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CDs and DVDs

Over the past five years, the CD-ROM drive has displaced the floppy drive as the single most important removable storage device on the average PC. Virtually all business applications, games, and operating systems are now distributed on CD, and on consumer systems, a CD-ROM drive is used for entertainment purposes as well.

On most modern systems, in fact, a CD-ROM can be used as a boot device, just like a hard disk or floppy drive. Windows 2000 uses this feature to make it possible to install a new operating system on a PC without having to use a floppy drive; unfortunately, the retail Windows Millennium Edition CD is not bootable. If you purchase Windows preloaded on a computer, the Recovery CD might be bootable. (You might need to set a BIOS option to force the system to boot from a CD instead of the floppy or hard disk drive.)


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