Given a partition that has just been formatted, if you just copy IO.SYS alone to it, using DOS, it'll be copied as a single continuous image, starting at cluster 2 (the first cluster). Now, to put in a continuous image of any file, starting at an arbitrary cluster number, especially when the partition in not empty anymore, that requires a lot more calisthenics and patience, but can be acomplished by hand, with a good hexeditor/sector-copier, by anyone who has a really strong reason to do it (like learning how-to, for instance).
Or you can use bootpart (as said) to "rewriteroot" (i.e. to put the IO.SYS as first file).
A set of related handy (though a bit complex to use/potentially dangerous) are here:
Sometimes (read often) reality becomes a myth, the fact that traditionally an OS behaves in a given way makes people assume that the new version will behave the same (actually this happens often) but some things "remain" and little by little it becomes a myth.
Recently while doing a few experiments with DOS FORMAT /B I found another little quirk (obslete info perpetuating).
I will post this in a new thread as to not clutter this one.
P.S.: OK, posted here:
This post has been edited by jaclaz: 08 December 2011 - 03:11 AM