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Problem booting Windows PE 1.2 from the hard drive

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Here's my boot.ini file:

[boot loader]timeout=30


[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP" /FASTDETECT

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\ntldr\SETUPLDR.BIN="Windows PE"

When I boot into Windows PE, I get the error:

Windows could not start because file is missing or corrupt:

<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

Please re-install a copy of the file.

There are no files called ntoskrnl.exe on my Windows PE partition, but my Windows PE CD boots up fine.

Could someone give me a hand with this? :)

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Below is the reply that I got from the MS News groups, link located in this post.

Thanks for your posting.

You can't dual boot winpe and another OS...installing winpe to the hdd is

only there to allow you to create a custom winpe image for testing (so you

don't need to keep making coasters) or for other diagnostic purposes.

The boot code PE is tweaked a little so that it finds files in different

locations than the OS would.  The boot loader for XP is not compatible for

PE and vice-versa because of this.

The only way to "dual boot" PE is to have it completely separated on

another primary partition (or physical disk) and set the given partition

you want to boot from active.  You can't do this from boot.ini...you could

have a shortcut within the OS that did this using a diskpart script and

then another diskpart script that could be run from winpe to go the other


A 3rd party boot tool might work but not supported...



So seems as though we need a hacked boot loader.....

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Try this:

1. Install and Windows Recovery Console

2. Copy C:\Cmdcons\Bootsect.dat to C:\Bootsect.dat

3. Add this line to your boot.ini

C:\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows PE"

4. Copy i386 from CD to C:\Minint, you must name the directory Minint

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  • 1 month later...
Is there really no way to get PE run from other partion then C: in combination with a boot.ini edit?

I think that C:\Minint is hardcoded into the bootsect.dat so look through there and see what you think.

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