We have OTHER POWER TOOLS (my emphasis that you use these only when you are fully backed up or 100% sure of the results) such as a boot to a live CD. Read http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/use-ubuntu-live-cd-to-backup-files-from-your-dead-windows-computer/
I can boot that and delete without any problem.
As to the BOOT.INI, it's a text file you can edit and remove the line. Do type XP BOOT.INI at google.com to find tutorials since one of them will be one you like.
I have an old system---Compaq Prosignia (Intel Pentium III processor 597 MHz. 128 MB of RAM) Desktop with 76.6 GB hard-drive.
OS installed is Win XP Professional. As I was experiencing problems, I installed the same version of Windows as a second OS. Having now found the second OS to be functioning properly, I deleted (instead of uninstalling just to be on the safe side) all folders/files in the first Win-XP. This left a file in System32/Macromed/Flash that cannot be deleted, thus making it impossible to completely clear yhe original windows setup. I needed to do this to speed up the system as it now functions slowly.
One question I have concerning the dual booting system is: Even though, I have disabled the first OS in the BOOT.INI to enable auto booting to the current Win-XP, can I safely delete the the first line that refers to the original Win?