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Our ministry is rehabilitating 4-5 year old PCs to donate to indigent or handicapped people and to non-profits. We were trying to create a bootable Win 98/SE CD to use on those PCs that have a bad floppy. Just writing the Win98 diskette :4-dontkno boot files to a CD does not work. What does it take to boot from a CD on a PC that has no operating system, assuming the BIOS is set to use the CDROM as a boot device? How does the CD work if there are no drivers loaded to enable it?
 

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Welcome to TSF!

If you have a computer with Nero Burning ROM you can create a bootable CD. First, start with the blank CD and have ready a bootable floppy that includes CD-ROM drivers. When you create the bootable CD it will ask for the bootable disk to get the files from. Pop that in and let it complete. That's about all there is to it!
 

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there actually were windows98se cd's that don't boot. as hard as it is to beleive, but i have 4 of them now, comes in a cardboard sleeve, in a box, and there's a floppy disk included for booting. it seems that they made a first print that didn't even come in jewel cases, and were not bootable.

to correct this, you'd kinda sorta have to copy it, adding in the el-torrito boot image at the beginning of the disc.

nero and roxio can both do this.

(and since it's legal to slipstream a windows xp sp1 or sp2 disc, i feel it's equally as legal to do this here, provided you still own your original.)

you copy all the files on the cd to a folder on the hard disk.

then, you fire up roxio or nero, and you tell it "bootable" cd.

it will ask for a disk to seek an image from, insert the floppy boot disc.

once it adds the floppy boot image to the cd burn, then you simply drag and drop the entire contents of that folder you made, and drop them into the burn window.

then, name it the same as the original.

when you are done burning it, it should boot from the cd, and think there is a floppy inserted, at which point you can choose "cd rom support" or "no cd rom support"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bootable CD

While all the replys give me a work-around, none spells out what coding is required to do it myself.

We are not concerned about a non-bootable Win98 CD. We boot with a Win98 diskette, create two partitions on the hard drive and load the operating system onto the second one. Someone here wrote a program to load the operating system to drive D: from the MS CD so it is available for the person who gets these computers, without their needing a MS Win98 CD. We load the license number of the PC we are rehabing. If you use a standard Win98 boot diskette, it creates a RAMdrive and messes up the drive letters enough so our own batch program will not work to load files onto drive D: I modified a standard Win98 boot diskette so it boots without creating a RAMdrive. We occasionally have a machine that has a bad A: drive. We want options to use the CDROM drive if drive A: is bad.
 

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oh, now that's even easier.

you would use nero or roxio to make a bootable cd with eltorrito.

same same, when it asks you for the boot source, put in your floppy, and then there you go, burn it.

it's going to be a 1.44 meg cd though, which is why i always threw the windows files on it anyhow, since while running from the eltorrito boot cd, you can't take the cd out.

but if that's not an issue, and you can leave the boot cd in the drive, then yeah, just make the eltorrito part, and then burn the disc as is.

otherwise, if you are going to need the windows cd, and you only have a single cd-rom, then you will need a boot cd that also contains the windows files.

unless you want to spend a few months in school, and you could learn the other way of making a bootable cd, like the type that xp uses, but it's not something anyone here will have the time to explain.
 

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EarlCPhillips said:
How does the CD work if there are no drivers loaded to enable it?

back to your original question, and may also help better explain what i am suggesting you do.

there has been a standard existing inside almost all cd-roms for 10 years known as el-torrito.

this standard allows the emulation of a floppy within the File Allocation Table of a CD-Rom.

since it has become an actual standard, all drives made in the last 8 years support it, as do many that are older.

the drivers to allow this magic exist inside the firmware of the cd-rom itself.

so, without needing a floppy to boot, the cd-rom has the ability to read an el-torrito boot cd, and emulate a floppy disk, and it will even still show up as A:.

now, the biggest limitation of el-torrito, is that once you boot from it, the disc needs to stay in the drive, because that part of the CD is being used by the computer as a mounted floppy disk.

if you pull it out, the machine will ask you to insert the disk into drive a: and you will be stuck until you put it back.

however, this is not the large hurdle it sounds like, because there is still 700 megs worth of space on that cd, allowing it to still be a cd at the same time.

so you have a C: and a D:, you put the floppy in A: and the CD-rom is E:, correct?

if you use the el-torrito method, and insert the windows 98 cd's files onto it, then you can stick it in the cd-drive, on a machine with a dead or missing floppy, and it will boot, seeing the first part of the cd as A:, being a complete copy of the special boot disc you made, and also at the same time will still be a cd-rom existing at E:

i hope this explains it better, as i really think this is what you are needing.

EarlCPhillips said:
While all the replys give me a work-around, none spells out what coding is required to do it myself.

as far as coding, there isn't any. you already made the most complicated adjustment, being to rewrite your boot floppy to not create a ramdrive.

the ony thing you will need, is the demo version of either nero cd burning rom, or roxio easy cd creator 5, or any other cd-burning utility that is capable of doing el-torrito.

the only other way of building a bootable cd is not simple, and i don't know anyone who knows how.
 
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