Bootable Floppy

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How to create a Boot Floppy

Create a Boot Floppy - Aren't floppy drives dead?

Boot devices are floppy, cd, usb, or an external hard drive that will start your computer if one of the following things has happened to the internal hard drive:

Failure, corrupt, infected with a virus, OS BSOD.

So there you are, you have an image of the computer hard drive the tech made when he setup your brand new system. Now it is a blank screen and you are wondering how you are going to get the image back on your system and get back to work. Well you could call the geeks and have one come over and do it for you, that should be good for a day's worth of loss productivity and at least $300 for their time and the trip charge.

Or....... you could put on your self. That is why you need a boot device or boot floppy.

See I just saved you at a minimum $300! How?

By helping you get/make/acquire a bootable device.

Creating a Boot Floppy:

Note: These procedures will require some research for drivers and some time to accomplish the task.

Types of devices:

  • Floppy
  • CD
  • USB
  • External hard drive.

Wow! you say that is going to cost me some bucks! Well yes and no.

Yes: you need to access your image that is stored on a CD or a DVD maybe even a external hard drive.

No, this is the cheapest way to go, so lets start at the beginning:

A bootable floppy, you can create a boot floppy from windows like this (you can also get this information from the windows help program)

To create a boot floppy as a MS-DOS startup disk

The MS-DOS startup disk you create will allow you to boot into MS-DOS.

  1. Insert a floppy disk into your computer's floppy drive.
  2. Open My Computer, and then click the floppy disk drive to select it.
  3. On the File menu, point to the name of the floppy drive, and then click Format.
  4. Under Format options, click Create an MS-DOS startup disk.
    Click Start.
  5. Important
  6. Creating an MS-DOS startup disk erases all information on the floppy disk.

Notes:

  • To open My Computer, double-click the My Computer icon on the desktop.
  • The MS-DOS startup disk only allows the system to boot into an MS-DOS prompt. The disk contains no additional tools.

You will need these files on the floppy:

  1. COMMAND.COM

  2. MSCDEX.EXE

  3. HIMEM.SYS

  4. CD/DVD DEVICE DRIVER or USB DRIVER

  5. AUTOEXEC.BAT

  6. CONFIG.SYS

There is a problem when you create a boot floppy, you still need the DOS drivers for your cd, if your external drive is a usb device you will need those drivers. (Unlike Windows Operating Systems the drivers are not built in to DOS).

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So you have the drivers, (this is all Greek to me! ... NOT GEEK!) you need to copy them to your floppy, check the space on the floppy, is there enough room plus another fifty kilobytes or so for your custom Autoexec.bat and config.sys files?

If not you can delete some of the files, DO NOT DELETE the COMMAND.COM file, it is required to start your computer.

Test is the word for creating a bootable disk, once you have the disk completed and you have a few minutes or another computer test the disk, can you start the system and be at the command prompt? (you will know when you are there, the screen will be black and it will have in white letters: A:\ > )

You will need to test your cd or dvd drive, put a cd or dvd in the drive. Type E:\ at the prompt, press enter, did you get a E:\ or did you get an error saying the drive was not ready. If you got an error you have missed something in the config.sys file. If you get a E:\> you have a bootable floppy. Congratulations!

You can find a generic Autoexec.bat and config.sys files to create your startup media here, where the xxxx's are you add your device driver.

To create a bootable cd/dvd or make a USB device bootable go to these links:ERD Commander main screen, made with a virtual machine by VM Ware.

Bootable CD/DVD

Bootable USB deviceBartPE main screen, made with a virtual machine by VM Ware.

Or you could save your self a whole bunch of time by using on of these programs:

ERD Commander or

BartPENot only can you add the programs you need you can set the background to your own image...

Is it possible to build your own custom ERD for Vista and newer Operating Systems?

Click here to find out ...



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