24 March, 2007

Add additional options to your Boot Menu

Do you ever get frustrated by having to always press F8 when you want to boot into Safe Mode or the Command Prompt? With a simple modification to your boot.ini, you can add those options to the boot menu.

Here's a typical boot.ini (located at c:\):
[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Media Center Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
This boot.ini will prompt with:
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Recovery Console
Add the following three lines under [operating systems] to get Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, and Safe Mode with the Command Prompt:
  1. multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Safe Mode" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /safeboot:minimal
  2. multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Safe Mode with Network" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /safeboot:network
  3. multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Command Prompt" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /safeboot:minimal(alternateshell)
If you want your boot to log its activities, add the switch /bootlog at the end of the line. You can find the generated log t c:\ntbtlog.txt.
If you want the to display the drivers as they are loaded, add the switch /sos at the end of the line.
You can find all the possible switch options on Microsoft's website.
When completed, save your new boot.ini, reboot, and you will have these new boot options.

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