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Microsoft KB Archive/102901

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Knowledge Base

How to Make an MS-DOS 5.0 Boot Disk with Windows

Article ID: 102901

Article Last Modified on 2/20/2007


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

This article was previously published under Q102901


It is possible to make an MS-DOS bootable disk when running Windows if MS-DOS version 5.0 is being used on drive C. If a machine running Windows has any other version of MS-DOS installed, the error message "Incorrect DOS Version" will be returned when attempting the SYS or FORMAT A: /S commands.

Note: This information is specific to the Intel x86 hardware platform.

To create a bootable disk with Windows, use the following procedure:

  1. Log on to Windows using an account with Administrator privileges.
  2. Place a blank floppy disk in the drive A.
  3. Select File, choose Run from Program Manager's menu, type C:\DOS\COMMAND.COM, then choose OK. This will start a virtual MS-DOS machine (VDM). The copy of COMMAND.COM in the MS-DOS directory must be used.
  4. From the MS-DOS directory (C:\DOS), type the FORMAT A: /S command.
  5. To boot from the disk, a valid COMMAND.COM must be copied to it. Use File Manager or the VDM to copy the correct version of COMMAND.COM from the C:\DOS directory to the floppy disk. COMMAND.COM should have the following attributes:

          Size = 47845   Date = 4-9-91     Time = 5:00 am  for version 5.0
          Size = 47895   Date = 11-11-91   Time = 5:00 am  for version 5.0a

The floppy disk should now be able to boot as expected; it will be an MS-DOS 5.0 boot disk.


If a valid COMMAND.COM is not copied to the floppy disk and you attempt to boot from it, the system will hang. An incorrect copy of COMMAND.COM is copied to the floppy disk by Windows during the format. This copy is located in the \WINNT\SYSTEM32 directory. The incorrect copy will have these attributes:

   Size = 49931   Date = 7-24-93    Time = 5:11 am

Additional query words: dos

Keywords: kbusage KB102901