The computer I bought from a vendor has both Windows ME and Windows XP installed. My computer is not very stable and will freeze occasionally no matter what applications I run. How do I remove the Windows ME in order to stabilize the computer?

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Your first step is to backup your entire system, in case something goes wrong. Next, open control panel from within Windows XP. Choose System, then the Advanced Tab. Click the "Settings" button under the "Startup and Recovery" options. Make sure XP is selected as the default operating system and not Windows ME. Click the Edit button to open the Boot.ini file in NotePad, and remove the line containing Windows ME from [operating systems] section. Save the file. Assuming Windows ME is on Drive C: and Windows XP is on another drive, delete all of the files and folders on C: EXCEPT the following:

1. boot.ini
2. io.sys
3. ntbootdd.sys
4. ntdetect.com
5. ntldr
6. bootsect.dos (optional)
7. autoexec.bat (optional)
8. config.sys (optional)
9. msdos.sys (optional)

DO NOT FORMAT THE DRIVE, or you will lose all of these files and your ability to boot to Windows XP. You can however, convert the drive to NTFS after you have rebooted and confirmed that XP boots fine.

This was first published in September 2004

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