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Altering Your Windows 2000 Boot Menu
By Clinton "SileNceR" Warburton

Any of you who are using a standard Windows 2000 dual boot system running windows 2000 with either Windows 9x or ME will know of the windows 2000 boot menu. This is a menu which comes up apon startup fo your system and by default has a 25 second delay in which you can choose which OS to boot. It generally defaults to windows 2000. Now if you are like me and you only use win2k for networking, and 3d graphics, you may want to change this. This guide shows you how to do it, and also how to change the delay of the startup menu, the order the OS's are listed, and the names of the OS's shown.

DO THIS! Make a copy of the file c:\boot.ini called c:\boot.bak. Make a boot disk so you can get to dos to put your backup on if you mess something up!

Changing the delay: Open the file boot.ini from drive c: with your favourite plain text editor. The file will be Read-Only by default, so disable that first. You will see about 6 lines. See the second line labeled timeout, as this is what we will be altering to change the boot delay. Currently it will be set to something like 25 or 30, change this to 3 or 5 or something to your liking. So


Renaming and removing OS's from the list: If boot.ini is not still open, re-open it. You will see the section [operating systems] on line 3. The values you want to change are below this. Generally Win9x/ME is C:\ So lets rename it from Microsoft Windows to something better, like SileNceR's Cool Win98SE :). So it looked like so: C:\="Microsoft Windows" and now like this: C:\="SileNceR's Cool Win98SE".
You can do the same for Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition, Just change the name in between the " marks. To remove an item, simply delete its line in the boot.ini file.

Changing the Default OS: Still in boot.ini, look for line 3, default=. This will currently be whatever comes before Windows 2000 in the [operating systems] section. For example: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Win2K Pro" /fastdetect. The part you want is everything before the = sign. So multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT. Now, if you want to boot win9x/ME as default, change default= to C:\ so default=C:\.

Changing the order: Still in boot.ini (hope you havent quit yet!), you can cut and past the lines in the [operating systems] section to move them above or below each other as you want, but a general rule is to have the default one at the top.

Now reboot and look at your changes. If it doesn't work, use your boot disk to delete boot.ini and rename your backup from boot.bak to boot.ini

Click here for my finished boot.ini

Have fun! Any questions, comments etc can be emailed to me

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