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How to Prevent Boot Problems When Manipulating a Bootable Windows 2000/XP/2003 Partition

This article is intended to provide advice which can help prevent you from having problems booting from a Windows 2000/XP/2003 partition after copying, sliding, or moving it.  If you have already manipulated a Windows 2000/XP/2003 partition and are having difficulty booting from it now, please refer to the article "Windows 2000/XP/2003 Fails to Start after Manipulating Partitions in BootIt BM".

You may encounter problems booting from a Windows 2000/XP/2003 partition after copying, sliding, or moving it.  These problems can happen because of discrepancies that exist when references to the original drive letter exist on the Windows partition, but a new drive letter has been assigned after the partition was manipulated.  For more information on the drive lettering issue, please refer to the article "Windows 2000/XP/2003 is Assigning the Wrong Drive Letter to a Partition", which provides information on how Windows tracks drive letters among drives and partitions.

Here are some steps you can take to help prevent problems booting after manipulating a Windows partition.  (Please note that with BootIt BM, you probably do not need to carry out these steps if Windows is installed to either \WINDOWS\ or \WINNT\.)  If you choose to perform these steps anyway, they need to be carried out before the partition is manipulated.  Both tips require the use of Regedt32 (Windows 2000) or Regedit (Windows XP/2003):

  • Delete all the values under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\MountedDevices.  (If you have multiple MountedDevices keys in the registry, edit the one that has "\??\" and "\DosDevices\" entries under it.)  Please note: Deleting the values under the MountedDevices registry key will cause all drive letters to be reassigned according to the standard method used by Windows.  This may cause problems if a particular drive letter is needed by Windows for booting.

  • Change the value of Userinit under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon from "C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe" or "C:\WINNT\system32\userinit.exe" to "userinit.exe" (without quotes).

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