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HOW TO MAKE WINDOWS ME
BOOT AND STARTUP FLOPPY DISKS

last updated: 9/25/00

Why I don't like a Startup Floppy made the Microsoft Way...  When Windows Me makes the Startup Disk it copies a cab file, EBD.CAB, to the floppy disk.  A cab file is compressed file which can contain more than one file. This one contains 11 files (four fewer than in the Windows 98 EBD.CAB cab).  When the floppy boots it tries to find a legitimate drive letter for a RAM drive (a RAM drive is a chunk of memory which is configured to look like a disk drive. It behaves like a floppy drive or hard disk, except it is faster and disappears when the computer is turned-off.), makes the RAM drive, and extracts the files in EBD.CAB to the RAM drive.

The RAM drive procedure is somewhat a kludge, makes a Startup Floppy that takes a long time to boot, can run into other problems, is a throw-back to older versions of Windows, and is totally unnecessary in this version of Windows..  The reason for it, I guess, in the first place, a wrong one, is the floppy drive will not hold all the files deemed necessary by it's creator, so they are in a compressed file and extracted to a temporary drive.  I really don't see the need for it.  But even that has changed with Win Me.  Four of the files present in the EBD.CAB and 68 KBytes of DRIVESPACE.BIN in the root directory of the Win 98 Startup floppy are no longer present and there is plenty of available space. Furthermore, there are several files loaded into the RAM drive that are duplicated in the root directory of the floppy, and there are tools (e.g., debug, chkdsk, and restart) loaded in the RAM drive I doubt the average user or myself would use.  Setting this argument aside, the root directory has 422KB free and the EBD.CAB file takes-up another 259KB. The RAMdrive when loaded has 656K of files.  If you were to get rid of the EBD.CAB file in the root directory, all of the remaining files in RAMdrive would fit in the root directory.  I really don't like it, but, with the exception of assigning the wrong letter to the CD-ROM, the stock Win Me Startup floppy works most of the time.

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