I had Windows XP home edition on my computer and then I installed XP Professional. I thought it would format the hard drive and erase XP Home edition, but now when I start the computer, it always ask which one to choose, home edition or professional. How can I tell it to always choose professional?
There are two possibilities here – one, you actually have two Windows installations, or two, your boot menu just thinks there are. Microsoft writes about this situation in Knowledge Bulletin #Q289022, but hopefully my answer will get you going faster anyway.
If you select the XP Home boot menu option, and it either boots into XP Pro, or doesn’t boot at all, you’re correct in that you only have one Windows installation. If you select the XP Home option and you can boot into your old XP Home installation, then you either have two
Windows installations on one partition, or somehow ended up with two partitions each with a Windows installation.
If they have both Windows installations, I would strongly recommend backing up your data and starting from scratch, deleting all your partitions, creating a new one, and installing XP Pro.
What you probably have, if you formatted your partition during the XP Pro installation, is a single XP Pro installation with an inaccurate boot menu. When you format or delete a partition on your hard drive, it doesn’t wipe your Master Boot Record (MBR).
The MBR is the first sector on your hard drive, which contains information on how to boot your operating system. Since this isn’t a part of the partitions on your system, it still exists as it was before even after formatting or deleting all the partitions on your drive.
Then when you installed XP Pro, it saw your MBR had information to boot XP Home. Windows setup then assumes you need to boot both operating systems, and sets up the boot menu accordingly. This same thing commonly happens when you reinstall Windows on a drive, even when it’s the same version. If you reinstall XP Home on a drive that already had XP Home, you frequently end up with two boot menu options for XP Home.
If it’s just an extra boot menu option, fortunately this is easy to fix.
Click Start, right click on My Computer, and click Properties.
Click the Advanced tab.
Under “Startup and Recovery”, click Settings.
Here, in the “Default operating system” drop down box, you will see two choices. You can manually edit your boot.ini, the file containing the list of operating systems that can be booted, but I would not recommend this unless you’re familiar with boot.ini’s cryptic format.
If you get it wrong, your system isn’t going to boot anymore and it can be ugly to get fixed. The easy, trouble-free way to get rid of this menu is to just uncheck the “Time to display list of operating
systems” box, and make sure XP Pro is selected in the drop down box.
Click OK, and click OK again. Then restart your system, and you’ll see the boot menu is gone.
Here’s another way you can accomplish this:
1.. Access the Run command and type Msconfig.exe in the text box and click OK.
2.. Select the Boot.ini tab.
3.. Highlight the line under [operating systems] that contains “Microsoft Windows XP Professional”
4.. Click the “Set as Default” button.
When you’re done, just click Apply or OK. When you click OK, the System Configuration Utility displays a dialog box and prompts you to restart the computer in order for the changes to take effect.
Here’s another solution that’s more tricky, but will work if the previous doesn’t seem to help:
1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
2. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup
3. Under System Startup, click Edit.
4. In the Edit window, you’ll see the following:
multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Windows XP Professional”
It’ll look like this:
Remove the Windows XP Home line. Be very careful to delete only the Windows XP Home else you may harm your system.