How To Create a DOS Boot CD

Making a MS-DOS Boot Disk or CD

Photo of dos boot

An MS-DOS Boot CD is a medium used to boot a compact disc instead of the hard drive upon Windows startup. A boot CD is comprised of programs and DOS commands that are compressed in removable data storage. This removable data storage is capable of loading and running operating systems or other utility programs.

A Boot CD is also used in:

  • installing operating systems
  • recovering lost data
  • software and hardware troubleshooting
  • software demonstration
  • data purging
  • customizing the operating system
  • administrative access that allows users to retrieve forgotten passwords
  • loading games.
The Boot CD can only run automatically through startup if the computer has a built-in program that meets the boot CD’s
standards. This built-in program serves as a trigger that executes programs contained in the boot CD. There are also several types of boot CD, since every operating system has different contents required for its boot CD. This implies that a boot CD must be compatible to run with the designated operating system it was designed for.

Step 1

Place a CD into the computer’s CD-ROM drive. Users may use a rewritable CD or a blank CD in this case.

Step 2

When the CD is inserted in the CD-ROM drive, access “My Computer” through the icon placed on the desktop screen or by selecting it from the Windows “Start” menu.

Step 3

In the “My Computer” window, point the mouse at the icon of the computer’s disc drive (usually D:). Right-click on the icon, then select “format”.

Step 4

Once “Format” is clicked, a window box will appear. Options are provided in the Format window wherein users can choose from a variety of actions. Check the box that indicates “Create an MS-DOS startup disk”.

Step 5

Click the “Start” button after checking the “Create an MS-DOS startup disk” box.

Step 6

Users may also copy additional files to their boot CDs. Files added to boot CDs are programs or processes that the user chooses to run upon the system’s startup phase. This is done to support the operating system in launching other applications or utilities such as Anti-virus software and hardware drivers.

Step 7

There are also several types of boot CD that have content specially designed for different operating systems. The required programs in a boot CD include (1), (2) io.sys/ibmio.sys, and (3) msdos.sys. These processes must be compatible with your version of the operating system.


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