Making a Startup Disk in Windows Me - dummies

By Andy Rathbone

Unless you grab a spare floppy right now, this information won’t do you any good. See, Windows Me can make a startup disk for emergencies. When Windows Me refuses to load, you can pop the disk into your computer’s mouth, push the reset button, and a bare-bones version of Windows Me comes to the screen. That bare-bones version may be enough to get you started. At the very least, it can make it easier for a computer guru friend to get your computer started.

So grab a floppy disk that’s blank or doesn’t have important information on it. This procedure erases the disk’s contents, and there’s no turning back.

1. Double-click the Control Panel’s Add/Remove Programs icon.

You can load the Control Panel by clicking Settings in the Start menu.

2. Click the Windows Startup Disk tab.

It’s the rightmost tab of the three along the top.

3. Click the Create Disk button.

After grunting a little bit, Windows Me tells you to insert a disk into drive A. Before pushing the disk into the drive, grab a felt-tip pen and write Emergency Startup Disk on the floppy disk’s label.

4. Insert a blank disk into drive A when told; then click the OK button.

Windows Me formats the blank disk and copies special files onto it, allowing it to start your computer in the worst of situations. Put the disk in a safe place and hope you never have to use it.

• In an emergency, put the disk in drive A and push your computer’s reset button — that “last resort” button that’s one step shy of turning the power switch on and off. The computer “boots” off the floppy disk; that is, the computer comes to life, even though its hard drive isn’t working.

• When loaded from the floppy disk, Windows Me comes up in “DOS prompt” mode. It won’t look anything like the real Windows Me, but a computer guru may be able to use the DOS prompt as a doorway to fix whatever’s gone wrong.