How To Create a Boot Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition in Windows XP

SUMMARY
This step-by-step article describes how to create a boot disk for Windows XP to access a drive with a faulty boot sequence on an Intel-processor-based computer.

NOTE: The procedure for RISC-based computers is different and not documented in this article.

Requirements

? A blank floppy disk.
? The Windows XP CD-ROM or an operational Windows XP-based computer.

Create a Boot Floppy Disk with a Windows XP-Based Computer

1. Format a floppy disk by using the Windows XP format utility. For example, with the floppy disk in the floppy disk drive, type format a: at a command prompt, and then press ENTER.
2. Copy the Ntldr and the Ntdetect.com files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP Setup CD-ROM, Windows XP Setup floppy disk, or from a computer that is running the same version of Windows XP as the computer that you want to access with the boot floppy.
3. Create a Boot.ini file (or copy one from a computer that is running Windows XP), and then modify it to match the computer that you are trying to access. The following example works for a single-partition IDE drive with Windows XP installed in the \Windows folder, but the exact value in the [operating systems] section depends on the configuration of the Windows XP computer that you are trying to access:

Code:
 * [boot loader]
 * timeout=30
 * Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows

 * [operating systems]
 * multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Windows XP"
If your computer boots from a SCSI hard drive, you may need to replace the multi(0) entry with scsi(0). If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller in use on the computer to the root of the Setup disk, and then rename it Ntbootdd.sys. Change the disk(0) number to represent the SCSI-ID of the hard drive you want to boot to. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not need to do this.
4. Start your computer by using the floppy disk, and then log on to Windows XP.

Create a Boot Floppy Disk Without a Windows XP-Based Computer

1. Refer to the article Q310994 for directions to download and create the Windows XP Setup disks by using a computer that is running Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me):
310994 Obtaining Windows XP Setup Boot Disks
2. Delete all the files from the newly created Setup disk 1.
3. Copy the Ntdetect.com and the Ntldr files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP CD-ROM to the new disk.
4. Rename the Ntldr file to Setupldr.bin.
5. Create a Boot.ini file. The following example works for a single-partition IDE drive with Windows XP installed in the \Windows folder, but the exact value in the [operating systems] section depends on the configuration of the Windows XP computer that you want to start:

Code:
 * [boot loader]
 * timeout=30
 * Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows

 * [operating systems]
 * multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Windows XP"
If your computer starts from a SCSI hard drive, you may need to replace the multi(0) entry with scsi(0). If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller in use on the computer to the root of the setup disk, and then rename it Ntbootdd.sys. Change the disk(0) number to represent the SCSI-ID of the hard drive you want to start to. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not need to do this.
6. Start your computer by using the floppy disk, and then log on to Windows XP.

Troubleshooting

If the path that points to the system files is incorrect or includes the drive letter, you may receive the following error message:

Windows XP could not start because of the following ARC firmware boot configuration problem:
Did not properly generate ARC name for HAL and system paths. Please check the Windows XP ™ documentation about ARC configuration options and your hardware reference manuals for additional information. Boot Failed.


If an incorrect SCSI driver has been selected or the Ntbootdd.sys file does not exist, you may receive the following error message:

Windows XP could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows XP ™ documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information. Boot Failed.

Resolving Boot Issues with a Boot Floppy Disk
You may be able to use a Windows XP bootable disk to start the operating system on a computer running Windows XP. Use the procedures in this article to work around the following boot issues:

? Damaged boot sector.
? Damaged master boot record (MBR).
? Virus infections.
? Missing or damaged Ntldr or Ntdetect.com files.
? Incorrect Ntbootdd.sys driver.
? To boot from the shadow of a broken mirror. Please note that you may need to modify the Boot.ini file to do this.

You cannot use the Windows XP boot disk to help resolve the following issues:

? Incorrect or damaged device drivers that are installed in the System folder.
? Boot issues that occur after you see the Windows XP startup (Osloader) screen.

APPLIES TO
? Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
? Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition