1. First, you need a fresh or formatted floppy - preferably a fresh
---------- PROCEDURE -------------
On your HP Windows ME computer, do the following:
1. My Computer > Control Panel > Add/remove programs > select tab
"Make startup disk" (Alternately, you can find "Control Panel" in the
Start > Settings.)
2. Hit the 'create disk' button. Windows will ask you to insert a
floppy. Follow the rest of the instructions from Windows which are
---------- end of procedure --------
2. To boot from this floppy on your other computer, you need to check
and change CMOS settings.
The CMOS is a chip with a pre-written program in it. This program has
all the basic information and settings of your computer's hardware. It
also gives various options to some of the devices. The one we are
interested in is to make the computer boot from the floppy drive.
This is usually found in one of the pages or menu options on the CMOS
program. This option deals with the order in which various devices
should be accessed to find the operating system. Usually this is the
internal hard drive. The hard drive, in other words, occupies first
preference in this list. The second may be the CDROM drive and the
third may be the floppy drive. This is not standard for all computers.
Many times the person who set up the computer would have turned the
floppy drive off, so that even if there is a floppy in the floppy
drive, it will not be accessed during boot-up. This is done to avoid
viruses from entering your machine inadvertently.
In any case, even if a floppy does happen to be in the drive and it
does contain an Operating System, the machine may opt to boot from the
hard drive. This is because of the priority settings on the CMOS.
Therefore you need to access the CMOS and re-set the priority to '1st
Boot device - Floppy drive'. You may also select 'none' for the others
- '2nd Boot Device - none' and so on. Then you must exit the CMOS
program by using the appropriate function key and answering "yes" to
the 'save and exit' dialog box. The machine will re-boot by itself and
this time will look for a floppy in the floppy drive.
If you have inserted the start-up disk you have made and it runs
properly, the machine will load the DOS for MS Windows and come to
rest on the dos prompt.
To re-set the CMOS settings, you will have to go through the entire
process of accessing the CMOS program once again and re-set the Boot
device priority to what it was before.
------- PROCEDURE ---------
1. Start the computer by turning the power on, or re-start the
computer if it is already running.
2. During the POST (Power-ON-Self-Test) procedure you will see a
message that says, "Hit F1 (or DEL) to access/change CMOS settings".
This will vary according to the CMOS in your computer. The boot
procedure will terminate and a blue / black screen will emerge with
either a menu bar or a number of menu buttons leading to sub-menus.
Navigation is by keyboard (not mouse!) using the arrow keys. Some menu
functions such as 'save & exit' 'defaults' 'quit without saving' etc.,
will be defined at the bottom of the page as function keys (F9, F10,
etc) -OR- if it is a menu bar with pull down menus, usually the last
menu on the extreme right will have these commands.
3. Find the menu option or page that lists "1st Boot device" and "2nd
boot device" etc. A simple search through the different menus will
lead you to this. (If you cant find it, I can get more specific if
you let me know what kind of menu it is - bar on top, or other.)
4. Change the 1st boot device to "floppy drive" and the rest of the
options for 'boot device' to none.
5. Find the Save and Exit option - some function key definitions may
be listed at the bottom of the page. You can use the appropriate key
or find the menu page listing the option using the navigation keys on
6. After "Save and Exit" your computer will re-boot by itself. This
time, place the start-up floppy in the drive, and the computer will
load the operating system from the floppy.
IMPORTANT NOTE - At any stage, if you feel you have changed something
else, or are stuck in any other way, get out of the CMOS program by
"Quit without saving" option. You can always get back once again. So
it is important for you to identify how to "quit without saving" in
your specific CMOS program before you start anything else!
-------- end of procedure -----------
----------- PRECAUTIONS --------------
1. Make sure you use a fresh floppy for the star-up disk. And while
you are at it, you may as well make a second copy. In my humble
experience, floppies are notorious for failure even with new floppies.
2. Please take care not to change any other settings inadvertently in
the CMOS program. This can make your computer act strangely/ cause
some mal-function / not start up at all!!!
If you could tell me why you want to start up your other computer with
a start-up disk in the first place, I may be able to suggest better
options, if any.