When a Windows XP system is started, the boot.ini file is one of the files that is executed first. It is a plain text file that is stored in the system root. This file also includes entries that provide various boot options such as Safe Mode or the Recovery Console. Hence, it can be rightly inferred that it is a very critical system file that is made both read-only and hidden, so that it is well protected from any mishap. However, there are times when this file gets missing or damaged, which makes the system from getting started. This behavior can appear because of various reasons such as virus infections, power outages, abrupt system shutdown, damaged file system, etc. You should use certain corrective measures to rectify this situation. In case you are not able to resolve the issue then you should use a third-party hard drive recovery software to do the needful.
Consider a scenario wherein you switch on your Windows XP system but it fails to start. An error message is displayed, that is:
“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
The root cause of this error message is that the boot.ini file is either corrupted, missing, or contains incorrect entries.
- To resolve the issue, you need to rebuild the boot.ini file using the bootcfg.exe tool. To do this, you should perform the following steps:
- Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM in the disc drive and restart the computer.
- When you encounter the “Press any key to boot from CD” screen, press a key to boot the computer from the CD-ROM.
- Press R to enter the Recovery Console.
- At the command prompt, enter bootcfg /list and press Enter to display the current boot,ini settings.
- At the command prompt, enter bootcfg /rebuild and press Enter to scan the hard disks.
- Follow the instructions as they appear on the screen.
- Type Exit and restart the system. The problem should be resolved.
- However, if you still are not able to start your system then you should use a third-party hard drive data recovery tools to recover the inaccessible data. Such read-only tools perform hard drive recovery without overwriting the original data.
Stellar Data Recovery Software is a hard drive recovery tool that enables you to recover lost, deleted, or inaccessible data from both FAT and NTFS file systems. It is able to recover more than 185 different file types from various storage media such as hard disks, external HDDs, pen drives, iPods, etc. In addition, this hard drive recovery utility recovers deleted emails from MS Outlook and Outlook Express. It is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and Server 2000.