Sep 30, 2011
i HAVE 3 HARD DRIVES ON MY WINDOWS XP PRO SP3. I made a Slipstream disc from my CyberpowerPC windows pro sp2 ==>sp3. On G is a 80GB [disk 2] and F&C [disk 1] a 1TB drive F has windows XP pro (which is the one I need) and C used to have windows xp home (cannot boot to it) and a I and J a 640GB drive (windows 7 ultimate on J and I [Disk 0] (reserved for windows 7)

Here is my F (boot) drive boot.ini

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Home"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows 7 Ultimate"
F:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

The only way I get to access my F: (boot drive with my windows xp that I need) is by using F11 or boot selection when I boot. I select the drive and then it loads up. To run windows 7 I boot from my 640GB drive and then select windows 7 on the menu which is a hazzle.

The point is that windows xp sp3 install repair and any other boot repair installation ONLY recognizes my windows installation on G (80GB which I installed to try things) and I keep getting files have changed from original or something like that asking me to insert the CD in the drive.

When I do, guess what, it does not recognize the files and asks me to install a different windows CD.

I have been battling this for over 6 months. your kind reply and assistance would be appreciated. Is there a way to MANUALY expand the files into the stupid windows directories and finally get rid of the unrecognized versions. At one point I had to download a CD from the web in order to repair the system but it crapped all over my pc.

Well I'm sure it's a challenge, it's been a nightmare for me and I don't know who else to turned to. I have changed (bought drives) video cards and all kinds of stupid things thanks to un-trained and stupid repair people spending over $450 on this issue, endless hrs. calling Microsoft, Seagate, Asus, AMD, my mother and Jesus Christ! The last one so I don't throw it against the wall.

Thank you, Enrique R. Carrera
I made a Slipstream disc from my CyberpowerPC windows pro sp2 ==>sp3.
Here is the big clue... The Repair CD is not slipstreamed, your install was.

Is the desired drive a native drive to the mainboard?
If not, then then Repair needs the driver (after pressing F6 at boot time) to find the drive.
If it is native to the mainboard, and it is on a built-in RAID controller, it may still need the driver at boot time.

I boot to an add-on RAID controller so I must do the "Press F6" thing to access my system drive to do a repair. I keep a USB floppy drive handy just for this occasion.

My 2 cents...


Sep 30, 2011
Thank you TIGSOUNDS for your kind reply, I certaintly appreciate your knowledge and wisdom; however, I don't understand what you mean by: "The repair cd is NOT slipstreamed, that my install WAS" All I know is what I stated that I slipstreamed using Nlite and took my original disk from CyberPowerPC which included PS2 and added a downloaded SP3 and made a boot disk.

All my drives are physically connected to my motherboards IDE/SATA controllers. I think the touble began many years ago when my original motherboard crapped out!

I am booting out of my F: Drive (1TB drive partitione into 2 drives which like I said the first partition has Windows XP Pro SP3 N (don't know how it got there the N that is) and on the 2nd. partition a Windows SP Home (cannot boot from it to to it)

When I use F11 (the boot selection menu) I choose to boot from my WD 1TB (the one split in 2 partitions) I select F: (the one where my windows xp sp3 N is and want. This is DISK 1.

DISK 0 when I boot this way shows up on diskmgmt.msc as my SEA640 drive with Windows 7 Ultimate x86 (which boots fine if selected with F11)

DISK 2 is my Maxtor 80Gb that I recently installed the slipstream sp3 that I told you about and I boot fine from it and it even lets me use SFC /scannow which my F: installation does not recognize.

Now you see tigsound what the hell I've been living in? I need to get rid of the "windows needs to replace critical files that are from unrecognized version" or so with the original from my disk.

Is there a way to MANUALLY EXPAND the files into my F:\windows & system32 directory because every time I either do a sfc /scannow (that does not find the correct files from my cd) or a repair installation (does not find my windows installation WHICH RUNS ok during the process.

Well you genius out there see if you can help this poor old man.

Thank you in anticipation and I wish you guys worked for Microsoft! I would not have this trouble for so many months

In appreciation, ERCarrera
"knowledge and wisdom" no, I'm just the luckiest guy that ever lived when it comes to computers. [:tigsounds]

The "Windows XP Pro SP3 N"... Historically, the "N" version of XP had no media player. Something about a court ruling in Europe years ago.

There is still a bit of a mystery here. When you boot to the various drives.. are you directing the boot order to the various drives at power-on? (pressing F11 each time) I'm guessing yes. This would require each bootable drive to have it's own boot.ini. This is not necessarily wrong, especially if booting XP and Windows 7 and want to skip all the technicalities of a regular dual boot screen and install order..

Have you ever tried to set up booting with only drive 0 (or any other drive) and have one grand boot.ini to direct the boot where it is supposed to go? I'll add instructions at the end of this...

I am doubtful of good results from performing the following.
You should have a full backup of this Windows install before proceeding.

Yes, you can manually expand the files of the CD to the System32 folder, but it's no walk in the park. Since you have more than one XP, use a different one than the one being operated on. Each file type should be done individually Example: (all *.sy_ (for all .SYS files) and (*.fo_ for all *.FON type files) using the Expand.exe program found in the i386 folder. These files must also be copied (overwritten) in the DLL cache or they'll just get reverted automatically in the System32 folder next time you start Windows. (More on this at the bottom of this page). You'll need to know the last letter of each file's extension too because the Expand program is dumb, but it does it's job. If you do this you will be haunted by Windows warning you that system files have changed and it's going to want you to deal with it.

You'll use the CMD command box a lot. An example is:
(Logged on to the CD i386 folder): Drive D will be just a place to put them, yours may be different as needed...
Expand *.sy_  D׃/foldername (and then all files ending with .sy_ will be expanded into folder I called foldername).
Expand.exe will allow wildcards on files to be expanded, but won't allow renaming on the fly and if using wildcards, will only accept a folder as the target.
Then you'll need to rename them all:
Ren *.sy_   *.sys (to put correct extension on the files all at once).

When done with a filetype, they can all be copied (overwritten) to the system32 folder and the DLL Cache of the target drive/install.

This is one messy way to change a bunch of files.

I'm still thinking you have drives that aren't directly accessible by Setup on the CD. You slipstreamed Windows to a drive. If this was to include HDD drivers so you wouldn't get a Stop: 0x7B "Inaccessable boot device" error, then that is at least one of the problems. If the drive would have needed a driver to allow Windows to connect to it to be installed in the first place, but that driver was slipstreamed, then Setup doesn't stand a chance of finding it without you pressing the F6 key at startup (when booting the CD) and supplying the needed driver on a floppy disk.

To put all Windows installations into one drive's boot.ini, choose one drive to be used for booting.
Move it's original boot.ini to someplace safe, resulting in no boot.ini on the drive's root directory.
Re-Start the computer, set that drive up in the BIOS as the default HDD boot drive, but CDROM is #1 boot device.
Save & exit, re-booting again.
Booting from the CD...
Start the recovery console and enter bootcfg /add and this will look at all drives and report what it found.
These will be the only Windows installations that setup can find by itself with no additional drivers installed.
If you are missing an install of Windows, there is a reason.

For instructions, naming conventions when adding a Windows install, see this

In the step above.."Enter Load Identifier: (Custom description for an operating system loading from the Boot menu)" means give that Windows install a name you'll recognize at startup on the list.

When the bootcfg.ini is established, re-start computer and choose your install to run.

If this new boot.ini doesn't work out for you, copy the original back (overwriting).

Now you may be wondering how to get to the DLL Cache... It's not visible or accessible.. normally.

Open Notepad and copy& Paste the following red typing into it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
"Hidden" = "2"
"ShowSuperHidden" = "0"
"NoDriveTypeAutoRun" = "145"
"CheckedValue" = "0"

Save it to the desktop of the Windows you will be using to do all the Expand work above.
Give it a name quoted with any name with the extension of .reg (PowerPeek.reg)?

Double-click that file and answer yes, that you want to add this to the registry when asked.
Open Windows Explorer and click "Tools" at the top and then "Folder Options" then "View" tab. Check "Show hidden files and folders" and then un-check "hide protected operating system files."
You will now see and control everything in your computer that was hidden before, (all drives) including the DLL Cache, but only when using this Windows install. This is useful when Expanding files to a local folder and then copying them to another install in another partition or drive.

This is all I've got for you right now.



Sep 30, 2011
Dear Tigsounds,

Wow, what a guy! You certaintly are a giving person to devote all the time and effort to help a fellow lost in bits and bytes.

I'll try what you suggested, just a note of clarification. During a "Repair Install" where the system does not recognize my other windows installations, it does recognize all my drives and partitions though!

I understood that you suggested that I remove ALL boot.inis from all the drives and just work with one right!

Well, I'll study your suggestions and when I get some time I'll do them.

Thanks Tigsounds, GodBless
When repair is looking for Windows installs, it's looking for registries that would indicate a Windows installation is present. If it misses them, then an installation is not found even where one exist.

bootcfg /add seems to look around better than the repair.

A person then must manually make the changes to the boot.ini to include that install if you can figure out the params to make it load at startup when selected. I've lost installs myself and resorted to recording what installs it did find and use the process of deduction to come up with the bold part:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /noexecute=alwaysoff /fastdetect.

It's not all that hard, just has to be done right. Of course if the boot sector of the drive is bad/wrong, the install will never run.

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