Still using Virtual PC? Here's how to fix "NTLDR: Fatal Error 2592 reading BOOT.INI."

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So you haven’t bought an Intel Mac yet? (Don’t worry. You don’t have to.) And you’re still using VirtualPC? (Yes, that’s OK, too. I was until a couple of months ago.) And you have the error “NTLDR: Fatal Error 2592 reading BOOT.INI” on boot?

Uh oh.

Don’t worry! I’ve been there! And this is how I solved it.

First, you’ll need to create a brand new PC with Windows XP. I think that means you’ll have to start with the VirtualPC installation CD and make a new installation, but I’m not sure as I didn’t have to do this step. (I already had a second PC handy.)

Second, in the broken PC’s settings, select Drive 1 and click “None.” VPC will tell you that it has moved Drive 1 into a separate document.

Third, in the new PC’s settings, select Drive 2 and click “Select…” Direct VPC to the separate document that it just created.

Fourth, start up the new PC and get a command prompt.

Now do this:

D:
attrib -R -A -S -H boot.ini
C:
xcopy /ah C:\boot.ini d:

(to the question “Overwrite boot.ini,” answer “Y”)

D:
attrib +S +H +R boot.ini

This sequence first makes it so you can overwrite the broken boot.ini, copies the hidden boot.ini from your C: drive to your broken D: drive, and it reassigns the attributes to the boot.ini file that make it system, hidden, and, I presume, read-only.

Shut down the new PC and in its settings, select “None” for Drive 2.

Open the settings for the broken PC and click “Select…” for Drive 1. Point VPC to the separate document. Then start up the broken PC.

Now, you may have other problems with that PC. Mine, for example, simply didn’t want to run Windows XP happily and I had to do a repair installation on the disk. But that’s a topic for another note.

Hope this was of some use to someone…

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