How to Create a Boot Disk

By G.K. Bayne

Creating a boot disk is simple way to ensure that you will be able to start your computer after its hard drive crashes. Whether you use a floppy disk for older computers or want to make a CD or DVD bootable, it is easy to do with a few clicks of the mouse.

Things You'll Need

  • CD-R drive or
  • DVD-R drive or
  • Floppy drive
  • CD-R or DVD-R software (usually supplied with your computer or drive)

For a Floppy Disk

Step 1

Insert a blank diskette into the floppy drive. Click on My Computer on your desktop.

Step 2

Right-click on Drive A. You will see the option to format the drive.

Step 3

Click on Format. Depending on your operating system, you will see an option that reads either "Create a system disk" or "Create a MS Dos system disk." Click the box next to this option.

Step 4

Click the "Start" button to begin formatting the disk. When completed, you will have a bootable floppy disk.

For CD ROM or DVD disks

Step 1

Open the software that you use to burn or write files to the CD-ROM or DVD drive.

Step 2

Click on "Make a Data CD or DVD." Insert a blank CD-R or DVD-R disk into the drive.

Step 3

Look for the option to "Make this disk bootable." You may have to scroll over the various icons displayed to find this option. Click on the option.

Step 4

Burn the CD or DVD as usual. Once completed, this disk can be used to boot your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • To create a bootable floppy from DOS, type in "Format A: /sys" at the command prompt.
  • Once you have your computer set up the way you want it, it is always a good idea to make a backup to CD or DVD of your system. Look under "Accessories, System tools" to find this option and follow the instructions given.
  • You may have to change your BIOS settings to tell the computer to read the bootable drive when starting. Enter the BIOS and look for an option called Boot Sequence. Make sure that the CD, DVD or Drive A is included in the startup sequence