Even though the term "boot your computer" does not mean for you to kick your computer, the real meaning does involve a little history on boots themselves. Long ago, boots had a strap attached to the top that you could pull to help get the boot on, as in the expression, "pull oneself up by the bootstraps". So "booting" your computer actually means turning it on.
A startup or boot disk is necessary not only to start your computer when it can't, but it also allows you to run diagnostic programs to see what is causing the problem, and apply a fix. To create a boot disk, you will need a blank, 1.2mg disk (any files on a disk you use will be erased by this procedure).
Here's how to create a startup disk:
1. Click Start
2. Point to Settings and click Control Panel
3. Click Add/Remove Programs
4. Click the Startup Disk tab
5. Click the Create Disk button
6. When finished, click OK to exit the Add/Remove Programs Properties dialog box
Note: Whether or not you insert a disk before you start this procedure, you will receive an Insert Disk prompt. Insert a disk if you have not done so already and click OK to continue.