS/ID Sub-Folders and checking to make sure it's correct there?

    You should have three or four subfolders (the ones with the weird names "fa07d2ec", etc.). Open each one check they're all correct (line-breaks correct, no weird characters, etc.). You should be able to tell which OS entry they are for by the contents of the boot.ini file. The "Safe Mode" one will have the boot.ini file setup for booting directly to Safe Mode, etc.

    Also, when you created the Shortcut menu entry for the "Recovery Console" you did create it from the "Original" and not another shortcut? Right?

    You might try deleting the "Recovery Console" menu entry and then recreating it and see if that helps.

    Check those and then post back.

    This is what I was talking about being the hardest part. You have to keep checking the boot.ini file in BOTH places (from inside OSS and from the BOOTWIZ subfolder) and make sure they match.
     
  21. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    Dunno what the heck I did wrong, but I got to a point that my box wouldn't boot.

    So I've uninstalled OSS and restored the MBR from an image; now I'm starting over.

    I want to, as you suggested, add only an item at a time; to do this, after I've built the first OSS set, how do I add a line? Add it to the same boot.ini, or use a different one?

    I'm unclear on the "merge" process.

    CB
     
  22. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    And I'm not clear on exactly what you mean by "merge" process.

    Each menu entry has its own boot.ini file. When you edit it from OSS, you can delete lines, add lines, comment out lines, etc. as necessary to get it correct.

    If you haven't installed OSS, get the system booting like you had it before with the XP bootloader menu for Normal, Safe Mode and Recovery Options. You should be able to use the original boot.ini file you had (the one you posted).

    Once OSS is installed, create the "Shortcut" menu entries from the ORIGINAL XP entry and then edit the boot.ini files as neccessary for each entry. Do this one entry at a time.

    If the boot.ini file already had all the info then you can just comment out the lines not needed (using the semicolon), otherwise, type in the information required. Remember, OSS doesn't seem to save the changes to the boot.ini file the first time you edit it, so you might want to just make a small change and then save it and then reopen it and make the real changes. Just make sure the changes are correct and that the boot.ini file looks correct when viewed in Notepad.

    ----

    Did you view the video okay?

    I thought the instructions were pretty clear, but I've done this before so maybe there's something that's not. Can you please post the steps you're using and any part of the instructions that you're not clear on?
     
  23. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    Yes, I did view the video, thanks. It was/is clear from one point: once you (I) have OSS installed the viceo process kicks in -- AFTER...

    When I install OSS, it creates it's own shortcuts(s) to the various "os's". Some of these are critical, for instance, if you also want to use Linux, then the shortcut to there is nice for "greenies" like me, 'cause finding THAT path could be a chore...

    But for the others (Safe Mode, Recovery Console), as I had trouble with these to start with before, I delete the references in OSS and create shortcuts, yes?

    BTW, I never could get the RC shortcut to work, and the boot.ini file got eaten by OSS and looked totlaly scribbled after a point, and then the MBR went on leave, hence I decided to "start over".

    I guess I was a bit mixed up, going back to the start of my process, when you were talking about thye separate boot.ini's, I thought (at that point) that YOU had created those, and never I guess erased those memories...

    I actually expect and am ready for more issues with my RConsole entry, so yes, I'll keep track of the steps.

    Also, the one entry that calls Safe Mode, as, I think I had mentioned earlier, does NOT start up Safe mode like the line

    Code:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional Safe Mode" /fastdetect /safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog
    
    does when it is in your boot.ini, but rather simuilates pressing F8; not a big thing, but it is clear that OSS is NOT executing literal commands as XP's OS dos, but rather "re-interpreting".

    Regards,
    CB
     
  24. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    OSS is obviously trying to sort out the "multi-boot" setup you already have when you install OSS. Perhaps if you commented out the "timer" line and commented out (or removed) the "safe mode" and "recovery console" lines in the original c:\boot.ini file BEFORE installing OSS, then it would be easier to sort out.

    My guess is the ANY of the links (with this setup) created by OSS when it is installed (with the exception of the "direct to XP" entry) will not boot properly. This seems to be the case since if it did, you wouldn't have even bothered to start this thread.

    I have not tried it that way. I do know that OSS has problems sorting out XP/Vista and XP/XP multi-boot situations that exist prior to installing OSS.

    Do you already have Linux on your computer? I thought you were installing that later. OSS generally does not have a problem detecting Linux. I usually install GRUB to the Linux partition and not the MBR. I don't know how you're setting up yours, though.

    ---

    In my test setup, the Safe Mode entry booted XP directly into Safe Mode (no menu, no F8, etc.). The Recovery Console entry booted directly to the Recovery Console.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2007
  25. CWBillow

    CWBillow Registered Member

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    MC:

    I'm totally baffled.

    Here's what I've got so far:

    I uninstalled Disk Doctor, searched and deleted and files or folders related, and reset my boot.ini back to the original;

    I checked the three levels of startup: Normal XP, Safe Mode XP, and Recovery Console;

    Once I was sure all were working as intended, I copied the boot.ini to a CD, then edited the boot.ini, leaving only the "Normal XP" startup, also eliminating the timeout;

    I installed Disk Doctor, then ran the OSS setup;

    This gave me three startup options (in OSS): Normal XP startup, Boot from A:, and Linux (already installed on another hard drive);

    I then created a shortcut for "Safe Mode XP"; in the resulting folder, I "tagged" the boot.ini with a ";Safe Mode XP" in the first line;

    I then copied the line from the original boot.ini used to call "safe mode" and put it into the boot.ini in the "Safe Mode" folder's boot.ini, placing a ";" before the line that had called the "Normal XP";

    I then edited the "default" line -- originally the second line of boot.ini after the "timeout" line -- putting in rhe string that was on the "Safe Mode XP" line (to the left of the '=') making it the new "default";

    I then started my box, four times, checking each setup twice;

    Both worked as expected.

    I then repeated the process outlined above, to replicate the string in the original boot.ini used to call the "Recovery Console" selection, going through the input, and the changing of the default etc.

    I then tested the new OSS model.

    The original two inputs worked as expected.

    The line calling the "Recovery Console" choice went to a black screen, and never proceeded.

    I've looked at this thing up one side and down the other, and can't find a thing wrong.

    Below is the boot.ini from my RC shortcut folder.

    Maybe you'll be able to see what I cannot.

    Flustered,
    CB

    RC boot.ini starts here ---->

    Code:
    [boot loader]
    ;Recovery Console
    ;timeout=53
    default=C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT
    [operating systems]
    ;multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /FASTDETECT /NoExecute=OptIn
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
    
     
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