Lincoln Spector reports:
''Way back in the 20th century, Windows prepared you for the day your PC wouldn't boot. It came with a program that formatted a bootable floppy disk, complete with diagnostic and repair utilities. If you had the forethought to create that floppy while Windows was still working, you were ready when it eventually failed.
Alas, the Windows Boot Floppy went the way of DOS (the operating system it actually booted). Modern versions can't make that floppy (they can format a bootable DOS floppy -- if you have the drive -- but without utilities), and DOS can't handle NTFS hard-drive partitions.
Since Microsoft doesn't supply you with the ability to create an emergency boot disk, others have stepped in to fill the vacuum. Here are six worthwhile emergency boot CDs, all downloadable, and most of them free.''