INVALID BOOT.INI file message when starting Windows XP

If you are seeing an “INVALID BOOT.INI file” message when starting Windows XP, it means that the boot.ini file, which is responsible for loading the operating system, is either missing or corrupted. This can happen due to a number of reasons, such as a virus infection, a hard drive failure, or a software installation gone wrong.

Here are some steps you can take to fix the problem:

1. Use the Windows XP installation CD: Insert the Windows XP installation CD into your computer and boot from it. When prompted, press any key to boot from the CD. Once the setup screen appears, press the “R” key to enter the Recovery Console. From there, you can use the “bootcfg” command to rebuild the boot.ini file. Type “bootcfg /rebuild” and press Enter. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

2. Use a third-party bootable disk: If you don’t have the Windows XP installation CD, you can use a third-party bootable disk, such as Hiren’s BootCD or Ultimate Boot CD. These disks contain a variety of tools that can help you repair your system, including a boot.ini file repair tool.

3. Manually edit the boot.ini file: If you are comfortable with editing system files, you can try manually editing the boot.ini file. To do this, open the file in Notepad or another text editor and make the necessary changes. Be careful not to delete any important lines or make any typos, as this can cause further problems.

4. Reinstall Windows XP: If none of the above methods work, you may need to reinstall Windows XP. This will erase all of your data, so be sure to back up any important files before proceeding.

In conclusion, an “INVALID BOOT.INI file” message can be a frustrating problem to deal with, but there are several ways to fix it. By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to get your system up and running again in no time.


In conclusion, we hope that the steps provided were helpful in resolving the “INVALID BOOT.INI file” message on your Windows XP system. Remember to always back up your important files before attempting any repairs or reinstallations. If you continue to experience issues, don’t hesitate to seek further assistance from a professional or online support community.

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