Create an NT boot disk

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

NT does not have boot disk capability in the MS-DOS sense. NT is too large. But you can create an NT boot diskette that will reboot the system and transfer control to the NT installation on the hd. The "NT boot" disk is invaluable if your NT workstation or server fails to boot because of a missing or corrupt system partition or system file.
  • Format a floppy diskette on an NT system. NT creates the Partition Boot Sector with code to bootstrap NTLDR. If you formatted with DOS or Win9x, the Partition Boot Sector would have a bootstrap progam to load the boot sector for DOS or Win9x.
  • Copy the following hidden, system files from the system partition of the NT box to the boot disk:
    • NTLDR
    • BOOT.INI (copied from your working NT, it will point to the existing installation)
    • NTBOOTDD.SYS - only needed if the computer has a SCSI controller with its BIOS disabled
    • BOOTSECT.DOS - present only if the computer is dual boot
For the boot disk to be any use, you must boot it to the PC with an installed and configured Windows NT which you used to create the floppy. The boot disk is kinda generic but in particular, the boot.ini must be edited to point to the correct boot partition. The boot disk is just smart enough to look for the existing NT installation and pass control to its NT kernel.

See the Registry Construction Steps .

An interesting resource to download boot disks for a wide variety of systems:

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