When you start a Windows system, first of all the number of operating systems that are installed in the system are scanned and listed. After that, you can select and go ahead with the operating system with which you want to log onto the system. This information is stored in the boot.ini file, which is not a read-only file.
Because of not being a read-only file, the boot.ini file can get corrupt or may contain incorrect entries, due to which the system would not start. In such circumstances, you should modify the boot.ini file using the Windows Setup CD. However, if that does not work then you should use a third-party Windows data recovery software to recover Windows data.
Consider a scenario wherein you are unable to start your Windows XP system. The following error message is displayed in a black screen:
The root cause of this problem is that the boot.ini file is either missing, damaged, or contains incorrect entries.
To resolve this case, you would need to refurbish the boot.ini file. This can be done using the following steps:
Configure the boot settings in the BIOS (Basic Input/Output Section) so that you can boot the system using a Windows XP Setup CD.
Insert the CD in the CD-ROM drive and start the system.
Press R to enter the Recovery Console.
Type 'bootcfg /list' and press Enter to view the current entries in the boot.ini file.
Type 'bootcfg /rebuild' and press Enter to scan the hard disks and display the various operating systems present in the system.
Perform the instructions as they appear on the screen.
When you are through with all the tasks, then type 'exit' on the command prompt and press Enter to exit Recovery Console.
When the computer restarts, you will see the 'Please select the operating system to start' message. Select the appropriate operating system in which you want to start the system.
If the system is still not starting and is still inaccessible, then you should try to reinstall the operating system after recovering the trapped data. To do this, you can use a third-party Windows data recovery software. These data recovery tools have rich user interface that make the Windows recovery safe and easy to perform.
The most effective Windows data recovery software that works on FAT, NTFS, and exFAT file systems is Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery. Having the capability to recover Windows files from different types of storage media such as iPods, hard drives, pen drives, etc, this Windows data recovery tool is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, 2000, and NT4(SP6).