Multiple-Boot System

A multiple boot system allows you to deploy your run-time image to your development system for testing purposes. When the system starts, the boot.ini system file is used to specify which operating system to load. By adding additional boot entries to your boot.ini file, you can boot multiple operating systems that reside on different partitions on the same system. When the system boots, you are presented with the different boot entries listed in the boot.ini file.

Only the boot.ini file that resides in the active primary partition on your system is used. All other boot.ini files on the system are ignored.

To create a multiple boot system, you need a free logical disk on your development system. The free logical disk must be large enough to contain your run-time image.

The boot.ini file includes boot entries, also called boot ARC paths, for each bootable partition on the system. These boot ARC paths contain the physical location of the operating system to be booted, including the disk and partition IDs. For example:

multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional"

For information about Boot ARC path syntax see this Microsoft Web site.

You must add boot entries for each partition that you want to boot. To update the boot.ini file, use Notepad or the bootcfg command line utility. For more information about bootcfg, see this Microsoft Web site.

The following sample boot.ini file includes examples for two bootable partitions on the system:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional, C:" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Embedded, D:" /fastdetect

See Also

Deploy a Run-Time Image | Reassign Drive Letters to Volumes in Target Designer

Last updated on Wednesday, October 18, 2006

© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.