03 March 2007

Booting Windows from a Floppy

My father's computer displayed a blue screen of death on boot-up the other day, and when we tried to boot from the Windows Install CD to troubleshoot, we got another blue screen of death, as discussed on this page on Microsoft's support site. Essentially, despite the fact that you are booting from a CD, Windows Setup still tries to mount (start reading and writing data to) any hard drives that are available. Following Microsoft's instructions, we had to create a set of four floppy disks to boot the computer. Then, we had to tell Windows Setup not to mount the hard drive by editing a configuration file. After doing all of these steps and running chkdsk, we were able to get my father's computer booted again. Fortunately he bought this computer with a floppy drive. And I thought that in the age of compact disc install programs, I would never see this message again.

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