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I've accidently installed a second incidence of XP. One was plenty!


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#1 KcBolen

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:16 AM


My granddaughter brought me her computer running preinstalled XP Home loaded with ad/spy/virus'. I've cleaned up the malware but the search and help/support functions are missing. I borrowed a full copy of XP Home to use to retrieve some files to repair her system.
To demonstrate my vast computer knowledge instead of repairing her os I installed a second copy of xp on the same hdd.
Now when I boot I get a choice of booting to the new 'pirated' copy or booting to her valid copy. Now It's sorta knda like a 2 boot system. At startup the 1st screen is 'press f2 for bios....' The second screen gives a boot choice of 2 lines of "MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP HOME EDITION" Using the first option it boots to the new, unauthorized version. Using the second choice boots to the original pre-installed version. Some files are present in both versions, some not. Running Belarc on each ot the installs shows the same hardware of course but quite a few differnces in the software including different keys and even the computer name, one designated Sweetpeas98 and one Sweetpeas2. While I'm booted to one version the other is invisible. So I don't see how to delete the unauthorized version from within the legal version.
As computers & I often have different ideas of right thing/wrong thing. A question that seems logical to me doesn't necessarily make it right, but: Since the computer will by default boot to the new version after 30 seconds, can I use the uninstall command on the XP install disk to remove the new install? And would it leave the original version relatively intact?
Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated.
Ken B


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#2 Sector17

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 06:06 AM

There are two issues here. 1) The annoyance of the additional boot step and time required to let it pick the OS to boot and 2) The additional hard drive space taken up.

First, boot to the second instance (the one you want to remove), launch a command prompt, type "set" with no quotes, hit <enter>.
A bunch of stuff will scroll by, but make note of what it says next to SYSTEMROOT and USERPROFILE e.g.
Systemroot = c:\winnt\
Userprofile = c:\documents and settings\administrator.WINNT

Now reboot into the FIRST instance (the one you want to keep)

Click Start -> Run -> and paste the following into the Run box, and hit <enter>

cmd /c (xcopy /h c:\boot.ini c:\boot.bak&c:\boot.ini)

(If prompted, answer "F" for file. This will make a backup of your boot.ini file and then open the existing one in notepad, which should look something like this:

[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" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

Note the path on the second line, e.g. \WINNT here. If this does indeed match the Systemroot value of the instance you want to remove, then DELETE the entire \WINNT line. (Just highlight the whole line and tap your delete key). Here is what you would remove:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


Now click File -> Save -> File -> Exit and restart. It should come right up into the first instance with no delay.

If you are short on disk space and wish to do so, you should now be able to delete the WINNT directory and the C:\Documents and Settings\administrator.WINNT (or whatever USERPROFILE was), but it won't hurt to leave them there either.

One last thing - if you're super paranoid about modifying system settings, the other thing you COULD do is, in the boot.ini file, just change
timeout=30
to
timeout=3

...and then you would still get the boot menu choice, but it would only sit there for 3 seconds.

Cheers,

Sector17

Edited by Sector17, 25 February 2011 - 06:08 AM.


#3 hamluis

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:20 AM

<<While I'm booted to one version the other is invisible.>>

Not true...it's not invisible, it just cannot run. But there has to be a Windows folder for that install, which is visible on your C: drive, if both installs are on the same partition/drive. If the new install is on a different partition...that entire partition has to be visible.

Assuming that no malware is present...I propose a (IMO) simpler alternative...

Boot into the install which you want to keep...delete the Windows folder of the install you don't want...then delete the Windows folder of the one that you don't want. Details follow.

Two XP Installs On Same Partition, #20 (Stevens) - http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/xpfaq.html#20

Removing the invalid entries from Boot.ini - http://windowsxp.mvps.org/bootopt.htm

Louis




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