How do I use a boot disk?

I have windows 98

I get to the “a” prompt

and I don’t know what command to type.

Anybody know?

You’re going to need to be a whole lot more specific. For starters, what’s wrong with your computer (including any error messages)? What is your question about using a boot disk? etc…

The pc isn’t starting up, it tries to go into safe mode, and it asks for me to insert a boot disk.

So I insert the boot disk, it goes through it’s check of the disk and gives me the a:/

and that’s all.

I am sure I have the right boot disk, but I’m not sure what command to use.

That’s an awfully unhappy PC, all right.

Do you know what keystroke or keystroke combination will let you edit your BIOS just after you power on your computer? (I’m a Mac person, don’t ask me). If so, go into the BIOS and change the preferred boot sequence order so that it will boot from CD before it tries to boot from the main internal hard drive. Place Windows CD in CDROM drive and reboot.

(You can boot from your A drive but only into DOS. If you know how to fix a non-booting Windows machine from a dos command prompt you are a rare individual, I think.)

Okay, so if I’ve got this clear, you’ve put the disk in, rebooted the computer, and booted from the boot disk. If you are using a Windows 98 Boot Disk, it should load all your CD-ROM drivers when it uses the boot disk, so if you need to access your CD drive, type in D:\ (or whatever your CD drive letter is) at the command prompt. If you need to setup Windows 98 again, type setup from the D:\ prompt, and that will start the sequence. I really need more information than what you’ve given if you’re doing something else. Are you reformatting? Trying to fix a problem with Windows 98?

Oh, and if you want a list of commands you can use with the boot disk, type help at the command prompt.

try this:

once you reach the a:> prompt, type



c:>scandisk c:

see if it finds any errors and fixes them.

if yes, then try booting up normally again. if that doesn’t help, try this:


c:>cd windows

c:\windows>cd command

c:\windows\command>scanreg /fix

see if this fixes any errors, try to reboot normally. if not, do these steps above again till you come to the windows/command directory, then instead of /fix type /restore, like this:

c:\windows\command>scanreg /restore

chances are you should be good to go now… (this is assuming you’re using Win 98/ME)

Does the computer successfully load into safe mode? If not, the scanreg /restore command is probably your best bet.

scanreg /restore

yeah, that works for me too…most of the time.

So, you could type that at the Dos thingy.

A:>scanreg /restore

Since you don’t know what to do at a command prompt someone should point out that scanreg /restore will give you a list of backup dates to restore from. Just use the arrow keys to highlight the one you want and hit enter. Try the most recent first, unless you know the problem is older than that. In other words, make sure the backup date is older than the problem you are trying to fix.

Actually, I’ve never seen a list of dates to choose from; scanreg will just select the most recent good copy of the registry.