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CHAPTER 16 Windows in Detail
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You ve got the process now in general, so let s look more specifically at the makeup and function of the individual files involved in the boot process
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System Partition Files
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Windows 2000 and XP require the three system files in the root directory of the system partition:
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NTLDR BOOTINI NTDETECTCOM
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To see these files, go into My Computer and open the C: drive Then open Folder Options, as shown in the My Computer section of 15 Click the Show hidden files and folders radio button, uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) option, and click OK Now when you return to viewing the folder in My Computer, you will see certain critical files that Windows otherwise hides from you, so you don t accidentally move, delete, or change them in some unintended way (Figure 1636)
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FIGURE 1636
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My Computer showing the system files residing in a local disk
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NTLDR
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When the system boots, the master boot record (MBR) or MFT on the hard drive starts the NTLDR program The NTLDR program then launches Windows 2000/XP or another OS To find the available OSs, the NTLDR program must read the BOOTINI configuration file, and to do so it loads its own minimal file system, which enables it to read the BOOTINI file off the system partition
BOOTINI File
The BOOTINI file is a text file that lists the OSs available to NTLDR and tells NTLDR where to find the boot partition (where the OS is stored) for each of them The BOOTINI file has sections defined by headings enclosed in brackets A basic BOOTINI in Windows XP looks like this:
[boot loader] timeout=30 default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS [operating systems] multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
A more complex BOOTINI may look like this:
[boot loader] timeout=30 default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS [operating systems] multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
Such a BOOTINI would result in the boot menu that appears in Figure 1637 This crazy multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1) is an example of the advanced RISC computing (ARC) naming system It s a system that s designed to enable your PC to use any hard drive, including removable devices, to boot Windows Let s take a quick peek at each ARC setting to see how it works
Local Lingo
ARC ARC stands for advanced RISC computing, but because that means very little to techs, most folks simply call it ARC as a name rather than an acronym Multi(x) is the number of the adapter and always starts with 0 The adapter is determined by how you set the boot order in your CMOS setting For example, if you have a single parallel ATA (PATA) controller and a serial ATA
CHAPTER 16 Windows in Detail
FIGURE 1637
Boot loader in Windows 2000 with System Recovery Console
(SATA) controller, and you set the system to boot first from the PATA, any drive on that controller will get the value multi(0) placed in its ARC format Any SATA drive will get multi(1) Disk(x) is used only for SCSI drives, but the value is required in the ARC format, so with ATA systems it s always set to disk(0) Rdisk(x) specifies the number of the disk on the adapter On a PATA drive, the master is rdisk(0) and the slave is rdisk(1) On SATA drives, the order is usually based on the number of the SATA connection printed on the motherboard, though some systems allow you to change this in CMOS Partition(x) is the number of the partition or logical drive in an extended partition The numbering starts at 1, so the first partition is partition(1), the second is partition(2), and so on \WINDOWS is the name of the folder that holds the boot files This is important to appreciate The ARC format looks at the folder, so there s no problem running different versions of Windows on a single partition You can simply install them in different folders Of course, you have other limitations, such as file system type, but in general, multibooting in Windows is pretty trivial Better yet, this is all handled during the install process ARC format can get far more complicated SCSI drives get a slightly different ARC format For example, if you installed Windows on a SCSI drive, you might see this ARC setting in your BOOTINI:
scsi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)
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