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I have a server that had Windows 2000 on the C drive and WIndows 2003 on the D drive with dual-boot. I then formatted C and installed Windows 2008 on that partition, and now when I boot up it boots right into 2008 and doesn't give me the option to boot into 2003.

Is there any easy way to fix this so that I can boot from the OS on the D drive without having to reinstall Windows 2003?

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I remember hearing that boot.ini was no longer used in Windows 2008. Above is the technet article for bcdedit.exe. I haven't used 2008 yet myself so I have no idea if this option is still around, but you might want to see if you can edit the boot settings under msconfig as well(it's there in windows 7). Hope this helps.

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Thanks, though I seem to have screwed something up and am just going to start over, this was useful and I'll know where to start next time. – Gerald Dec 15 '09 at 1:03

Win2008 doesn't have an easy boot.ini file that you can just edit, you need to work directly with the bcdedit application... I haven't done it, but sounds doable:

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If the D drive Win2003 server is important (although it sounds like isn't if you are dual booting it) then I would strongly recommend making a clone of it before messing with it.

It sounds like you had physically disconnected the D drive when you installed Win2008? It has been my experience with Windows 7 that if there is a second drive/OS in the PC on install that it adds this to the boot menu.

I have had difficulty getting BCEdit to work properly sometimes. You may find that reinstalling Windows 2008 with the other drive available may allow you to dual boot.

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I guess I wasn't clear enough about that; the C and D drives were both partitions on the same physical drive. I guess the problem was that I formatted the C drive, which was the active drive and contained the boot data, so when I installed 2008 it didn't know about the 2003 install. But yeah, they're both just dev/test beds, nothing important. I just didn't want to have to reinstall all of the dev tools on there again. But I seem to have screwed something up, so I'll just reinstall 2003 on the C partition, and then 2008 on D. – Gerald Dec 15 '09 at 1:01
More needless advice: Install 2008 on C and 2003 on D. Just do 2003 first. At some point you will be using the 2008 almost exclusively and it will annoy you having to type "D:\Windows"! – Seanchán Torpéist Dec 15 '09 at 20:22

The easiest way is probably to use the BIOS boot options menu, which you can usually open by hitting the ESC key as the computer boots (key may vary...). This will let you interactively select which device you want to boot from at that moment, provided that your BIOS settings allow those options.

So, essentially, it's like temporarily changing the BIOS boot order for 1 boot only.

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