A boot disk is simply a floppy disk that contains enough of the operating system to allow you to access your computer when it will not start up on its own. A boot disk is not needed for everyday computer use, but when it is used it will allow you to start up your computer from the floppy disk instead of the hard drive.
The boot disk is typically used to fix problems which can arise during computer use or when you want to reinstall the operating system from scratch. It can also be used to help you load MS-DOS games or other games that you might not be able to run directly from Windows or MS-DOS due to high memory requirements.
If you are running Windows 98 on your computer, it is not too difficult to create a boot disk for it. Creating a Windows 98 boot disk will give you all the necessary files needed to boot your computer as well as your CD-ROM support. In order to create a Windows 98 boot disk, you will need a 1.44mb floppy disk (preferably a blank one). You can use one that is not blank but any files on the disk will be erased when the boot disk is created.
To create the Windows 98 boot disk, follows these simple steps:
- Click the Start button on the taskbar to open the Start menu.
- Select Settings from the Start menu and then click on Control Panel.
- In the Control Panel double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon.
- Insert the floppy disk you will be using for the boot disk in the floppy disk drive.
- Click on the Startup Disk tab in the Add/Remove Programs window.
- Click on the Create Disk button and the computer will begin creating the boot disk.
- Once it is done, click OK to exit the Add/Remove Programs dialog box.
After the boot disk has been made, you should label the disk as a Windows 98 boot disk so you will know what is on the disk.
Also, it is a good idea to write-protect the disk to prevent the disk from becoming infected by a computer virus. To write-protect the disk, simply slide the plastic tab on the bottom of the disk (not the sliding metal part covering the actual disk) to reveal a "hole" in the disk. Once the disk is write-protected, no new data can be saved or copied onto it.
Finally, be sure to store the boot disk in a safe place so you will be able to easily retrieve it if the need arises.