I often need to create bootable CDs and DVDs but it's weird because I frequently end up buring myself a new coaster instead. It's not that the process is difficult, just that nero has a few too many options and I forget which ones to choose and end up picking the wrong one. I figured that the best way to avoid this mistake in future would be to write the steps down.
- Insert CD or DVD into your DVD Burner.
- Start Nero Burning ROM 9
- Choose DVD-ROM (Boot) or CD-ROM (Boot) depending on what you're creating
- You'll be prompted for a disk image source. Choose a Nero Source - you'll usually find them somewhere like this...
C:\Program Files\Nero\Nero9\Nero Burning Rom\DOSBootImage.ima
- Leave the Boot Locale as English - unless you really need a different keyboard layout
- Tick the box marked [X] Enable Expert Settings
- Choose Hard Drive Emulation and leave any other settings as they are.
- Click the button marked New
- Add any files you want but don't try to add operating system files. You don't need to add Command.com because it's already on the Boot disk.
- When you've finished, choose Burn.
When you boot from the CD/DVD, you'll find that it starts as Drive A: and only contains a bunch of DOS Files.
Drive C: will probably be your hard drive - which may or may not be readable/writable (depending on whether it's formatted as Fat32 or NTFS).
Drive D: should be the other part of your new disc - all of the files you added.
Good Ideas for Boot Disks
If you find yourself creating lots of Ghost images to reload PCs you might want to consider using the -SPLIT=650 or -SPLIT=4096 parameters to get the Ghost Images to create files which are the sizes of CDs or DVDs respectively. If you copy the Ghost image and Ghost.exe onto the CD/DVD, you can simply boot the PC off the CD/DVD and start installing without delay. Because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I'll usually also include an autorun.inf file which launches notepad or a html file when the CD/DVD is inserted in a Windows environment.
Game Boot Disks
Want to play those old DOS Classics without the drag of Windows? Consider creating a boot disk which also contains the install files for some of the best. If you've got a good boot image and a lot of spare RAM, you might want to make a bootdisk that sets up a RAM Drive (you can make your own IMA files using WinImage). Playing a game from a RAM Drive will make it much faster but remember to copy your save game data somewhere or you'll lose it.