How to Make Boot Disk for Windows ME

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Windows ME can only create a boot disk on a floppy disk or diskette. A boot disk is a portable data device that contains configurations and files needed for an Operating System. It can be used to load and execute a platform or a system utility. Most boot disks are created as back-ups of the system.

Materials Needed:
- Blank floppy disk
Step 1
The diskette must be completely blank. Any data stored in the diskette will automatically be deleted. Insert this diskette to the floppy drive.
Step 2
To create the boot disk, click on 'Start' and choose 'Settings'. Then, open the Control Panel and select 'Add/Remove Programs'. Choose 'Start Disk' from the opened program window. Click on 'Create disk'. Remove disk when done and label properly.
Step 3
A boot disk can also be created using the MS-DOS command prompt. Click the 'Start/Shutdown' button and restart the computer at the MS-DOS prompt.
Step 4
Type the 'cd\windows\command' command at the command prompt. Files can then be manually copied from the computer to the diskette. Make sure that a drive swapper program is currently not in use. This kind of application may prevent the proper creation of the boot disk
Step 5
Insert the blank floppy disk to the drive. This will have to be formatted so that it can handle the boot data. The exact command depends on the system used. If the system uses MS-DOS 6.2, Window 3.x or Windows 95, the command is 'FORMAT A: /S'. If the system uses MS-DOS 5.0 with a double density 5.25' floppy disk, the command is 'FORMAT A: /360 /S'. If the system is using MS-DOS 3.11 to 4.0 with the same double density floppy disk, the command should be 'FORMAT A: /4 /S'.
Step 6
After the formatting, users will be directed back to the original directory. Here, several system files need to be copied to the diskette via the command prompt. Users will need to type the command, the file and the location it will be copied to, for each file. An example of a proper command would be, 'copy format*.* a:'. Each command must be followed by pressing 'Enter' before copying the next file.
Step 7
The essential files for the Windows ME boot disk are: format*.*, fdisk*.*, mscdex*.*, sys*.*, edi*.*, qbasic*.*, debug*.*, himem*.* and emm386*.*. Each of these files must be copied to the floppy disk one-by-one using the same command as above.
Step 8
Support for connected devices can also be added to the boot disk. This can be done by copying the hardware driver to the disk. This process is typically done so the boot disk can load mouse and CD-ROM drivers. Simply locate the target driver and check its file name. Then, copy it to the same boot disk using the command mentioned before.
Step 9
Once all the files desired for the boot disk are copied, an autoexec.bat file needs to be created. From the command prompt, type A: to get to the diskette. On the command prompt, type 'copy con autoexec.bat' and press 'Enter'. Type another command at the next prompt as '@ echo off' then press enter.
Step 10
If the CD-ROM and mouse drivers are added, additional commands need to be entered. At the prompt, type 'LH A:\MSDEX.EXE /D:CDROM' and press Enter. For the mouse, type 'LH A:\MOUSE.*' and press 'Enter' again.
Step 11
When the last two steps have been completed, press and hold the Ctrl and Z keys. The command should return data as ^Z. Click on 'Enter' to copy the created autoexec.bat file to the diskette.
Step 12
The final step for a working Windows ME boot disk is to create a config.sys file. At the command line, type 'copy con config.sys' and then press 'Enter'. At the Net prompt, type the commands 'device=a:\himem.sys dos=high.umb device=a:\emm386.exe noems files=30 buffers=20'. If the CD-ROM driver was added to the boot disk, add the command 'devicehigh=a:\oakcdrom.sys /d:CDROM'.
Step 13
After these commands are entered, press and hold the Ctrl and Z keys. Again, this would return on the prompt as ^Z. Press 'Enter' after that to create the config.sys in the boot disk.