Backup and Deployment
Reliable Backup and Deployment
Solution. Free 30-day trial.
Sponsored link: from ALWIL Software: avast! BART CD 2.0

Print Sponsor Nu2 Search Nu2 About Bart Help or thank Bart Contact Bart

MKBT, Make Bootable

Create any boot- floppy/image from any win32 platform with any media size...

Version 2.0
Last updated on Jan 7, 2003

- What is MKBT?
- Download
- On what platforms can MKBT be run?
- What is the command line syntax?
- What is so unique about MKBT?
- Are there any other bootsector installers?
- Where can I find the latest version?
- How to build a bootable floppy
- How to build a bootable 2.88MB floppy image file (without the drive)
- How does MKBT work? (technical)
- Bootsector installation
- Bootsector copy (-c)
- Change log

 What is MKBT?

MKBT is used for installing bootsectors. It supports FAT, NTFS and RAW bootsectors.


To download MKBT use this link: MKBT v2.0 (30KB)

 On what platforms can MKBT be run?

MKBT is compiled as a win32 executable and runs on:

 What is the command line syntax?

MKBT usage

  mkbt [switches] <source> <target>

  <source>  The source file/drive which contains the bootsector to install
  <target>  The target file/drive to install the bootsector on

  Switches: -v        Verbose mode
            -c        Copy mode (no install) used for copying the
            -x        Expert mode (do not check drive A or B only)
                      USE WITH CAUTION!
            -l=<xxx>  Set Volume Label to <xxx>

  Returns errorlevel 0 when OK, 1 when some error occurred.

    To install bootsector from file "bootsect.bin" onto drive A:
    -> mkbt c:\os\dos622\bootsect.bin a:

    To install bootsector from file "bootsect.bin" onto floppy image "288.img"
    -> mkbt c:\os\dos622\bootsect.bin c:\tmp\288.img

    To copy bootsector from a bootable floppy in drive A: to a file called
    -> mkbt -c a: c:\os\dos622\bootsect.bin

 What is so unique about MKBT?

Unique things about MKBT are:

 Are there any other bootsector installers?

Yes, I've found one other bootsector installer, "bootable.exe"written by Alexei A. Frounze. It is a Dos executable and only supports transferring a bootsector from file to floppy drive (A: or B:).

 Where can I find the latest version?

The latest version can be found on http://www.nu2.nu/mkbt/

 How to build a bootable floppy

You can use any Dos version, any Dos supported floppy disk size to build your bootable floppy. For each Dos version you must have the following 4 boot files:

For this example we will use MS-Windows 98 (version 4.10.1998), therefor we put the files in a folder called "4101998". They must have "normal" attributes (not hidden/system/readonly!).

You can now use makeboot.bat (which is include with the MKBT download zipfile).
makeboot.bat takes one parameter, that is the directory where the Dos bootfiles can be found.

Example: makeboot c:\os\4101998
or when your in the "c:\os" folder, just makeboot 4101998

 How to build a bootable 2.88MB floppy image file (without the drive)

Use bfi - Build Floppy Image.

 How does MKBT work? (technical)

MKBT copies parts of the bootsector. The bootsector, the very first sector of a floppy disk, is 512 bytes long and looks like this:

FAT Boot sector
OffsetLength Meaning
0x03 bytes Jump instruction
0x3 8 bytes OEM Name
0xB 25 bytes BIOS parameter block
0x24 26 bytes Extended BIOS parameter block
0x3E 448 bytes Bootstrap code
0x1FE 2 bytes End of sector marker

The BIOS parameter block and extended BIOS parameter block contains the information:

BIOS parameter block for FAT volumes
0xB 2 bytes Bytes per sector
0xD 1 byte Sectors per cluster
0x0E 2 bytes Reserved sectors
0x10 1 byte Number of FATs
0x11 2 bytes Root entries
0x13 2 bytes Small sectors
0x15 1 byte Media type
0x16 2 bytes Sectors per FAT
0x18 2 bytes Sectors per track
0x1A 2 bytes Number of heads
0x1C 4 bytes Hidden sectors
0x20 4 bytes Large sectors

Extended BIOS parameter block for FAT volumes
0x24 1 byte Physical disk number
0x25 1 byte Dos: Current head
NT: Dirty flag
0x26 1 byte Signature
0x27 4 bytes Volume serial number
0x2B 11 bytes Volume label
0x36 8 bytes Filesystem ID

 Bootsector installation

Below are the steps MKBT takes to install a bootsector:

Steps for bootsector installation
StepSource sectorBuffer 1Buffer 2Target sector
1.Read source sector in buffer 1
2.Read target sector in buffer 2
3.Transfer bootsector parts from buffer 1 to buffer 2
4.Write buffer 2 to target sector

 Bootsector copy (-c)

MKBT v1.3 (and higher) copy bootsector option copies the complete bootsector!
(previous versions only copied those sections that where needed to install it)

 Change log

Change log for MKBT

Use information from this site elsewhere? Check our legal information page!
Legal information - [2015-11-29]

Copyright (c) 2000-2015 by Bart Lagerweij. All rights reserved.