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last updated: 9/25/00

Let's Make a Startup Floppy the Microsoft Way.  Back in the MS-DOS and Windows 3.x days most technicians packed a boot floppy with some basic software tools on it for trouble-shooting, and installing hard disks and software.  Today, this sort of floppy is called a Windows Startup disk or Emergency Boot Disk (EBD) and is largely ignored until an emergency, such as a hard disk failure, when, to the dismay of the user, it may not work.

One cannot make this floppy by simply copying all of the contents of the C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\EBD directly to formatted floppy disk.  An error will result when you try to boot it.  However such a floppy is easy to make with Win Me, starting with a blank floppy disk:  Click Show Desktop , Double-Click My Computer, Double-Click Control Panel, Double-Click Add/Remove Programs, Click the Startup Disk tab, and Click Create Disk after inserting a floppy, and Click OK.  This also puts a version of the third DOS system file, MSDOS.SYS, on the floppy ; however, you don't need it to boot a Win Me boot floppy.

One could make a simple boot floppy by making a Startup disk using this method and then erasing all of the files or those not desired, except the system files.

Now don't wait until your hard disk crashes to find out the your new Startup floppy doesn't work.  Test it.  If the CD-ROM drive does not work see Adding a Specific CD-ROM Driver, below.

After testing the floppy and installing another CD-ROM driver, if needed, run a virus scan on it and write-protect it so it can't catch a virus.

To write protect a floppy disk, hold the floppy so the label, or the place for the label, is visible and up, flip it over from side-to side so the label is on the back, push the little tab in the top-left corner up so daylight is visible through the square hole.

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