Need create boot disk but floppy drive not working

  Craig22 20:29 09 Mar 2004

I am about to partition/format my hard drive but don't have a boot disk. When I tried to create one it doesn't work as there is a problem with the a drive. I can't format floppy disks and if I try to save a file onto floppy, I get the message "the system cannot read from the specified device".

Is there a fix for my floppy drive and if not, can I create a boot disk on a CD (or obtain one from elsewhere)?

I am running Windows ME.

Any help greatly appreciated.

  VoG II 20:33 09 Mar 2004

Erm, how will you use the boot disk if the drive is Kaput?

  Craig22 20:38 09 Mar 2004

It's only the floppy drive that doesn't seem to be working. The CD-Rom drive is OK.

  spanneress 20:38 09 Mar 2004 can pick up A drives for about £3!!!Cheap as chips.....BTW, you can download the files necessary for a boot disc for 98 from the web...just use google!

  Sheila-214876 21:50 09 Mar 2004

You can get a boot disk from click here and as spanneress points out new floppy drives are quite cheap. Don't condemn your floppy drive yet though. Check the BIOS to see if that is showing correct. Then check the connections to the drive. I have found that disconnecting the cables and then reconnecting them solves the problem.

  fuzzyone 21:53 09 Mar 2004


if you have a copy of ME, you can boot from your cd drive, and format from there.

  temp003 06:56 10 Mar 2004

Agree with above that in the long run, you should replace your floppy drive, esp when you're using Windows ME.

If you don't want to do that, find a friend with a working floppy drive and a CD burner, ask him to download a 98 bootdisk exe file from click here and create a 98 boot floppy. Then ask your friend to create a bootable CD from the 98 floppy - any CD burning software can do this. Just find the option to create bootable CD and he'll be prompted to insert a boot floppy.

After burning the CD, restart computer from CD (choose with CDROM support), you will still get to the A:\> prompt (because the CD is created to emulate a floppy).

At the A prompt, before doing the formatting, double check that computer can read your WinME CD. Remove bootable CD. Insert WinME CD. Then at the prompt, type x: (where x is the CDROM drive letter, may be d or e) and press Enter. Then at the X:\> prompt, type dir and press Enter to make sure that the contents of the ME CD are listed.

If that's OK, change back to the bootable CD, and type a: and press Enter. At the A:\> prompt, type your usual format c: command and Enter. After formatting, change to ME CD, change to drive X, and at the X prompt, type setup and press Enter to install ME.

  temp003 07:15 10 Mar 2004

If you want to do it entirely by yourself, without a floppy drive, you can try the instructions here click here to create a bootable ME CD.

With this method you'll have to download and install the trial version of CDRWIN (burning speed restricted to 1x). The web page suggests there's a hack to remove the 1x restriction. if you don't mind 1x, just stick to it. Alternatively, in CDRWIN, instead of choosing the option Build and Record ISO Image, just choose build iso image (i.e. without burning CD). After you use CDRWIN to create the iso image, use your own burning software to burn the CD from the iso image file.

With this CD, the files from ME CD are already on the bootable CD. The bootable CD will still boot to the A prompt, but you can access the ME CD files by simply changing the drive letter to the CDROM drive letter, without having to change CD.

Again, before you format, make sure you have access to the ME CD files by changing to the CDROM drive and use the dir command to see the contents.

  Craig22 23:30 10 Mar 2004

I've changed by BIOS settings to boot from the Windows ME CD. I'm typing FORMAT C: at the prompt but I keep getting the message "bad command or file name".

I'm not sure if this is because I am using the main Windows ME CD instead of a Bootable CD. Was unable to download CDRWIN as suggested above.

  woodchip 23:35 10 Mar 2004

If you live near Penistone you can have a floppy drive free

  temp003 02:10 11 Mar 2004

I still think as most people above do, that replacing your floppy drive may be the easier solution.

I never quite know what the Windows ME CD does when it boots up. It's not very well documented. Are you at the A:\> prompt after it boots up?

If you are, presumably the CD has a DOS/98 boot floppy emulation. If the format command at the A prompt doesn't work, then maybe the floppy part of the CD does not contain the file.

The file should be on the CD itself, but it may be compressed. Browse the CD in Windows first and see if you can find it (it might be within the Win9x folder, and called format.co_)

Then boot up again with CD, and at the A prompt, try typing:


and press Enter (x= CDROM drive letter). If the file is in the Win9x folder, type:

cd win9x

and press Enter (or cd [path to folder where resides]). Then try:

format c:

and press Enter. I don't know whether it will work if the file is compressed.

If it doesn't work, read the next post.

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