Windows XP Home Startup Disk is a utility created by Microsoft for computers that cannot boot from CD-ROM drives. Please note that this application works with Windows XP Home Edition only.
The purpose of Windows XP Home Startup Disk is to use the floppy disk drive in order to load the drivers necessary to restore access to the CD-ROM drive. Requirements include a working CD drive (even though you cannot boot from it), a floppy drive (to which you have unrestricted access and can be set as the first boot device) and six blank, formatted disks.
Windows XP Home Startup Disk relies on a rather time consuming routine that includes extracting and copying the files on all six disks. User attention is required, because the process is interactive. Once a disk is full, you are prompted to insert another one, until all the data is transferred onto the devices. You may want to label the disks, since they need to be inserted in the correct order during the setup process.
When all six disks are done, set the floppy drive as the first boot device, insert the first disk and restart the computer. Follow the on-screen instructions and insert the other disks when prompted. In the end, you must use the CD-ROM device in order to complete the Windows XP Home Edition installation.
The latest version of Windows XP Home Startup Disk is Service Pack 2 and we have our doubts that updates are going to be released anytime soon. Still, it is a good fix for users who cannot set their CD-ROM as the primary boot device.
The downside is that the process involves a great deal of time and efforts and to be realistic – it requires a floppy disk drive - which most modern computers lack. Both of these aspects greatly reduce the number of users likely to rely on this solution.