Starting Up the Operating Systems






Starting Up the Operating Systems

The processes that are used to start up a PC running the Windows operating system are basically the same through the completion of the BIOS power-on self-test (POST) operation. At that point, which is when the operating system is started, Windows 9x and Windows 2000 systems use different methods to start up.

Booting to the command prompt

Starting the system to only a command prompt requires a boot disk (typically a floppy disk that’s placed in the A: drive) that contains, at a minimum, the DOS system files. To make a floppy disk boot disk, you can either

  • Right-click the drive letter in Windows Explorer and choose Format from the pop-up menu that appears.

  • Type the following DOS command at a command-line prompt:

    C:\>FORMAT A: /S

Another way to add the system files to a formatted floppy disk or hard drive partition is by using the SYS command, as follows:

C:\>SYS A:

To create a boot disk that includes other commands and perhaps CD-ROM support, you may need to follow the SYS command with one or more of the following entries:

C:\>COPY AUTOEXEC.BAT A:\
C:\>COPY CONFIG.SYS A:\
C:\>COPY \WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS A:\
C:\>COPY \WINDOWS\COMMAND\FDISK.EXE A:
C:\>COPY \WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX.EXE A:

The MSCDEX.EXE (Microsoft CD Extensions) file is the native DOS/Windows device driver for the CD-ROM drive. To have the CD-ROM drive available after booting the system to the command prompt, add the following line to the CONFIG.SYS file:

C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD001 /M:10

The following files must be loaded to boot the system to the command prompt: IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, and COMMAND.COM.



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