How to Create a Free Windows XP Boot Disk

By Joshua Benjamin

A boot disc is basically what the name implies: A CD that serves as a bootable device for your computer. A boot disc is important if something damages the operating system and renders it unusable. A boot disc, in this scenario, could be used to repair or re-install the damaged OS with a minimum of fuss. Fortunately, boot discs are easy to come by. The one I recommend is called the Ultimate Boot CD For Windows, and is free for download and use.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Windows XP Setup disc with at least Service Pack 1
  • Blank CD
  • IMGburn (download link in the \"resources\" section)
  • 1 gigabyte of free hard drive space.

Setting up UBCD4WIN

Step 1

Turn on your computer. Open your preferred Internet browser and navigate to \"www.UBCD4WIN.com\" (capitalization not necessary).

Step 2

In the left menu, click \"Downloads.\" Select your preferred mirror and download UBCD4WIN. Run UBCD4WIN.exe.

Step 3

Follow the on-screen instructions. Do not install to a directory with spaces in its name, as this will cause an error. (Right: c:\\stuff\\UBCD42WIN Wrong: c:\\my stuff\\UBCD4WIN).

Step 4

Insert your Windows XP CD with Service Pack 1 into your CD drive.

Step 5

In the directory you installed UBCD, select and run \"UBCD4WinBuilder.exe.\" By default, this file is located in C:\\ubcd4win.

Step 6

Click \"I agree\" when the screen comes up. You will be asked if you want to search for Windows installation files. Click \"No.\"

Step 7

A new screen will pop up. In the \"source\" section, specify the location of your Windows setup files (the letter of your CD drive). Ensure that the \"Create ISO Image\" option is checked.

Step 8

Once all your options have been set to your satisfaction, select \"Build.\" Press the \"I Agree\" button when it comes up, and the ISO will begin building.

Burning the CD

Step 1

If you have not already, download and install IMGburn. This is an easy-to-use CD burning and writing tool.

Step 2

Run IMGburn.

Step 3

Select \"Write image file to disc.\"

Step 4

In the \"Source\" section, click the \"Browse for file\" icon and find the UBCD4WIN.iso you created in the previous section, then click \"OK.\"

Step 5

Insert your blank disc into the CD drive and click the \"Write\" button. IMGburn will now write your boot disc ISO onto the blank CD. The disc will then be ready to use.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your Windows XP CD does not have SP1 or greater installed, view the resources section for guides on how to slipstream your CD so it will be compatible with UBCD4WIN.
  • Your antivirus program may detect certain portions of UBCD4WIN as viruses. This is not the case, unless you downloaded UBCD4WIN from somewhere other than the official mirrors. The official downloads are clean of all malware.