Making A Boot Disk For Windows Millenium (ME) in Real Mode

Windows ME does not have a boot disk, very similiar to Windows 2000, where you can make a recovery disk only. However, there is a trick to make a Windows ME bootable diskette, follow these instructions:

First go to and obtain a free download file called: WinMeDOS.COM or download from this link: ME Patch. Then continue on with these steps:

Step 1: Before applying the patch, complete the following tasks:

1. Create a temp directory and copy into it: (This will safeguard the files you are about to change.)

2. Make sure that the three files are writable, by running from the temp directory:

Step 2: When you complete the tasks above, execute from the temp directory you created the included patch: (This is the file you should have already downloaded.)

Step 3: Once the patch completes successfully, perform the following tasks in order to complete the installation:

1. Copy the patched files to their destination, overwriting the original ones:

2. Edit "C:\CONFIG.SYS" and "C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT" changing them as described below:

That's it! Once these tasks are completed, DOS will be ready for use on the first reboot.

Additional Notes:

In case you wish to create a startup menu that lets you choose between Windows and DOS at boot-up, it can be done by editing "CONFIG.SYS" and "AUTOEXEC.BAT". The syntax of the startup menu is identical to the syntax on Win 9x systems. Keep in mind that the option configured to launch Win ME has to include the appropriate lines that load "IFSHLP.SYS" and run "WIN.COM" (as shown above).

Instead of editing your own files to create a startup menu, you can copy the "CONFIG.SYS" and "AUTOEXEC.BAT" included in this release to "C:\". These files provide a convenient configuration of a startup menu. If Windows ME isn't installed in its default path ("C:\WINDOWS") on your system, make sure to edit these files before using them so that the paths of "IFSHLP.SYS" (in "CONFIG.SYS") and of "WIN.COM" (in "AUTOEXEC.BAT") are specified correctly.

The line stating Starting Windows Emergency Boot... that you will see at startup has no effect at all on Windows. It appears because the patch is using the IO.SYS provided with the Windows ME Emergency Boot Disk. Now you can see that if you decide to use ME, just like Windows 2000, neither operating system gives you a boot diskette, only a repair diskette which does not help much if you have no bootable operating system. Hopefully, someone will come out with a boot fix for Windows 2000.

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Date of last revision: 2 August 2001.