How to rebuild the Windows boot.ini

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope

Users who have a corrupt or missing boot.ini file, are running Microsoft Windows XP, and have a Microsoft Windows XP CD (compact disc) can rebuild the systems boot.ini file by following the steps below.

Rebuilding boot.ini

  1. Insert the Microsoft Windows XP CD in the computer.

If you have a system recovery CD or restore CD (not a Microsoft CD), these steps may not work for your computer.

  1. Reboot the computer with the CD and press any key when prompted to boot from the CD.
  2. In the Microsoft Setup menu, press R to open the Recovery Console.
  3. Select the operating system you want to use. If you only have Windows XP on the computer, you get one prompt.
  4. Once prompted for the password, enter the Admin password and press Enter.
  5. At the command prompt, type bootcfg /rebuild to start the rebuild process.
  6. The rebuild process guides you through several steps that depend upon your computer's configuration. Below is a listing of the common steps you are likely going to encounter.
  • Prompt for the identified versions of Windows installed. When you receive this prompt, press Y if the bootcfg command properly identified each of the Windows operating systems installed on the computer. It is important to realize this command only detects Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT installations.
  • Prompt to enter the load identifier. The load identifier is the name of the operating system for the boot.ini. For example, Microsoft Windows XP Home users would enter Microsoft Windows XP Home edition.
  • Prompt to enter OS (operating systems) load options. When this prompt is received, type /fastdetect to automatically detect the available options.
  1. Once you have completed all the available options in the rebuild and are back at the prompt type exit to reboot the computer.