Win XP boot disk

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DKTaber

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I've had my first Win XP computer a little over a year. It has no floppy drive. My experiences with previous versions of Windows is that they always wanted you to make an emergency boot disk (on a floppy) in case the HD went south or wouldn't boot the system. One of the files on those boot disks was the .com file that allowed the system to recognize and use the CD or DVD drives so you could put your Windows install disk in it and reinstall Windows.

I can find no reference in Win XP help about creating a CD/DVD boot disk so that, in the event of a HD failure, I could reformat the HD (assuming it was still working) and reinstall Win XP from my DVD/CD RW drive. Is that because in newer machines, recognition of optical drives is built into the BIOS? If not, I'm living dangerously because if my HD fails, I have no way to reinstall the OS. So how could I reinstall XP if this happened?
 

awalker0878

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If order to boot to a CD three things must be present:

1. BIOS must be El torito aware
2. CD-ROM must be El torito compatible
3. Disc itself must be setup properly to meet El torito standards

Most CD-ROMs drives and bios are able to boot to CDROM discs. If you have Windows XP it is bootable CD and allows formatting and creating and deleting partitions using diskpart.

Also you can create floppy disk image and you can use a CD to boot to the image. So in short it is not really is not necessary to have a floppy drive.
 

DKTaber

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I haven't the foggiest what "El Torito" is. Are you saying that the Win XP/SP2 disk that came with the computer would be read by the system IF the HD was not working?
 

awalker0878

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Yes it could be read by the computer even your HD was not working. Also if you are interested there are tools that far surpass the old dos days. BartPE is a good example and it allows to format your hardrive access your network and troubleshoot your computer in a 32bit GUI enviroment.
 
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