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Disk Management

How do I create a bootable floppy from XP?

Neither Windows 2000 nor Windows (yuck) ME has the ability to create a simple, basic, DOS- based boot floppy (a “startup disk”). In Windows XP however, the floppy format option in My Computer an offer to “Create MS-DOS Startup Disk” is present.

If you try to boot your computer with this floppy you will be surprised: The DOS boot message will show

Microsoft Windows Millennium

To confirm this, you can “VER” to see what version of DOS was running, and you’ll see that the screen will say:

Windows Millennium [Version 4.90.3000]

Although it’s very strange to see the Windows ME startup message on an XP-created floppy, all this means is that Microsoft cribbed a few essential DOS boot files from Windows ME, and made it so XP can drop them onto a freshly- formatted floppy for you. I’m glad they did: It’s a very good thing that Microsoft restored the ability to make a simple boot disk.

However, if the ME boot feature truly existed in Windows ME, why did Microsoft hide this feature from us Windows ME? Why did they think that we didn’t need that feature anymore (yet it secretly existed within ME’s internals), and when XP arrived they didn’t even bother hiding their tracks? You could have at least change the VER information, couldn’t you?

Strange (or stupid) decision indeed.

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