Modify the Duration that the Startup List is Displayed (Windows NT/2000/XP)

This setting allows you to change the default 30 second timeout for the Startup List which normally allows you time to choose and boot an alternative operating system.

Using Windows explorer find the file called BOOT.INI on your system drive. Change the attributes of the file from read-only, by right clicking on it and choosing Properties, and then under Attributes, uncheck 'Read-only'. Then double-click on BOOT.INI and it should open in Notepad.

Under the [boot loader] section is a value called "timeout=". The number after the "=" sign is the time in seconds Windows will wait for a selection. Change the value according to the options below.

  • Set the value to the number of seconds between 1 and 999.
  • To make Windows boot instantly change this value to "0" (i.e. timeout=0).
  • To make Windows wait indefinitely change this value to "-1" (i.e. timeout=-1).

    Save the file, and restart Windows for the change to take effect.

    Note : The default operating system is defined with the "default=" parameter in BOOT.INI.