Microsoft

Quick Tip: Create a bootable NTFS disk

Learn how to set up your own Windows 2000 boot disk that enables you to read the NTFS volume.

If you experience a boot problem with a FAT volume, you can often at least recover your data by booting from a bootable DOS diskette. When your boot partition is NTFS, however, a DOS diskette won't do you much good, since DOS can't read NTFS.

You can set up your own Windows 2000 boot disk that should enable you to read the NTFS volume, assuming the problem that caused the boot failure didn't also render the drive unusable. Having a boot disk is useful when your drive has a corrupted boot sector or corrupted master boot record (MBR), is missing NTLDR or Ntdetect.com, and in other situations. Here's how to create NTFS boot disk under Windows 9x and 2000.

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If you're running Windows 9x
How you create the boot disk depends on whether you have access to a Windows 2000 system. The method described in this section uses the Windows NT Setup disk and can be performed on a Windows 9x or even DOS system. In the next section, you'll learn how to create a boot disk under Windows 2000.
  1. Make a copy of Windows NT Setup Disk 1 using the DISKCOPY command from a DOS session under Windows 9x (or DOS). Delete all the files from the disk after you create it.
  2. Copy the Ntdetect.com and NTLDR files from the i386 folder on the Windows 2000 CD to the disk you created in step 1.
  3. Rename the NTLDR file to Setupldr.bin.
  4. Create a Boot.ini file on the new disk. The following example assumes a single-partition SCSI drive with Windows 2000 installed under \WINNT:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
Default= scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\winnt
[operating systems]
scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\winnt="Windows 2000"

Replace the scsi(0) with multi(0) if your computer boots from an IDE, EIDE, or ESDI hard drive.
  1. If the Boot.ini file uses scsi(n) instead of multi(n), copy the device driver for the computer's SCSI controller from the Windows 2000 CD to the floppy. Rename the driver on the floppy to Ntbootdd.sys. This step isn't required if the Boot.ini file uses multi(0).
  2. Restart the system using the floppy.

If you’re running Windows 2000
Here's how to create the boot diskette using Windows 2000:
  1. Format a floppy disk in Windows 2000.
  2. Copy NTLDR from the Windows 2000 CD, Windows 2000 Setup disk, or another computer running Windows 2000 Professional. You can use the command EXPAND NTLDR._ NTLDR to expand the file from the CD if necessary.
  3. Copy Ntdetect.com to the diskette.
  4. Create a Boot.ini file or copy one from another Windows 2000 computer, and then change it to match your system. The following example assumes a single-partition SCSI drive with Windows 2000 installed under \WINNT:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
Default= scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\winnt
[operating systems]
scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\winnt="Windows 2000"

Replace the scsi(0) with multi(0) if your computer boots from an IDE, EIDE, or ESDI hard drive.
  1. If the Boot.ini file uses scsi(n) instead of multi(n), copy the device driver for the computer's SCSI controller from the Windows 2000 CD to the floppy. Rename the driver on the floppy to Ntbootdd.sys. This step isn't required if the Boot.ini file uses multi(0).
  2. Restart the system using the floppy.

Third-party solutions
There are some third-party solutions that integrate the ability to read NTFS with a DOS boot environment. One of these solutions is NTFSDOS Pro from Winternals Software.

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