Posted: 28May2005

Updated: 23Jun2005

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Creating Bootable CD/DVD's Without A:\ Floppy Drive

Did your PC come without a floppy drive?  This streamlined configuration is becoming more common. But a computer sans floppy can make it difficult to create bootable CDs/DVDs, because many of the programs that create bootable discs will ask for the boot files to be inserted into the floppy drive.

This guide teaches you the mojo on how to create a bootable CD/DVD without a floppy drive. It can also be used to create bootable CD/DVDs for systems *with* a floppy drive.

I prefer using bootable CDs because they boot much faster than floppy disks. I developed this method while researching the best way to boot from a CD containing the DOS-based version Norton Ghost, so I wouldn't have to use the Windows-interface version, which I find less reliable for creating and restoring back-up images. (I download my boot files from

This step-by-step guide makes it easy to create a bootable CD or DVD either with or without a floppy drive.

If you wish to jump right in and get busy, bypassing further background information, skip to Project #1 now.

Even if your system *does* contain a floppy drive, I think you will glean some helpful insights about creating bootable CD/DVD's. So I encourage you to review the material.

This Guide is organized into 5 different Projects, as described below.

Project #1 is going to be a 'Standard Ghost Bootable CD/DVD--on Steroids'. Project #2 will be 'Standard Ghost Bootable CD/DVD with the 'Panasonic USB Drivers'.

Project #3 will be 'Standard Ghost Bootable CD/DVD with Menu to select:

  • a. 'No USB Support',
  • b. Panasonic USB Support, or
  • c. Norton Ghost's USB Support.

Project #4 will be a 'Utility Bootable CD/DVD Disk' which will allow you to have Ghost, PartitionMagic, Fdisk, and other DOS Utility Programs available on a bootable CD that is Menu driven like #3 above.

Project #5 will be 'Using Ghost's Two Disk Floppy Boot Set to Create a Single Bootable CD or DVD disk'. I will continue to develop this page, so bookmark it so you can return periodically to see the next NightOwl project.

Notice: This Guide is still under development. So expect to see changes in the format and layout. But the functional information in Project #1 is complete, and will allow you to proceed.


This guide is primarily designed to be a companion guide to Rad's Guide to Norton Ghost with emphasis on the Ghost 2003 version. But I'm sure it can be applied to earlier Ghost versions as well. And it has many other possible, interesting applications if you use any other DOS utilities such as PartitionMagic, Microsoft's Fdisk, a Disk Editor, etc.

Project #1 is the foundation of this Guide. You need to understand the basics of using WinImage in order to create a bootable CD or DVD. All the other 'Projects' will build from this basic foundation.

Creating a bootable CD or DVD without a floppy drive is made possible by using the program WinImage.  Actually, another title for this Guide could have been: 'A Guide to Using WinImage'.

So, if you wish to learn more about making bootable CD/DVD disks that work with DOS based programs, this guide is for you.

Disclaimers:  Some words about 'Safe Computing'!

So--you do not have a floppy drive, and maybe you want to... :   Here's a list of reasons you may want to try this Guide!  

Okay, so possible solutions by the numbers, from easiest to less easy:  To avoid this Guide--install a floppy disk drive!

So Why Is Following This Guide 'Less Easy' Than Some Other Solutions:


  1. it involves using several programs to achieve the final results,

  2. you have to download some programs and files,

  3. you have to follow multiple steps (I will try to make them as clear as possible),

  4. if you want to get more creative with customized boot menus, etc., the complexity increases, and you may have to understand DOS Commands to achieve your purpose.

So, this is not a single program with a 'One Button' solution that creates the final result for you with a single 'Click'!

Project #1:  Starts Here!

Standard Ghost Boot CD/DVD--on Steroids!  This is a brief description of Project #1.

Programs and Files You Need:  You need to get setup before you proceed, and download the necessary files and programs.

Let's Get Started:   Here's the Step-by-Step instructions on making the 'Standard Ghost Boot CD/DVD--on Steroids' without a A:\ floppy drive!

Wow!  Did you see the possibilities using WinImage?!

Without having a floppy drive, you can download probably any of the floppy boot disk (.exe) files on designed to create a floppy boot disk, use WinImage to open the 'hidden' image file inside that '.exe' program file, and use that image file to create an '.IMA'  CD/DVD boot sector image file that your burning program can use to create a bootable CD or DVD!

All, without ever needing a floppy drive!  Laptop users--are you paying attention?!

Now, in Project #1 above, I modified those boot files to be specific for use with Ghost, but you can use those floppy boot disk files from for creating any of those boot disks on CD or DVD, as is, without modifications.

Project #2 thru #5
 :  (Under Development)

Additional Resources:

As all things Windows (and DOS), there is usually more than one alternate way to accomplish a similar task. The following Google search and links may offer alternate approaches to creating bootable CD's or DVD's:

Pre-defined Google search:  Creating a bootable CD without a floppy drive.

               Other resources:  Ultimate Boot CD
                                         Bart's way to create bootable CD-Roms
                                         Bart's PE Builder

Questions?  Go to Rad Forums

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