Making a Windows CD and a Boot Disk
This week I would like to discuss with you some new items in how to make a Windows CD from your Recovery disks. If you do not have a Windows CD this procedure works for all versions of Windows. I am sure many of you have already read about it on our site some time ago and I know many of you are still having trouble making one. If you have not made one yet now is a good time to do so. So you will need to review http://www.easydesksoftware.com/recovery.htm
I have recently added to the page information on how to make a Windows CD for Windows 2000, XP, and 2003. As well as how to install these Operating Systems without a Windows Key which is needed for the installation Windows. I even added a hot tip for people who use NTFS. The process I laid out will stop the need for formatting when it comes time to reinstall Windows on an NTFS drive. However you will need a boot disk which I'll explain about next.
Now what I did not tell everyone was how to make a boot disk for the Windows NT platform (NT, 2000, 2003, XP). A boot disk is a floppy disk that allows the user to boot to a C: prompt. You'll need a 3 1/2" floppy disk and few basic files, if you do not have these files I posted them at http://www.easydesksoftware.com/optional.htm . You can also make a CD bootable, but you need to make a bootable floppy first.
If you have Windows 9x Platform (95,98, ME) then you can simply use the Add/Remove software applet in the Control Panel. This way you'll have a boot disk that loads your CD-ROM. If you have the NT Platform follow this:
1) Download the files BootFiles.zip at http://www.easydesksoftware.com/optional.htm and unzip them to a new empty folder, let's name it C:\Bootfile
2) Place the floppy in the a drive and open a MS-DOS window. At the Windows prompt type:
C:\Bootfile\Format A: /u /s (press enter)
3) When format is complete type the following:
copy *.* A:\ (press enter)
You now have a basic boot disk that will boot your machine to a C: Prompt so you can access your Windows installation files on your hard drive.
Window 9x users will have a boot disk that will access there CD ROM.
If you wish you can also make a bootable CD. In order to do this you will need to have a RW CD-ROM and software to write to it. Most, if not all of the software will have an option to make the CD bootable. You'll need to look around for this option. I am unable to tell you precisely where to look since all the different RW CD software is different. As a second option you can install the files I posted, BootFiles.zip and add them to the root of the CD and then use the BIOS to boot to your CD-ROM Drive. I suggest you test the CD after completing it.