Steps to Create a Bootable Windows XP CD – How to

A bootable CD may be required if your computer crashes to either set up the OS back on track or install the OS.  The bootable disk of Windows XP contains a command line interface which helps users to troubleshoot the operating system issues.

Not to get confuse between a DOS bootable CD and a Windows XP bootable disk because both are different. With a DOS based bootable CD you will not be able to access the files and directories saved on an NTFS (NT File System) partition and you would not even be able to enter the Administrator password if required, but with a Windows XP CD, you will be able to do so.

Given below are the steps to create a Bootable Windows XP CD


  • Step 1: Insert the CD into the drive
  • Step 2: Click on the Start’ Button and then on the RUN’
  • Step 3: When the RUN’ box appears type C:\I386′. This is the location where Windows files are stored on the computer. If this folder is not present, use the I386 folder present in your Windows XP CD.
  • Step 4: Copy the NTLDR file from here to your CD. You can do it by dragging it into another window displaying contents of yourCD, or through the Send to CD’ option.
  • Step 5: Similarly copy the NTDETECT.COM file from the I386 folder to your CD.
  • Step 6: Close all the Windows Explorer or My Computer’ windows and open a new Notepad window. The notepad can be opened from the Start’ menu -> All Programs’ -> Accessories’ -> Notepad’, or by running the Notepad’ command in the RUN’ box.
  • Step 7: Once you have the Notepad’ open, type the following line of commands exactly as they are:


[boot loader]

Timeout = 10

Default = multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows

[Operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows = Windows XP 


  • Step 8: Save this file as Boot.ini in the CD.


P.S.: Make sure that the when you use the CD, the First Bootable drive is set to CD in the BIOS Settings

Dhawal D