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Knowledge Base > Archive > Products > BootIt Next Generation > General Information > How to Automatically Boot Items from the NTLDR Menu

How to Automatically Boot Items from the NTLDR Menu

This article will explain how to create BootIt NG boot menu items that activate selected entries in the BOOT.INI file by sending keystrokes to simulate user keyboard input.

First, you should determine what keystrokes you will want BootIt NG to send to the NTLDR menu. You may accomplish this using either one of the following two methods:

Method 1: Viewing BOOT.INI

  1. View the BOOT.INI file in an ASCII editor such as Notepad, or from DOS or Windows 95/98 using the free EDITBINI utility available from TeraByte Unlimited. You can also view BOOT.INI right from inside BootIt NG:

    1. On the BootIt NG desktop, click the Partition Work icon.

    2. Using the radio buttons on the left, select the hard drive that contains the partition with NTLDR and BOOT.INI.

    3. Double-click the partition that contains NTLDR and BOOT.INI (or select it and click the Properties button).

    4. Click the Edit File button to view BOOT.INI.

  2. While viewing BOOT.INI, look for a line that begins with default=, as in the following example:

    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS

    The default= line determines which NTLDR menu item will be selected by default.

  3. Beginning immediately below the [operating systems]line are the entries in BOOT.INI that make up the NTLDR boot menu items. Locate the entry for which you wish to create a BootIt NG boot menu item, then determine which keystrokes are necessary to activate it. Keep in mind that you will need to include the Enter key. For example, suppose you have the following BOOT.INI contents:

    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    m
    ulti(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP" /NoExecute=OptIn
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP (DEP Disabled)" /NoExecute=AlwaysOff

    • If you would like to create a BootIt NG boot menu item for the top entry, Windows XP, the keystroke you would need would simply be the Enter key, because that entry will be selected by default.

    • If you would like to create a BootIt NG boot menu item for Windows XP (DEP Disabled), the keystrokes you would need would be a single press of the down arrow key, followed by the Enter key.

    Note: Whichever method you used to view BOOT.INI, make sure that you do not save unintended changes to the file.  If you are viewing BOOT.INI from within BootIt NG, click the Cancel button when you are done.

Method 2: Using the NTLDR Menu

  1. Access the NTLDR menu as usual. Once the menu appears, immediately press the Esc key in order to keep the menu on screen, instead of having the default menu selection chosen after the countdown period elapses. Note: If you press one of the arrow keys, rather than the Esc key, you will change the NTLDR menu selection, which may cause confusion on later steps.

  2. Locate the menu item for which you wish to create a BootIt NG boot menu item, then take note of what keystrokes are necessary to activate it, including the Enter key. For example, suppose you have the following NTLDR menu items displayed:

    Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Safe Mode)
    Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional


    • If you would like to create a BootIt NG boot menu item for Microsoft Windows XP Professional, and if that menu item was selected by default, the keystroke you would need would simply be the Enter key.

    • If you would like to create a BootIt NG boot menu item for Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Safe Mode), and the Microsoft Windows XP Professional entry is selected by default, the keystrokes you would need would be a single press of the down arrow key, followed by the Enter key.

    • If you would like to create a BootIt NG boot menu item for Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, and again, if the Microsoft Windows XP Professional entry is selected by default, the keystrokes you would need would be down arrow key/down arrow key/Enter key.

    Creating the BootIt NG Menu Item

    Now that you know what keystrokes you will want BootIt NG to send to the NTLDR menu, you may create the BootIt NG boot menu item. Please refer to the article How to Add and Configure Boot Menu Items in BootIt NG for information on creating and/or editing a boot menu item in BootIt NG.

    • On the Add Menu Item (or Edit Menu Item) dialog, ensure that the selections for HD and Boot point to the partition that contains NTLDR and BOOT.INI.

    • To set up the keystrokes for the boot menu item, please refer to the article How to Configure a BootIt NG Boot Menu Item to Send Keystrokes.

    • Please note that if the contents of BOOT.INI changes, subsequent to following the procedure outlined here, it may affect whether or not the BootIt NG menu item you have created activates the correct NTLDR menu item.

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