As long as your Windows installation is located at multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1) (and is also your C:\ drive) you should be able to use this for most computers.
Congrat's to tswsl1989 for this fix!
What it appears happened was that the boot.ini file was missing from the boot drive of your system. tswsl1989 had you recreate it and put it on the C:\ drive - where it made the XP boot loader very happy!
Why it was able to boot is a mystery, although I suspect that one of the other boot.ini files that you located was on the PATH for Windows so that the system could locate it.
If you want to try this fix, there's a couple of things that you can do to prevent problems with it:
Get a boot disk that allows you to write to NTFS volumes (a DOS boot disk won't do for most). The Recovery Console in XP will allow this, as will Windows PE/Bart PE. You'll need this in the event that you can't get into Windows after applying your boot.ini file.
If you browse the C:\ drive you can look for a boot.ini file.
If you find it, you can rename it to something like boot.bak (in case you have to restore it)
Then you can insert your boot.ini file to see if it works
Worst case is that it won't boot at all - then you restore the old copy by renaming it from boot.bak to boot.ini (after deleting your boot.ini)
XP has some fairly common issues that can be resolved by using the Recovery Console and repairing the boot files on your computer - but you stand the risk of making the computer non-bootable. So become well-versed in the use of the Recovery Console by booting from the XP installation CD - and become well versed in the construction of the boot.ini file.
How to edit the boot.ini file in Windows XP: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289022/
How to install and use the Recovery Console in Windows XP: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654/
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