A bootable CD for Windows XP may be required if your computer crashes or if you want to do some troubleshooting. The bootable disk of Windows XP contains a command line interface which helps users to troubleshoot the operating system issues. Please do not get confused between a DOS bootable CD and a Windows XP bootable disk because both are different. With a DOS based bootable CD you will not be able to access the files and directories saved on an NTFS partition and you would not even be able to enter the Administrator password if required, but with a Windows XP CD, you will be able to do so. Given below are the steps for the same.

  • Step 1: Insert the CD into the drive
  • Step 2: Click on the ‘Start’ Button and then on the ‘RUN’ option
  • Step 3: When the ‘RUN’ box appears type ‘C:\I386’. This is the location where Windows files are stored on the computer. If this folder is not present, use the I386 folder present in your Windows XP CD.
  • Step 4: Copy the NTLDR file from here to your CD. You can do it by dragging it into another window displaying contents of yourCD, or through the ‘Send to CD’ option.
  • Step 5: Similarly copy the NTDETECT.COM file from the I386 folder to your CD.
  • Step 6: Close all the Windows Explorer or ‘My Computer’ windows and open a new Notepad window. The notepad can be opened from the ‘Start’ menu -> ‘All Programs’ -> ‘Accessories’ -> ‘Notepad’, or by running the ‘Notepad’ command in the ‘RUN’ box.
  • Step 7: Once you have the ‘Notepad’ open, type the following line of commands exactly as they are:

[boot loader]

Timeout = 10

Default = multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows

[Operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows = “Windows XP”

  • Step 8: Save this file as Boot.Ini in the CD.

After following the steps given above you can easily create a Windows XP bootable disk and you can test the same by inserting the CD while the system starts. Make sure that the first boot device is set to the CD drive.