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Remove MS DOS From Dual Boot

Remove MS DOS From Dual Boot

Edit Boot.ini File To Remove A Dual Boot From Windows XP

In the last article I showed you how to do a fresh Windows XP install on a laptop that didn’t have a working CD or floppy drive.

The first logical solution that springs to mind is to connect the laptop hard disk drive to a desktop computer using a 44-pin to 40-pin IDE convertor, then run the Windows installer on the drive.

At first this appears to work fine, but what many of you will find (depending on the brand) is when the laptop hdd is placed back in the laptop and the machine turned on, Windows will fail to load. This means that Windows must be installed on your laptop hdd whilst it is in the machine.

So to do this, you must first use the desktop to install MS DOS on the laptop hdd. Then the I386 folder from the Windows install disk can be copied to the drive and the drive placed back in the laptop. When the laptop boots, DOS will load and from here we use a command prompt to begin the Windows installer.

See previous article for full instructions.

This method is guaranteed to work every time, but it will leave you with a dual boot, MS DOS or Windows XP. This does not affect your computer in any way, but it will trigger a prompt screen on start up asking you which operating system you want to load. Many users wish to get rid of this dual boot screen, especially if they have no further use for MS DOS.

Please note that removing a dual boot can be dangerous, and it does not ensure that Windows will forget about the 2nd boot sector. This will however, remove the boot option screen and possibly fully uninstall the unwanted OS from your system.

  • First right click on My Computer
  • Select Properties > Advanced, then navigate to the “Start Up and Recovery” tab
  • Click “Settings” and a new dialog box will appear
    • If you wish to leave DOS on the machine, but remove the option screen on start up – set the “Time to Display List of Operating Systems” to 0 and WinXP should now be your default OS
    • If you wish to remove the dual boot – Click “Edit”
  • Next, save a copy of the notepad file which opens ‘boot.ini’ just incase you make a mistake
  • The notepad boot.ini file should read something like this:
    • [boot loader]
      [operating systems]
      multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
    • *There will also be a line for DOS listed under [operating systems], this will read something like:
  • Double check that the default OS is listed as Windows
  • Now erase the “multi(1)disk(0)partition(#)” line which refers to MS DOS
  • Save the file
  • Once you have check to see the dual boot has been removed, you are free to delete any folders associated with the erased OS

If there are any complications, load into either DOS or XP, whichever is easiest (or still remaining on your system).

Copy the old boot.ini over to replace the modified one, and try again!

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