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Old 28th July 2002   #1
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What does a MS-DOS Start-up disk do?


On Windows XP, if a person inserts a blank floppy disk and goes to Start/My Computer/right-clicks 3 Floppy/Format/and checks "Create an MS-DOS start-up disk", specifically what is this disk supposed to do? Does it mean that if my computer won't start when I turn it on, I would put this disk in and everything would be OK? Exactly what would I do when I insert this disk if my computer won't start? Thank you very much.

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Old 28th July 2002   #2
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abx:

Below is a quote from XP's "Help and Support" (click Start button>click Help and Support)...

"The MS-DOS startup disk only allows the system to boot into an MS-DOS prompt. The disk contains no additional tools."

You should use XP's own "Help" as it has lots of good info. You could also buy yourself a good XP book as lots of good infomation like this will be there.

Hope this helps...

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Old 29th July 2002   #3
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To dobhar: OK, but how would I get to Windows from the MS-DOS prompt?

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Old 29th July 2002   #4
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Here is a quote from Labmice.net..."The Windows XP startup disk allows computers without a bootable CD-ROM to perform a new installation of the operating system. The Windows XP startup disk will automatically load the correct drivers to gain access to the CD-ROM drive and start a new installation of Setup".

You can also try here for more info...http://www.comusolv.com/support/startupdisk.htm

Note: A quick search using Google will also find the info you are looking for.

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Old 29th July 2002   #5
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I do not have XP so I will ask this. And answers received will further help in my decision making.

Are you saying the the XP startup disk does not have anything other then the boot files and CDROM drivers on it ?

It does not have the other goodies like format, fdisk, scandisk etc ?

Do I understand correctly for the link that dobhar provided that the only thing the XP startup disk wil do is to set things up for a New install ?

BillyBob


Last edited by BillyBob; 29th July 2002 at 12:44.
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Old 30th July 2002   #6
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Yeah its got all that


it make your basic Dos start up disk right click foppy icon properties on popup window click startup disk and it does it.

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Old 30th July 2002   #7
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Yeah, it has the following files when I make it with the format command in Windows and check the box labeled "Create MS-DOS start-up disk".;

CONFIG.SYS
DISPLAY.SYS
EGA2.CPI
EGA3.CPI
EGA.CPI
IO.SYS
KEYB.COM
KEYBOARD.SYS
KEYBRD2.SYS
KEYBRD3.SYS
KEYBRD4.SYS
MODE.COM
MSDOS.SYS
AUTOEXEC.BAT
COMMAND.COM

But the dos boot loader files are mostly empty files and will need some editing to get any cd-rom support. It's kinda misleading of M$ to call it a start-up disk.


Last edited by Zephyr; 30th July 2002 at 04:41.
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Old 8th August 2002   #8
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Win XP Boot Disk


Follow this link to Microsoft article Q305595:

http://support.microsoft.com/default...EN-US;Q305595&

That should be what you are talking about.

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Old 8th August 2002   #9
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Yeah, and when you get the message that states, "If the path that points to the system files is incorrect or includes the drive letter, you may receive the following error message:

Windows XP could not start because of the following ARC firmware boot configuration problem:
Did not properly generate ARC name for HAL and system paths. Please check the Windows XP (TM) documentation about ARC configuration options and your hardware reference manuals for additional information. Boot Failed.


Go ahead and figure out what the hell all that means and wonder why they didn't speak plain English. What exactly is an ARC firmware, an ARC name for HAL, and for that matter, what is HAL?? It's a bunch ****, which I fully understand what is.

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Old 8th August 2002   #10
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Works for me!!!


I think the problem is in the drive letter configuration in the boot.ini file, when I read the troubleshooting. Other than that, the steps that Microsoft gives seem logical, (from their point of view). Works fine for me, go figure. But at least there is an answer to something more that the MS-DOS files????

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Old 10th August 2002   #11
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Zephyr - sorry but I think that error that upset you was about as clearly stated as it could have been. Just using very specific terms.

First, from Here is a quick explanation stated better than I could by far.
Quote:
What is ARC Firmware?
ARC firmware replaces what traditional IBM PC's called BIOS, or basic input/output system. Designers of high end operating systems, namely UNIX, didn't need the hardware manufacturer to write a BIOS for them, they would handle the code themselves. For this reason, Firmware on our RS/6000 systems provides almost no "help" in starting an operating system that is used to having a BIOS. Because Windows NT was designed to be cross platform, they decided to create the BIOS for the machine instead of modifying NT. The result is an industry standard (though no-one has used it besides Microsoft) called Advanced RISC Computing. ARC functions in much the same was as a BIOS in terms of starting the computer and getting NT loaded, but to the user that is mostly transparent.What ARC really replaces in the users eyes is the BOOT.INI/NTLDR from it's Intel cousin. ARC allows you to setup multiple copies of NT and boot to each via a boot menu identical to the BOOT.INI menu from x86 NT.
ARC path examples
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0) 1st drive on 1st controller
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1) 2nd drive on 1st controller
multi(1)disk(0)rdisk(0) 1st drive on 2nd controller

The remainder of the ARC path name uses normal disk directory notation. For instance, if you have 2K installed on the second IDE disk attached to a single IDE controller, and the drive has one primary partition, the ARC path name of the SystemRoot directory is:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS

When you start an Intel computer, the system BIOS reads the MBR (master boot record) from the first sector of the system partition. The boot sector code then loads and starts NTLDR (NT Loader).

NTLDR starts running and immediately switches the Intel CPU from DOS real mode to 32-bit mode.

NTLDR reads and interprets the BOOT.INI file, which contains a list of bootable operating systems. Based on information in BOOT.INI, NTLDR can present a menu of operating system choices.

NTLDR then uses the ARC Path to locate the OS files and proceeds with loading windows from that location.

In the example message you posted, NTLDR (or ARC Firmware if you were running a RISC processor) just didn't know where to look.

HAL is Hardware Abstraction Layer and is the method M$ used to somewhat safeguard NT systems. It basically traps any hardware calls made by applications and passes along "NT Safe" instructions to the hardware. Unlike the DOS systems, a program cannot directly control hardware.

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Old 11th August 2002   #12
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Yeah, you're right Newt, it's clear enough for a techno geek but I have problems trying to explain it over the phone to some of the folks who depend on me for such. They are recent converts to XP and those terms never came up when they used a boot disk on Win9x.

It's amusing to consider that ARC is an acronym that contains another acronym RISC both of which are being used in reference to another acronym HAL. Such is the simplification for the masses. If they don't supply an instruction manual, you'd think they would at least explain the meaning of the acronyms. It is becoming a foreign tongue for the average user.

I have a hard time justifying all this mumbo jumbo to people from the mid-west that tend to speak plain words.

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Old 11th August 2002   #13
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Yup. Lots of strange terms. But the same happens with any specialized field that isn't familiar to you.

Listen to 2 doctors discussing a case and see how much you follow.

I have trouble following mechanics when they discuss the autos with all the electronic gadgets. I did well when it was all spark plugs, carbs, a few valves and such but not recently.

If I told you to put your hooklength including a boilie on the hair into a PVA bag with maybe a drop of N Butyric Acid on the boilie, you'd be fine if you were a UK carp angler. But it will come across as techno-rubbish to most others. If I told you the best ratio IMO was 8gtts N Butyric Acid per kilo or that NRG was an excellent bait,

If I overhear two folks of a different generation and gender (that would be young female persons in my case) discussing clothing or any youngsters discussing songs/groups/etc., I am lost.

I really don't see how the computer folks can strike a happy medium either. If the error message is to fit in a reasonable size box, it has to be terse. If it is to be terse and informative, it has to use tech terms and abbreviations.

At least with the recent browsers you can always go for online help, key in the terms that don't make sense, and hopefully get an article that explains better. Or call a techno-geek person.

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