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I upgraded my operating system from Win 98 to 2000, but I could never use it because it asked for a password that I didn't know (and the person who did the upgrade for me didn't remember it!!!!)
So, finally, I reinstalled Windows 2000, thinking I would loose everything. But that didn't happen. I did something wrong and now my PC has 2 operative systems and both are called Windows 2000 Professional.
Now, I have this message whenever the computer starts: "Please select the operating system to start". If I choose the upper one, it opens the previous one, the one I cannot use because of the password. If I choose the lower one, it opens the new one and I can get in. It is quite annoying to have to choose each time and I am afraid that it is occupying memory space. I also have a mix up of folders.
Does anybody know how can I get rid of the previous one? If I change the boot.ini setup I won't know which is which! Should I reinstall and choose different options when asked about disk partitions?
Thank you very much!

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Last Post by jbennet
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Hi,

I don't know if it is possible to remove windows without format, but I will till you how to control the boot list and how to skip the selection of OS.
Right click My computer and choose properties.
Choose advanced tab and then startup and recovery settings.
from there you can simply choose the default OS and uncheck the "Time to display list of OSs".
This is enough but if you want you can press "Edit" button to open the boot.ini file and edit it manually if you find the OS you don't need erase the line that contains it and you will not be asked again.

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I'm thinking you re-partitioned part of your drive to get the second operating system on there. first, start a reinstall. then, when you get to the partition options page, remove all the extra partitions. your original installation of windows will be on the top partition (unless you have one that was a recovery partition, or you have a specific boot partition. they will be labled anyway if that is the case) after deleting that, see if you have an option to join the partitions, and add all the empty space onto your old windows installation. if not, just make a 'new' partition, and leave it. windows will format it the next time you restart as a secondary drive. at this point, cancel the reinstallation, and restart your computer. that will have wiped out the second installation. if the boot option menu comes up still, try what kb.net said, but be VERY CAREFUL. if you delete the wrong line, your computer will not boot!

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Thank you both, kb.net and Dortz!
I have already done what kb said and it worked. I made a mistake when posting: the upper option was the new installation and vice versa. When I opened the boot.ini file I found out they have different names: the old one is WINDOWS and the new one WINNT, perhaps because I have 2 disks with Windows 2000 so probably each installation was done using a different CD.
I agree that I have re-partitioned part of the drive, so I will try today to follow Dortz's suggestions to get rid of the previous OS that's still there. I'll make you know if I succeeded.

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Well, I tried to do the reinstallation, but it worsened things. I chose the upgrade to Windows 2000 option and it started OK, but when it restarted the PC an error message appeared telling me to restart. When I retarted I got again the double booting message, this time I had to choose between the former Win 200 and the Win 2000 setup. I chose the 2nd to continue with it up to the partition options page. It started the install process again, restarted and the error message appeared again! So this time I chose the Win 2000 OS and again, through the boot.ini.file, got rid of the line corresponding to the setup. So it seems now I have 3 OS's there! And I am afraid to try again choosing "Install a new copy of Windows 2000 (clean install)", though I assume that this way I can arrive to the partition options page, am I right?
How do I add all the empty space onto my old windows installation?
How do I create a new partition?

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Sorry, I posted twice by mistake and cannot delete any of them!

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minesz, follow dortz' instructions to th Edit button and put up a copy of the notepad that opens, cos what you folks are discussing is clear as mud. Pretty much.

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OK, this is it (now):
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

And before I removed the other OS from the menu the first time:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows 2000Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

I know that I have only deleted the previous OS just from the booting menu, but it is still there, as well as the setup. I want to get rid of them, it's just that I don't understand Dortz's instructions well and couldn't even get anything clear from other threads.

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Heh!, sorry, it was actually kb.net's instructions, not Dortz's that I wanted you to follow, but you got it right anyway... :)
Okay, your current boot.ini file is correct, your earlier version tells me that you actually installed your second OS onto the same partition as the first.
Now you wish to lose the first installation to which you do not have the admin password - all you need to do is delete the WINDOWS folder [it will not fit in your bin]; the folder you are using will be designated as WINDOW[0]. Am I correct? Creation dates will tell.... To be rid of that [0] in WINDOWS[0] would be nigh impossible, I think, cos it would be deeply embedded in registry entries.
WINDOWS[0] will be using your original Program Files folder, but some of your document folders may be duplicated so copy out of the old into the new and remove the old. You should be able to work out which is which from creation dates etc, if not from the contents.

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By the way, if you do not use some third party software to wipe your HD before an installation then during Setup you must remove the old OS [boot] partition and then remake and fast-format it. Remaking the boot partition [C:] rewrites the master boot record for the disk, and creates a new partition boot sector and master file table in C: so all file info is lost. Result is the old OS is toast.

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Remaking the boot partition [C:] rewrites the master boot record for the disk

no it doesnt. E.g if you delete all partitions from a a linux system GRUB is left in the MBR.

you use fdisk /mbr for that

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Surely [re]making any partition forces the rewrite of the MBR? It holds partition information.... as an example if you delete the boot partition which is active, then then MBR must record the new active partition when it is created to pass to BIOS... perhaps I should have said "modify"...
But please don't test me on LINUX, jb.... all I know is that it exists.... so I cannot comment on that aspect of your post.

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Thank you, Gerbil. I have already done that, by chance before receiving your message, when I realised that the WINDOWS folder was there twice. I deleted the old one (WINDOWS) and kept the new one (WINNT), not before copying some files from one to another. It fitted in my bin. There's nothing called WINDOW[0].
Now, do I still need to try the aborted reinstallation to do all that stuff in the partition options page? That's what you and jbennet are talking about in your following posts? I'm not a computer guy, not even know what is MBR, sorry!!!!!

Heh!, sorry, it was actually kb.net's instructions, not Dortz's that I wanted you to follow, but you got it right anyway... :)
Okay, your current boot.ini file is correct, your earlier version tells me that you actually installed your second OS onto the same partition as the first.
Now you wish to lose the first installation to which you do not have the admin password - all you need to do is delete the WINDOWS folder [it will not fit in your bin]; the folder you are using will be designated as WINDOW[0]. Am I correct? Creation dates will tell.... To be rid of that [0] in WINDOWS[0] would be nigh impossible, I think, cos it would be deeply embedded in registry entries.
WINDOWS[0] will be using your original Program Files folder, but some of your document folders may be duplicated so copy out of the old into the new and remove the old. You should be able to work out which is which from creation dates etc, if not from the contents.

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"It fitted in my bin" Yep, okay, it's just that I have shrunken my bins to a pretty small size - if I don't want stuff, I mostly don't want it hanging around somewhere else.... mostly.. :)
And your WINNT = my WINDOWS[0] ... I was not sure what it would be named, I have seen both.
Skip the info in the last post to you [#10] re partitions and formatting - that was just a recap of a method to use when installing a fresh OS to avoid your problem in the first place; if your sys is working now all is fine.
Cheers.

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Beauty! Thanks, jb. If i'd fully absorbed his boot.ini detail Ida known we were dealing with WINNT in minesz's case [slight twinge of shame....], but now I know the scheme of things.

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yeah you get issues when you upgrade win2k to xp (WINNT and WINDOWS) or if you upgrade xp home to xp pro or xp to vista (WINDOWS and WINDOWS(0) )

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