The Explorer: A Bevy Of Boot Disks - InformationWeek
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1/21/2004
03:35 PM
Fred Langa
Fred Langa
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The Explorer: A Bevy Of Boot Disks

But Which Kind Of Boot Disk?
There are at least three types of boot disk. One comes with normal retail copies of the operating system itself. For example, when you buy Windows 98 SE, you'll find something called the "Windows 98 Second Edition Boot Disk" inside the box, along with the CD. It contains the following factory-installed files:

Aspi2dos.sys
Aspi4dos.sys
Aspi8dos.sys
Aspi8u2.sys
Aspicd.sys
Autoexec.bat
Btcdrom.sys
Btdosm.sys
Command.com
Config.sys
Ebd.cab
Extract.exe
Fdisk.exe
Findcd.exe
Flashpt.sys
Himem.sys
Io.sys
Mscdex.exe
Msdos.sys
Oakcdrom.sys

Although the label says "boot disk," it's actually an install disk: It's optimized for the purpose of installing the OS from the CD to your hard disk. It's not optimal for trying to repair an install of Windows that's gone bad, or that you want to alter. (Other versions of Windows have slightly different, but conceptually similar install disks.)

Frankly, I find this kind of boot disk all but useless because it's so limited in its intent and focus.

The "StartUp" Disk
A somewhat different boot disk is the one that Windows creates during install or that you can create from Control Panel's "StartUp Disk" tab. In Win98SE, it contains these files:

Aspi2dos.sys
Aspi4dos.sys
Aspi8dos.sys
Aspi8u2.sys
Aspicd.sys
Autoexec.bat
Btcdrom.sys
Btdosm.sys
Command.com
Config.sys
Drvspace.bin
Ebd.cab
Ebd.sys
Extract.exe
Fdisk.exe
Findramd.exe
Flashpt.sys
Himem.sys
Io.sys
Msdos.sys
Oakcdrom.sys
Ramdrive.sys
Readme.txt
Setramd.bat

(Again, other versions of Windows use different, but conceptually similar, files.)

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