November 30, 2005 4:46 AM   Subscribe

I need to boot to DOS in XP. How do I make a bootable CD? The command prompt will not do the trick as i need to be able to access the hardware.
posted by daveed66 to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It might be easier to boot using a floppy disk as DOS requires read and write support for the media it boots off and it isn't particulary large. If you go down the CD route, then you'll need to do something to get around this - sadly I haven't a clue what that would be.

I use the boot disks from however some of them come without smartdrv which is required if you don't want painfully slow disk access.

Thankfully you can just do a simple Google search and copy that to the disk. Once you're into DOS, just run it.
posted by mr_silver at 4:52 AM on November 30, 2005

Nero can burn bootable CDs, no problem. When in Burning Rom, when you start a new disc, pick CD-ROM (Boot) from the list on the left. In Nero Express, say you want to burn a Bootable Data Disc. They'll then require a floppy image in .IMG format. Most of the bootdisks you'll find on are self-contained writers, but you can extract the .IMG file with WinImage.
posted by zsazsa at 5:25 AM on November 30, 2005

Try a bootable CD from FreeDOS. Works great for most uses.
posted by dudeman at 7:25 AM on November 30, 2005

Sorry missed adding a link. Try
posted by dudeman at 7:25 AM on November 30, 2005

Just remember that once you boot to DOS, you will not be able to access any drives with XP installed on it. Or, at the very least, any NTFS-formatted drives with XP installed on it.

Booting to XP's CD will allow you into their looks-like-DOS recovery console, which is probably no help at all to you.

Knoppix might be worth something of a shot, simply because it has better luck with XP-formatted drives and gives you more features than DOS, but I'm not really sure what you're trying to accomplish, so it's hard to say.
posted by disillusioned at 8:15 AM on November 30, 2005

When I had to boot to DOS to flash the BIOS on my new TYAN motherboard, I used this bootCD system. Note: requires that you have some form of Windows (which I do). If you only have macs and linux boxes, the FreeDOS route may work better.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:15 AM on November 30, 2005

If you want to access NTFS drives when you're booted into DOS, you need NTFSDOS which is a free download. It's a bit geeky but will allow you to read NTFS. If you want to write to NTFS then you have to buy the non-free NTFSDOS version.
posted by anadem at 10:24 AM on November 30, 2005

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