Win XP Pro Install Question-Strange??



I tried to do a clean Win XP pro install boot from CD, the first stage worked however on the first re-boot, before it even goes to the xp screen it came up with an error that a dll file is missing in ..../../system32.

So rather than stuffing around I started another clean install from floppy using the six xp install disks, I selected the...... format fat32 (quick) option thinking it would delete the old install. The install worked perfect! However when I reboot it now comes up with a boot gives me 2 XP boot options! the second being the failed xp. I used Part magic 7 and checked the hard drive, there now is an extended logical partition (2gig) which I can't remove! does anyone know how to remove this? I can't even format it? CONFUSED!!!!
Is your good installation of XP booting to your primary partition? Is the extended partition with the 2gig in it the only other partition on the drive? If you're booting to the primary partition, I think I'd try deleting the extended partition with fdisk (from a win98 boot disk) and then recover the space with partition magic from within XP.

You can go to Control Panel> System> 'advanced' tab> startup and recovery 'setup' button. There you'll find your bootloader options. Untick the 'time to display...' option and you can get rid of the bootload options at startup.

Electronic Punk

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Or edit the file manually, here is mine:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect


answer to lonman q

Hi there and thanks for the post.. FYI - the tree of my hard drive is as follows:-

1 win 98 as the primary Hidden (2gig), fat32
2 win xp (24gig), fat32
3 failed xp install (no info available in part magic) (2 gig), type ??
4 extended partition (2 gig) fat32

PS I tried the fdisk, but it could not see it, not sure why will try again???

THANKS FOR THE HELP!! any more info /web link for this type of problem would be great!!
This is what i'd do. Scratch the whole drive again and start over. Extreme I know, but it will give you clean results that you don't have to worry about.

Fdisk the whole drive (I'm taking for granted this is a single drive).

Create your 2gig primary - your extended partition - and your single/double/triple (however many you want) logical partitions.

Format the primary (C:\) drive and install Win98 on it again (I'm guessing you're using Win98 to run programs or as an escape OS).

From Win98 Format your logical drives (your only option here is Fat32, but if you want Win98 to see these partitions for possible 'rescue' purposes then that's fine). If you later convert the XP partition to NTFS then Win98 won't be able to see it.

Copy the i386 folder from your XP cd to the drive you want to install it on. Then, while still in Win98, locate and run the 'winnt32.exe' file in the i386 folder.

Your installation choice will be 'clean,' and a little later, to the partition you copied the i386 folder to.

Like I said, this is what i'd do because I'm not sure how to get around the disk problems you've encountered.


He Might have to Re Flash his drive from the sound. He said he can't kill the partitions.

Acually does anyone remember how to do a Low Level Format these days? I know it is a debug command but i forgot how.


Guys, is this the ONLY way??? reformat..hmm low level format?? doesn't that scrap IDE drives??? The other part and xp are perfect! its just I dont want to waste 2gig which xp has created??? does anyone know of a utility that can remove the dead xp install ???? ther must be an alternative?? any help would be great! otherwise I guess I loose the 2 gig hmmm???? :( !

The only utility I know of that comes close is Partition Magic, and you're saying it won't recover it for you. I don't know what else to suggest. Play around with Partition Magic, it might let you claim it back on a resize operation or something.


OSNN Veteran Addict
The reason it is showing up twice is because before he did the second install he never did a fdisk /mbr

your options are low lvl format the drive..or do a fdisk /mbr and it will kill the bootloader and also allow you to delete that pesky partition :)


if you need to whack some partitions, download a dos program called "AEFDISK" it will kill any me...LOL and delete them all in one shot if you wanted to... trust me again (found out the hard way)...LOL

just search for AEFDISK from

just put it on a 9x boot disk

If there is a partition to be deleted, this will delete it!

why the hidden partition anyways??????? <puzzled>


thanks for the info, AEFDISK (cool tool!) fixed the problem!! and I thought part magic was good, move over....

Hidden part of 98? bootmagic tells me that I can't have two o/s as active? is this true??? it would be so nice if xp can see my 98 partition!!!

Cheers & thanks again for the info!!!



you need to get rid of bootmagic program... junk! no need Xp has own boot loader. Also Unhide the 98 partition using partition magic, I am not for sure why it was hidden to begin with. I never understood that! I think aefdisk will unhide partions too (been awhile). XP wont see this partition with it hidden...LOL "makes sense huh?" LOL

Then probably what you are going to have to do, is boot from the xp cd and repair the boot section, hopefully this will automatically fix your dual boot setup so that it will prompt you for what OS you want at boot time.


NRG glad to hear you got the partition taken care of. It sounds to me though like your drive is still a mess, and you're using bootloader on top of that. If I were in your position, and I have been, I would suggest backing up any data you wish to save, either to CD or to a second physical hard disk, and delete, recreate and format your paritions. Install 98 on the first partition, then install xp on the second partition. XP will do the boot loading/boot menu for you, it'll set up cleanly, there will be no partition hiding garbage to deal with, etc. (FYI Win98 & XP can see FAT32, but Win98 can not see NTFS, so if you wanted to share lots of files, you may want a third partition formatted FAT32)


guys, when I try to unhide win 98 partition I get an error that u cant have two "ACTIVE" partitions???? hmmm? is this correct? has anyone got 98 & xp running??

FYI - I am not using NTFS all are FAT32.

I have NO idea how to advise you man... you've got things goin on with that drive i'm just not familiar with. It is correct that you can't have two 'active' partitions. Without third party boot-loading software, 98 needs to be on the primary (active) partition. XP can then be placed on any other partition that's large enough for it.

I guess you can try using fdisk to fix the two 'active' partition problem... i have no idea how you managed to get them both active.

Be sure to back up the valuables... the stuff you've been using up to now will whack your drive likity split if you're not careful.


.....PArt magic 7 gives u an option when formating a partition to make it bootable, and this is wher boot magic comes in..hence it has no contact with xp, this is good if xp fails etc, so I guess I need to reformat the first partition (win98) and not make it active, while the xp part will remain active, hence allowing it to detect 98, hmm will try it 2nite!

Thanks again.....NRG out!;)


..wouldn't this mean that win98 will load all the time?? anyway I will try this and reinstall xp as you have instructed....yep I get it now.....thanks man!


NRG, seriously, redo the whole machine. You're about to hose everything if you screw that stuff up. Or at least force yourself to do a "repair install" which would eat up just as much time, and possibly hose the 98 install. Your system will be fine if you start over with 98, then install XP on a second HDD or secondary partition. And your 98 partition won't be hidden from XP either.

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