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Microsoft KB Archive/101668

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Knowledge Base

How to Use a Windows Boot Disk to Prevent Boot Failure in Windows 2000 or Windows NT

Article ID: 101668

Article Last Modified on 2/20/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q101668

For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 314079.


When Windows is installed on a computer that has an Intel x86-based processor and the boot record for the active partition or files required to boot Windows becomes corrupted, it is not possible to boot Windows or any other operating system on that computer.


To prevent this situation, create a Windows boot disk when you install Windows on the computer. This disk is different from an MS-DOS boot disk because the entire Windows operating system cannot fit on one disk as MS-DOS can. A Windows boot disk contains the files necessary to start the operating system with the remainder of the Windows system files installed on the hard disk drive. Use the following procedure to create this disk:

  1. Place a blank floppy disk in drive A and format the disk using Windows NT or later.
  2. From the root folder of the system partition of your hard disk drive (for example, C:\-), copy the following files to the floppy disk:
    • Boot.ini
    • NTLDR

    NOTE: You may have to remove the hidden, system, and read-only attributes from the files.

  3. Restore the hidden, system, and read-only attributes to the files on your hard disk.
  4. If either the Bootsect.dos or the Ntbootdd.sys file resides in the system partition, perform steps 2 through 4 above to copy these files to the boot disk as well.

If you format a floppy disk in Windows NT or later, the boot record points to the NTLDR file. When NTLDR runs, it loads the available operating system selections from the Boot.ini file. If the user selects Windows, NTLDR runs, and then passes control to Osloader.exe. If the user chooses MS-DOS or OS/2, NTLDR loads Bootsect.dos.

Additional query words: prodnt bootdisk boot

Keywords: kbinfo kbusage KB101668