How to make a bootable NTFS drive

Written by jim campbell
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How to make a bootable NTFS drive
The NTFS file system boot files allow you to load Windows. (hard drive 2 image by Graham Lumsden from

The NTFS file system is used in older Windows operating systems, such as XP, 2000 and 2003. You make the NTFS drive bootable by copying the files from your Windows installation CD or DVD to the drive. If you have an i386 directory on your Windows system folder, you can also use it to make a secondary drive bootable. The NTFS file system only requires two files to boot into Windows.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Windows installation CD

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  1. 1

    Insert your installation CD into the drive. Click the Windows "Start" button and type "cmd" into the text box. Press "Enter" to open the Windows command line.

  2. 2

    Type the following commands into the Windows prompt:

    copy x:\ d:

    copy x:\ntldr d:

    The "x" in these commands represent your CD-ROM drive letter. The "d" represents the hard drive you want to make bootable. Replace both of these letter representations with your own drive letters.

  3. 3

    Press the "Enter" key to execute your commands. The commands copy the bootable files to your hard drive. To check that the copy procedure completed successfully, click the Windows "Start" button and click "Computer." Double-click the drive you made bootable. Notice the two files you copied are now on the hard drive.

  4. 4

    Click the Windows "Start" button and select "All Programs." Click "Accessories" and then click "Notepad." This opens your text editor where you can create a boot.ini file.

  5. 5

    Type the following text into the editor:

    [boot loader]


    Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows

    [operating systems]

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Windows OS Version"

  6. 6

    Click the Notepad "File" menu item and then click "Save As." Enter "boot.ini" as the file name and select "All Files" from the "Save As Type" drop-down box. Point the save location to the CD-ROM drive where the other boot files are saved. Click "Save" to save the boot.ini file.

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