HOW TO: Create a Boot Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition in the Windows Server 2003 Family

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Article ID: 325879 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes how to create a boot disk for Windows Server 2003. You can use this disk to start a Windows Server 2003-based computer that cannot start from the hard disk.

Requirements

  • A blank floppy disk.
  • The Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM or an operational Windows Server 2003-based computer.

Create a Boot Floppy Disk

The specific procedure varies depending on whether you have access to a Windows Server 2003-based computer.

Create a Boot Floppy with a Windows Server 2003-Based Computer

  1. On your Windows Server 2003-based computer, format a floppy disk. To do so, type format a: at a command prompt, and then press ENTER. You cannot format the floppy by using Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition. However, you can format the floppy disk on a computer that is running any of the following operating systems:
    • Microsoft Windows XP
    • Microsoft Windows 2000
    • Microsoft Windows NT
  2. Copy the Ntldr file from one of the following locations to the disk you formatted in step 1:
    • The Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM.
    • A computer that is running the same version of Windows Server 2003 as the computer for which you are creating the boot floppy.
  3. Copy the Ntdetect.com file to the disk you formatted in step 1.
  4. Create a Boot.ini file on the floppy disk you formatted in step 1. You can also copy one from a computer that is running Windows Server 2003, and then modify it to match the computer for which you are creating the boot floppy. The following example works for a single partition SCSI drive with Windows Server 2003 installed in the Windows folder, but the exact value in the [operating systems] section depends on the configuration of the Windows Server 2003-based computer for which you are creating the boot floppy:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    Default= scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\Windows

    [operating systems]
    scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003"
    If your computer starts from an IDE, EIDE, or ESDI hard disk, replace scsi(0) with multi(0). For example:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003"
    If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller in use on the computer, and then rename it Ntbootdd.sys. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini, you do not have to do this.
  5. Start your computer by using the floppy disk, and then log on to Windows Server 2003.

Create a Boot Floppy Without a Windows Server 2003-Based Computer

  1. Obtain a copy of the Windows XP Setup Boot Disks for Windows XP Professional. For additional information about how to do so, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    310994 Obtaining Windows XP Setup Boot Disks
    NOTE:
    • You must use the Windows XP Professional version of the Windows XP Setup boot disks because the Windows XP Home Edition version does not work for this procedure.
    • You only need the first disk in the set of six Windows XP Setup boot disks to complete this procedure.
  2. Create a copy of the Windows XP Setup boot disk by using the diskcopy command, and then delete all files on the new disk. The Windows XP Setup boot disk is the first disk in the set of six boot disks for Windows XP Professional.
  3. Copy the Ntdetect.com and Ntldr files from the I386 folder on the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM to the new floppy disk.
  4. Rename the Ntldr file to Setupldr.bin. You must rename the Ntldr file to Setupldr.bin when you use the Windows XP Setup boot disk or you may receive the following error message:
    Boot: Couldn't find NTLDR
    Please insert another disk
  5. Create a Boot.ini file on the floppy disk. The following example works for a single partition SCSI drive with Windows .Server 2003 installed in the Windows folder, but the exact value in the [operating systems] section depends on the configuration of the Windows Server 2003-based computer that you want to boot:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    Default= scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\Windows

    [operating systems]
    scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003"
    If your computer starts from an IDE, EIDE, or ESDI hard disk, replace the scsi(0) with multi(0). For example:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003"
    If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller in use on the computer, and then rename it to Ntbootdd.sys. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not have to do this.
  6. Start your computer by using the floppy disk, and then log on to Windows Server 2003.

Troubleshooting

If the path that points to the system files is incorrect or includes the drive letter, you may receive the following error message:
Windows Server 2003 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 Server 2003 documentation about ARC configuration options and your hardware reference manuals for additional information. Boot Failed.
If you select an incorrect SCSI driver or the Ntbootdd.sys file does not exist, you may receive the following error message:
Windows Server 2003 could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows Server 2003 documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information. Boot Failed.

REFERENCES

For additional information about Boot.ini and ARC path naming conventions and usage, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
102873 BOOT.INI and ARC Path Naming Conventions and Usage

Properties

Article ID: 325879 - Last Review: October 30, 2006 - Revision: 5.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
Keywords: 
kbmgmtservices kbenv kbhowto kbhowtomaster kbstoragedev KB325879

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