Yay! Windows XP is a multi-user system! Now finally Daddy can use the computer in peace, because Junior will use the computer logged on as a regular user, one who does not have the ability to erase the hard disk!

Think again. Most games and educational software titles need to be run with Administrative privileges. Why? Because most developers are seemingly lazy and stupid, they never even considered following Microsoft's guidelines with a view to making their programs run on anything other than the current Microsoft Operating System.

What did NTDLR, NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI do, Daddy? I THREW THEM IN THE BIN! AHAH!

Fortunately, seppuku is no longer the only answer, since you had the foresight to create a handy-dandy boot disk beforehand! The steps are as follows:

  1. Format a floppy disk. Windows XP/2000 will automatically write its boot sector to the disk.
  2. Copy the following three files from your system partition to the root directory of the disk: NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI.
  3. Boot up from your floppy to test that it works.

The advanced student may place a DOS boot sector on the root of the drive in a file (let's call it DOSBOOT) and add the following line to the BOOT.INI file:

DOSBOOT="Dos"

Now, fill the rest of the disk with COMMAND.COM, EDIT.COM, NTFSDOS and any other utilities you might find useful. If you trust the current release of the NTFS drivers for linux then you could even save a LILO boot record to the disk, along with a minimal kernel and some decent disk/editing utilities; thus creating the ultimate emergency repair disk!

A more detailed overview of the format of lines in BOOT.INI can be found at <http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q102/8/73.ASP>.

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