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How to Create a Bootable CD-ROM

Author: Gabriel Torres

Type: Tutorials Last Updated: November 23, 2004
Page: 1 of 1
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If you are not already aware of it, you can boot up your computer via a CD, as i
f it was a floppy disk or hard disk. To this end, the CD has to be bootable and
you must change the computer's set up to allow booting via CD (the Boot Sequence
option should be changed to something like CDROM, C).
We often have to make a bootable CD. The usual case when we must run an antiviru
s program on an infected computer. As the machine will be booted through a CD an
d seeing that data cannot be directly written on a CD, it is much more sensible
to run the antivirus this way (the virus has no way of attacking the CD). Furthe
rmore, current antivirus programs are too big to fit on a mere floppy disk.
To make a bootable CD, just chose, from the CD recording program, to create a bo
ot CD. In Easy CD Creator, for instance, this is accomplished on the File menu,
option New CD Layout, by choosing Bootable CD. The program will then prompt you
for a floppy disk containing the boot's image.
Bootable CD-ROM
Figure 1: Making a Bootable CD with Easy CD Creator.
And what is this? Well, to be able to boot, the CD has to contain a file holding
an image of a boot disk. This will allow it to boot by simulating the floppy di
sk. In other words, you will have to set up a boot disk in the precise way you w
ant to boot via the CD.
During the boot, the computer will perform as if it was really being booted by a
floppy disk. This virtual floppy disk (the image of the disk recorded on the CD
) will be accessed as letter A of the operating system. The computer's floppy di
sk drive (drive A) will be accessed through letter B.
You must create a boot floppy disk that will also make the system recognise the
CD-ROM drive, seeing that when booting via CD the computer believes that you are
booting by using a normal floppy disk, not aware that you are booting via a CD.
In other words, you must prepare a boot floppy disk that works precisely the wa
y you wish to run your boot from CD.
We recommend that this boot floppy disk to be used as an image on the CD be crea
ted through the following commands on the DOS prompt of a machine running Window
s 98:
Format a:/s
Copy c:windowscommandebdoakcdrom.sys a:
Copy c:windowscommandmscdex.exe a:
Then create a Config.sys file via command Edit a:config.sys containing the follo
wing command:
device=a:oakcdrom.sys /d:mscd001
Next create an Autoexec.bat file through command Edit a:autoexec.bat containing
the following command:
a:mscdex.exe /d:mscd001
Your boot floppy disk is ready now and you can use it. If you want to automatica
lly run a program for instance, an antivirus just add the command that calls up
the program in the last line of the boot floppy's Autoexec.bat file. Note that a
fter command Mscdex, the computer will already acknowledge the CD-ROM drive. For
instance, if you have written the F-prot antivirus on a CD-ROM in a directory c
alled F-prot, the last line of Autoexec.bat will then be:
BTW, this antivirus can be downloaded at
Note that we assume that the CD-ROM drive will be accessed as letter D. If you b
oot via CD a computer with more than a single hard disk or with a hard disk with
more than one partition, a message path not found will appear. You will then ha
ve to run the command manually.