Windows – Two instances of Windows Vista on boot up after failed clean install


I tried to install a clean version of Vista but failed. I ended up with Windows and Windows.old on my C: drive and a dual boot option on boot up. I gave up and booted up the old version and tried to rename the Windows.old to Windows and was asked if I wanted to merge the two folders. I answered yes and all seemed OK until I booted up this morning and was given the choice of two versions of Vista. The first one is the one that failed to installed correctly and the second one is the old version. How can I get rid of the failed installation?

I got rid of the bad boot via MSCONFIG. Here is my current situation:

  • several hard drives installed
  • Using C: as my boot drive
  • a much larger drive (H:) for storing most of my files.

I found a subfolder in my C:\windows folder named windows. Upon inspection I determined it to be older than the C:\windows folder and therefore it must be the older, working version of the boot. I renamed the C:\windows folder to c:\windows.bad and moved the sub windows to the C: root directory. I also copied it to the h: drive. Now MSCONFIG reports that the copy that is booting is the h: copy.

How can I change it back to the C:\ copy and can I delete the C:\windows.bad file set?

Best Answer

There are two ways to edit your boot configuration. BCDedit and MSCONFIG.

Make sure you double + triple check things before saving any edits. Not having your computer boot sucks big time.


This is the easiest way to edit your boot configuration settings. Simply Start Menu -> type in "msconfig" -> "Boot" tab -> Select the one you know doesn't work -> Delete. Click Apply, reboot. This does the below, but in a GUI (Graphical user interface).

BCDedit (Advanced)

The boot.ini file, which was used in Windows XP is not in Vista. To edit the boot entries in Vista, you use an elevated command prompt window and the BCDedit command. Be very careful when editing your boot configuration.

Technet commands:

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