Boot Disks

 

You may have become stuck at one point.  You can't boot your system and although you have another PC, you don't have a boot disk and the other PC uses a different version of Windows.  In the past, the only way to create a boot disk was using the system, and it would only create a boot disk using it's version of the operating system.

Luckily, there are now utilities that are able to create an operating system boot disk of any flavor - even on a PC using a different OS !!!  Here you can download the most common boot disks.  For more boot disks, peruse the following sites:

To find what you are looking for, you may need to visit all three of those sites.

The standard boot diskette that Windows supplies you with may or may not have all the files you need.  I have found that most people have lost that diskette, and even if they have it, they need to add CD-ROM drivers and a few other files to it.  There are a few CD-ROM drivers that work with the vast majority of CD-ROM drives.

Instead of a long explanation - I am providing you with some files called "images" which, when run, create a bootable diskette with some additional files.  You will want to download the image file that matches your operating system (sorry, no Mac, NT, or WIN2000), and the Boot Files zip as well.  Place a blank diskette in the floppy drive and run the file - then add the three additional files that I am also proving (writing over the existing files on the floppy) - an, viola !!

Boot Diskette Creation Image Files :

Win95 A (Standard)    Win95 B (OSR2)    Win98    Win98SE    WinME

All Others (WinNT, Win2000, WinXP)

The Three Additional Files to Place on the Boot Diskette

Download the 3 basic Boot Diskette Files

These three files need to be copied onto the disk . . . config.sys, autoexec.bat, and teac_CDI.sys (writing over the existing ones).  The TEAC file is a basic, CD-ROM driver that seems to work with 95% of all CD-ROMS.  You will need to access your CD-ROM upon  startup, in case you need to reinstall Windows :

NOTE: here is a list of files that you need to have on any boot disk - just in case the image files are missing anything (you can just copy the missing files from your C drive to the boot diskette):

AUTOEXEC.BAT
COMMAND.COM
CONFIG.SYS
DELTREE.EXE
ATTRIB.EXE
EDIT.COM
FDISK.EXE
FORMAT.COM
MSCDEX.EXE
SCANDISK.EXE
TEAC_CDI.SYS
XCOPY32.EXE
HIMEM.SYS
SYS.COM

 

WinXP Install - no XP Boot Disk Required !!!  Use a Win98 Disk

To install WinXP from scratch on a blank, formatted drive, normally requires booting by the CD.  But some systems do not have that option in their BIOS, so you download the 4 or 5 XP boot disks from Microsoft.  But you do NOT really need the 4 or 5 setup disks in order to install Windows 2000 and XP.  A common Win98 boot disk can be used.  Here's how to do it:

  1. Start the computer with your chosen boot disk.
  2. Change to the cdrom drive.
  3. Go into the \i386 directory on the cdrom.
  4. Run WINNT.EXE to begin the install process.

Windows XP Boot Disks

- only required if your system BIOS does not allow boot from CD !!!

WinXP does not allow the usual boot scenario that Win95-98 does, where you can boot to DOS and troubleshoot.  If you have XP loaded but for some reason can't boot, then try to boot with the CD first.  If your system does not support booting by CD then you will need to use diskettes.

Six XP Boot Disks (for installation of XP)

There are six floppy disks available to install the OS from on Microsoft's site - but even then it requires the CD later on during the install, and it does not give you a DOS interface to edit, add, and delete files from.  The WinXP Pro diskettes are available Here for those who cannot boot with the CD.  For instructions on creating your own boot disks - go Here. Here are the basic instructions - you must create the disk from a WinXP machine, and disk will only work with a WinXP machine !!!

One XP Boot Disk (not for installation - but to allow you to boot when hard drive won't)

This disk does not contain enough data to boot into XP all by itself - it will require that you have XP loaded on your drive !!  However, it is well worth making one of these, in case your system becomes corrupted and you can't get in.  This may very well allow you to boot to XP when your hard drive will not, and then from there you can troubleshoot, go back to an earlier, System Restore point, and even edit, add, and delete files using the F8 key to boot to Safe Mode with Command Prompt.  The alternative is to use a WinXP bootable CD, but this is much simpler since you do not have to go into your BIOS and change the order of boot devices.

  1. Format a floppy disk by using the Windows XP format utility. For example, with the floppy disk in the floppy disk drive, type format a: at a command prompt, and then press ENTER.
  2. Copy the Ntldr and the Ntdetect.com files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP Setup CD-ROM, Windows XP Setup floppy disk, or from a computer that is running the same version of Windows XP as the computer that you want to access with the boot floppy.
  3. Create a Boot.ini file (or copy one from a computer that is running Windows XP), and then modify it to match the computer that you are trying to access. The following example works for a single-partition IDE drive with Windows XP installed in the \Windows folder, but the exact value in the [operating systems] section depends on the configuration of the Windows XP computer that you are trying to access:
       [boot loader]
       timeout=30
       Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
    
       [operating systems]
       multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Windows XP"
    						
    If your computer boots from a SCSI hard drive, you may need to replace the multi(0) entry with scsi(0). If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller in use on the computer to the root of the Setup disk, and then rename it Ntbootdd.sys. Change the disk(0) number to represent the SCSI-ID of the hard drive you want to boot to. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not need to do this.
  4. Start your computer by using the floppy disk, and then log on to Windows XP.

 

Create a Boot Floppy Disk Without a Windows XP-Based Computer

  1. Refer to the article Q310994 for directions to download and create the Windows XP Setup disks by using a computer that is running Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me):

    MS Article 310994 - Obtaining Windows XP Setup Boot Disks

  2. Delete all the files from the newly created Setup disk 1.
  3. Copy the Ntdetect.com and the Ntldr files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP CD-ROM to the new disk.
  4. Rename the Ntldr file to Setupldr.bin.
  5. Create a Boot.ini file. The following example works for a single-partition IDE drive with Windows XP installed in the \Windows folder, but the exact value in the [operating systems] section depends on the configuration of the Windows XP computer that you want to start:
       [boot loader]
       timeout=30
       Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
    
       [operating systems]
       multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Windows XP"
    						
    If your computer starts from a SCSI hard drive, you may need to replace the multi(0) entry with scsi(0). If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller in use on the computer to the root of the setup disk, and then rename it Ntbootdd.sys. Change the disk(0) number to represent the SCSI-ID of the hard drive you want to start to. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not need to do this.
  6. Start your computer by using the floppy disk, and then log on to Windows XP.