How to Create a Boot CD

By Eric Hammer

Creating a boot CD is an important step that any computer user should take soon after unpacking a computer. A boot disk will allow you to boot your computer from the CD drive instead of from the hard drive. This can be extremely useful if your Windows installation is corrupted and you need to access something you have stored on the hard drive. Fortunately, making a boot disk with Windows 7 is a straightforward process.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer running Windows 7 or Vista
  • Blank CD or DVD
  • CD or DVD burner

Step 1

Insert the blank CD or DVD into your CD or DVD burner.

Step 2

Click the "Start" button.

Step 3

Select "Control Panel."

Step 4

Select "System and Security."

Step 5

Select "Back up your computer," which you can find under Backup and Restore.

Step 6

Select "Create a system repair disk." This should be on the left side.

Step 7

Select the drive where you have inserted your blank disk and then click "Create disc." A backup disk will then be created.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are running Windows Vista, the process for creating a bootable disk is virtually identical to Windows 7. If you are working with Windows XP, however, the process is significantly different. See Resources for help. Note that the instructions for Windows XP assume a floppy disk. To create a bootable CD under Windows XP, simply insert a blank CD. Windows XP should find it and ask what to do with it. Select "Burn files to disk." Then simply follow the same instructions, but copy to the CD temporary file instead. When you are done, just click "Burn disk."
  • Be sure to label your bootable CD and keep it in a safe place in the event that you ever need it.
  • While creating a bootable disk is a useful step in making sure that your computer will be safe in case of disaster, it should not be a replacement for creating backups of your entire hard drive. This is a very important step as well since your bootable CD can only get you into the hard drive if it is still operational. However, if the hard is no longer operational, then you will need a backup copy of your work in order to restore it.