boot.ini

Boot.ini is a hidden and read-only text file on the root of the system partition of that is used to create the boot loader menu.

What is boot.ini?

A hidden, read-only text file on the root of the system partition of Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 that is used to create the boot loader menu. For example, a typical boot.ini file for a default Windows NT installation might look like this:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows
NT Server Version 4.00"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows
NT Server Version 4.00 [VGA mode]" /basevideo /sos

A close correspondence can be seen between the appearance of the boot.ini file and the boot loader menu, which the ntldr program creates during the Windows NT boot sequence.

NOTE

You can safely modify some of the settings in this file using the System utility in Control Panel. If you need to edit the file directly, use the attrib command to first remove its read-only, system, and hidden attributes and then modify the file using a text editor such as Microsoft Notepad. Do this carefully, as an error in the boot.ini file can prevent the system from booting.