HOW TO MAKE WINDOWS ME
BOOT AND STARTUP FLOPPY DISKS
last updated: 9/25/00
Bye Real-Mode DOS. With Windows Millenium (Win Me, or just plain Me)
Microsoft has removed the 16-bit, real-mode Disk
Operating System (DOS) features found in Windows 9x. Older, legacy
device drivers and programs, such as DOS-based games and disk drive inutilities,
and some recent ones, such as anti-virus programs, which could write directly
to memory and/or disk drives, are no longer supported. However, before
you game-playing DOS lovers let out a big sigh!, Windows Me will still
run most DOS-based programs/games and runs them well from within Windows
Me through a Win Me, protected-mode, DOS window. My ancient DOS-based
accounting package runs exactly as it did (good except for couple of minor
Y2K bugs I haven't fixed yet) in all of the Win 9x and Win 3.x versions. Ok,
enough technical gibberish... What does all of this mean?
DOS programs which
require real mode drivers/access will not work.
One can no longer
boot or restart Windows directly to the DOS prompt and run DOS programs
outside of Windows. There's also no longer a "Command Prompt
Only" in the menu produced by holding the Ctrl or pressing
the F8 key at just the right moment while the computer boots.
Microsoft in all
of its wisdom has seen fit remove the capability to make bootable floppies
from the Format menu accessible from My Computer and the Windows Explorer. That
is, the Format Menu no longer has a provision for transferring the system
files to the floppy.
The DOS-based SYS
command, used to move the system files to a floppy or hard disk drive,
no longer works (on a freshly formatted hard disk; it will work on a
hard disk with Win Me already installed).
The DOS-based FORMAT
command still works. Using FORMAT with the /s flag (FORMAT A: /s),
which formats and transfers the System Files, does not.
Make a Boot Floppy.
Format the floppy and
then copy the IO.SYS and COMMAND.COM files from C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\EBD to
With My Computer... Insert
a floppy disk into drive A:, Click Show Desktop ,
Double-Click My Computer, Right-Click the floppy drive, select Format
from the resulting menu, and click Start. After the floppy is formatted,
Double-Click the C: drive, Double-Click the WINDOWS folder, Double-Click
the COMMAND folder, Double-Click the EBD folder, click the COMMAND.COM
file to highlight it, hold the Ctrl key and click the IO.SYS file to
highlight it as well, Right-Click the IO.SYS file, select Copy from the
resulting menu, Right-Click the Floppy Drive (A:), and select Paste from
the resulting menu. All done. You may have to change your
CMOS Setup to boot to the floppy. It it is set that way, restarting
Windows will boot to the newly created Boot Disk.
Windows 98/SE boot
floppies work fine with Win Me hard disk drives. Just don't put
the '98 system files on a Win Me hard disk.
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