How to Create a Windows XP Rescue Disk

By Lysis

Every computer user should have a rescue boot disk for her operating system. Creating a rescue disk for Windows XP will ensure that a failure in the operating system's bootable sector doesn't mean you lose your data. The safety net of a Windows XP rescue boot disk allows you to boot the computer and save it from data loss. It also restores operating system boot files from damage caused by viruses or corruption.

How to Create a Windows XP Rescue Boot Disk

Step 1

Insert a floppy disk into the drive. If you're using a CD to copy files, insert the Windows XP CD-ROM. If using another PC for files, insert the floppy disk into the operational computer running Windows XP.

Step 2

Browse the CD for the Ntldr and the files located in the i386 directory. If using another computer, copy the files from the root of the hard drive.

Step 3

Create a boot.ini file. You can create one from scratch, or you can copy the boot.ini file from an operational Windows XP computer. The following is the text for a boot.ini file:[boot loader]timeout=30Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\\windows[operating systems]multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\\windows=\"\"

Step 4

Insert the floppy disk with the newly created files into the computer that will not boot.

Step 5

Reboot the malfunctioning computer with the rescue disk inserted.

Tips & Warnings

  • Newer computers don't always come packaged with a floppy disk drive. You can replace the floppy disk in these instructions with a writable CD for the same result.

References & Resources