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Undersanding bootable media

In my quest to understand booting/LILO/MBR's  I've come a cross
a phenomenon I dont understand. Friend of mine (linux guru-ish)
said that to make a linux bootable floppy you had to use a lowlevel
tool like dd as opposed to just copying the files over to the floppy.
But dos floppies boot just fine by making copies of other dos boot disks.
BUT I tried to copy the files from a dos boot disk onto an CDR, and guess
what? It wont boot. Despite the fact that it contains the exact same files
as the floppy. I understand that in order for media to be bootable it's
MBR needs to contain a "program" to point to the OS, so how does a copied
dos-boot disk work?	Thanks,				marlon

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