How to Create a Free Windows XP Boot Disk

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.

Close up shot of a disc on a keyboard
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Setting up UBCD4WIN

Step

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

Step

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

Step

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

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

Step

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

Step

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

Step

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

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

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

Step

Run IMGburn.

Step

Select \"Write image file to disc.\"

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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

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.