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Chapter 10. Recording Advanced Formats a... > Project: Recording a Bootable CD-ROM

Project: Recording a Bootable CD-ROM

Most normal human beings will likely never need to actually record a bootable CD-ROM—a disc that contains the operating system files required to boot your computer—but if your hard drive fails or you're a computer technician, you'll find this specialized format invaluable! (Here's a piece of absolutely meaningless-but-fun trivia: Bootable CDs use the El Torito format standard. I don't know where that name came from, but it really adds sparkle to this discussion, don't you think?)

Anyway, most operating systems are shipped on bootable discs—for example, the Windows XP install disc is a bootable CD-ROM—and many Windows utilities are also designed to work from a bootable CD (such as Norton Utilities and Norton AntiVirus). If you bought your PC within the last three years or so, it probably supports a bootable disc—check your computer's manual or display the BIOS options the next time you turn on your PC, and look for “CD-ROM” as a startup boot drive option.


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