Zip boot disc



Hi to all. I have been in a situation I thought I never would be. First things first, I have to say I am running WinXP SP2. In my configuration there is no floppy disc. Instead, I have two zip drives, the first being an internal Zip100 SCSI version (connected to the system via an Adaptec PCI SCSI controller) and the second being an external Zip250 USB. Now, what I want to do is, -and that’s the funny part- boot into DOS. In BIOS I have the option to boot from pretty much everything, including Zip and USB-Zip. I want to boot into DOS using my Zip drive -without having to alter anything in my HDD- in order to update my BIOS. What I did not know and just found out is that WinXP does not support either the command “format f: /s” or “sys f:” from its command line. Neither does it have the option to make my zip disc bootable if I right click on it and select format from My Computer or Windows Explorer. Furthermore, Iomega’s software does not have the option to make my zip disc bootable, as I discovered when I installed Iomegaware in the hope that it would. Does anyone know how to make the zip disc bootable? Is there a software that will allow me to do that or what?


Booting into DOS is a useful thing. There are several DOS utility and diagnostic programs that I use, like memtest86, etc.

Some programs, like memtest86, are available as CD images that you can burn onto a DVD or CD. I often use CDspeed for this, but Nero can do it if you know what buttons to push.

When I don’t have a CD image available, I use a more complicated procedure. I don’t know if your are interested, but I’ll tell you how I do it.

First I start up a virtual floppy drive. It can be a little confusing to use virtual floppies but I have used them many times. I can tell you this, they are much faster than real floppies and they never have bad sectors either. :slight_smile:

You can download the virtual floppy drive here:

Maybe there is a little help here:

Then XP will format it and make it a DOS bootable floppy. I think you need to check a box at the bottom of XP’s format window to do that. You can have 1.44 meg and 2.88 meg virtual floppies, but XP will only make 1.44 meg floppies DOS bootable.

Then copy the DOS files to it. Then Nero can make a bootable CD or DVD that emulates a bootable floppy. You might need Nero Burning ROM for this, I don’t know if Nero Express can do it. But there are probably other utility programs that can do it also. Whenever I make a bootable CD/DVD from a “bootable” virtual floppy, Nero will pop up a quick message about a non-fatal error and keep on going. The resulting DVD or CD works though, and that’s what matters.

Note that a good virtual device, and this one is pretty good, will fool XP (and Nero) into believing it’s real.


Thanks for the response, but what I’m actually after, is a way of making a zip disc bootable. All I’m really asking is how can I make one under WinXP? I’m assuming it is possible if I had any other Windows version (bar Vista of course), but how can I do it under XP? Otherwise, I know I could have made a bootable CD using any burning software (Roxio, Nero or NTI, etc.).