Creating a Boot Disk

The process of creating a boot disk in Windows NT/2000/XP is somewhat different from the process used by other Microsoft Operating Systems.

To create a boot disk with this operating system you first need to place a floppy disk into your drive. Next you go into My Computer and right click on your Floppy drive. In the menu that comes up select Format to open the format dialog box.

With Windows XP you will find a check box here labelled Create an MS-DOS Startup Disk. All you need to do is to make sure that this option is selected and click on Start to create your DOS boot disk. If you require an actual XP boot disk (since DOS boot disks can't access NTFS partitions) you can't create it yourself, instead you will have to download the appropriate version of the boot disk(s) from Microsoft.

Windows NT doesn't have an option to create a boot disk of any sort so you'll need to do a little more work. First, click on Start to format your floppy disk. Next you need to copy three files from your C:\ drive to the newly formatted floppy. These files may be hidden in which case you'll need to select Options from the View menu and on the View page of the Options dialog select Show All Files first. The three files that you need to copy to your floppy disk are boot.ini,, and ntldr.

Once you have created your boot disk, you should test that it works straight away by rebooting your computer with the floppy disk still in the drive. Once you know that it works you can then label it and put it away somewhere safe for when you need it.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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