Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How to boot from a CD

There may come a  time when you may need to boot from a CD — to run a ‘pure’ antivirus scan, or repair Windows, or some such thing. I have referred to this in a few prior how-to articles, and I told you that (during the boot) you will be presented with a small line of text that says “press any key to boot from CD….” And that is true if you have set your boot order in your BIOS.

Tip of the day: Set your BIOS boot order allow optical disc booting. What is a “BIOS”? Your computer’s BIOS is a very basic set of instructions that tells your machine where to look for a keyboard and mouse and an operating system. It runs when your machine is first powered on. To make changes in the BIOS, you’re going to interrupt the boot process before Windows loads, so you need to use a keyboard that is plugged into the PS/2 port on the back of the machine, and not a wireless one.

Step 1) Reboot your machine, and get ready to act quickly. Very early you will see a little bit of text that says, “hit F2* to enter setup.” (*Different manufacturers use different keys; F2 is the most common, but it may be the Esc key, or F10.) Rapidly hit the suggested key several times, and enter “setup” — this is your BIOS control panel. The screenshot below shows a fairly common BIOS screen; but if yours looks different don’t worry, the steps are basically the same.
bios.jpg
Step 2) As you can see by the menu at the bottom of the screen, you cannot use a mouse to navigate here. You will use your arrow keys and the the – and + keys (upper row, not numberpad) to make your changes. Hit the right-arrow key three times to get to the “Boot” tab.
boot.jpg
This poor quality screenshot shows a fairly typical default boot order, except for the last option — a network share (let’s ignore that one). What this tells us is that the machine will look, first, for an operating system on the floppy drive. If it does not find the code there, it will then look to the hard drive. If it doesn’t find the code there, it will look to the CD. If it doesn’t find the code there … you will get a boot failure error.

Step 3) Typically, it will find the OS on the hard drive and so it will never look to the CD, and so you won’t see the “press any key to boot from CD..” option. To get this option, we need to change the ‘look to’ order from floppy >HD >CD to floppy >CD >HD. Use the down-arrow key to highlight the CD-ROM Drive, and then hit the + key one time to move it up. Or, highlight the Hard Drive and use the “-” key to move it down one … same thing.

Final step) Now we need to exit the BIOS Setup Utility and Save our change. In this BIOS you hit F10 to do this. In some BIOS’s, you hit esc to ‘exit’ and then you will be asked, “Save your changes? Yes No” with “Yes” already highlighted. Hit Enter.
That’s it, you’re done. Now whenever you boot your machine and you have a “bootable” CD in your CD/DVD drive, you will see the “press any key” option. If you don’t want to boot from the CD — you just forgot it was in there, say — just don’t hit any keys. The option will time out, and your BIOS will look to the next source (your hard drive) and boot from there.

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Copyright © 2007-8 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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August 3, 2007 - Posted by | advice, antivirus, BIOS, computers, hardware, how to, PC, tech, Vista, Windows, XP

152 Comments »

  1. but i hve mercury motherboard then what is my cmos setup

    ?

    Comment by Anonymous | December 25, 2007 | Reply

  2. As I mentioned in Step 1, the Function key you hit to enter “Setup” (which brings up your BIOS) will vary from board to board, and machine to machine. The most common is F2.
    Usually, at startup, you will (briefly) see a B&W screen –which tells you which keys to hit for pre-OS load Options — right BEFORE Windows starts to load itself.
    If this doesn’t show, go to the Manufacturer of the PC’s website and look for your Model # in the Support section (FAQ’s is a good place to look too). Look for “Entering Setup”, or “Entering BIOS”.
    If you fail to find the answer there (which is unlikely), you might try to find the answer here http://www.mercury-pc.com/support.php.

    Comment by techpaul | December 25, 2007 | Reply

  3. Hi,
    I have a laptop with Windows Vista and I wanted to recover my password, the only problem is that I cannot boot from my CD. I go to the System Configuration and change the settings to CD/DVD ROM Drive, but it fails to launch when I restart my laptop. These are the options:
    USB Floppy
    ATAPI CD/DVD ROM Drive
    USB Diskette on KEY
    USB Hard Drive
    ! Network Adapter
    (on the side it says * The boot capability will be disabled if the Device with the exclamation mark*). Any suggestions?

    Thank you,
    Carmen

    Comment by Carmen | January 21, 2008 | Reply

  4. Carmen–
    The “look to” boot order you have listed is correct to look first to a CD/DVD drive (the ATAPI CD/DVD comes BEFORE the “USB” Hard drive [SATA actually]) and so as long as the disk in the drive is “bootable”, you should see the “Press any key..” message.
    Since Vista doesn’t come on a DVD (typically), but comes as a download to be burned [some manufacturers will provide a "recovery disk", which is not quite the same thing as an Install disk], one possibility is that you did not burn the .iso file properly (image files need special treatment), and so the dvd itself is not bootable. If possible, create–or borrow–a proper disk.
    Sadly, IF you were able to boot from the Vista DVD, it would re-Install a new copy of the OS, and so you will have to reinstall all your programs and files from a backup.

    To recover a lost password, Microsoft recommends using a Password Reset disk which you make ahead of time, (http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/preventing-password-lockout/) which I take it you did not make. There are programs for sale which can recover lost passwords from Vista and get you back in to your machine, or you can contact a professional support tech for help.

    Comment by techpaul | January 21, 2008 | Reply

  5. I have set my BIOS to boot from CD before HD and placed Vista DVD inside CD drive. however it still does not prompt me to Press ANY key to boot from CD. So when I press any key it brings up different options. I really would like to delete and create new partition to install fresh copy of vista with new hardware install because the new hardware change( motherboard, CPU, Graphics Card, ect..) is preventing vista from booting.

    Comment by Quimbie | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  6. Quimbie–
    There may be several things going on here…
    First, did you create your own DVD? If so, see my comment to Carmen.
    Another possibility is all the new hardware. What did you do, a whole rebuild? Transfer your HD to a new machine? Is it possible something wasn’t installed correctly, and that’s why you can’t boot (not a Vista problem)?
    Can you boot into Safe Mode? You can format your partition, and start an Install from there…
    “What are your “different options”?

    It sounds very much like you need some professional assistance.. but you might try un-doing your changes, and seeing if that restores your functionality. Then reinstall each component one at a time. Get it fully configured and working before proceding to the next.

    One more thing: if you registered Vista already, and then you drastically change the hardware config, Microsoft will “see” it as a new machine.. and may ask you to re-register (there was some paranioa about having to purchase a new key as well, but I never heard of that actually happening).

    Comment by techpaul | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  7. I have two pc’s. they are both about 6 years old.
    I can set both of them to boot from cd, and they do.
    One of them displays the message ‘press any key to boot from cd’.
    The other one does not show that line as part of the boot from cd process. It can boot from cd, but it does not show that line in the message.
    If I use an XP Pro CD to Repair the good pc, it boots and starts the repair. When it is half wat through, it does it’s own restart. I keep away from the keyboard, and it carries on to complete the Repair.
    If I attempt the same scenario on the ‘bad pc’, it get to the point where it does a restart, but then it just starts the installation over again. If I started a repair, and went on holiday, it would still be restarting the Repair process, on my return.
    Could you shed light on why the ‘bad pc’ never shows the line ‘press any key to boot from cd’, when it is about to boot from the cd ?
    Thanks,
    Rob Crombie

    Comment by Rob Crombie | August 4, 2008 | Reply

  8. Mr. Crombie–
    A most interesting puzzle you have presented me with.
    There are two areas I would start my troubleshooting in– the BIOS (usually referred to as “Setup”), and the hard-drive.
    First I would check to make sure the hard-drive cable/ribbon was functional and firmly seated (swap in a “known good”). Then I would enter Setup (F2, esc, or del.. some cases F10) and verify that all the settings were correct.. as I suspect they are. Maybe the BIOS is misconfigured.. but I suspect you will need to “flash the BIOS” (sometimes called “update” ) with the latest version. You can get the download from the computer manufacturer’s website’s Support pages (or, the motherboard manufacturer’s).
    If that doesn’t resolve the issue, do a “Full” format of the hard-drive (not the “quick” ) and then try the CD again.
    I don’t know how much time, effort, or money I would spend on a six year-old machine.. but these are good starting points.
    Good luck.

    Comment by techpaul | August 5, 2008 | Reply

  9. [...] Started” 3. Ställ in din dator på att boota från CD istället för hårddisken (Hurdå?) 4. Stoppa in din nya boot-skiva och USB-hårddisken/stickan i den strulande datorn, och starta [...]

    Pingback by Rädda datorns filer med en Linux boot CD « GamerGadgetGirl | October 20, 2008 | Reply

  10. [...] 1) Put in your CD, and boot to it [link, techpaul] 2) Press Enter as if installing 3) When asked to format, DON’T!!!! 4) When asked to install [...]

    Pingback by Guide to installing a second Windows™ Installation | November 24, 2008 | Reply

  11. I have a new Windows Vista laptop, but when I open the BIOS screen, there’s only one tab called “Diagnostics”. There is no “Boot” tab.

    Comment by Anonymous | December 26, 2008 | Reply

    • Most new machines are already set to have the CD/DVD be the first boot device, and you don’t need to go into the Setup (by hitting an F key right when powering up) and make changes to the BIOS config– this is a “legacy” issue dating from the heyday of the floppy, so I have some questions..
      Are you sure the disc you have in the tray is in fact “bootable”? (If you burned the disc yourself, you may have done so improperly..)
      And, what is the manufacturer of the BIOS? Most don’t have “diagnostic” features.. that would be something extra your PC manufacturer put on there..
      I believe a visit to the laptop manufacturer’s FAQ pages (maybe.. Support) and the search string “set boot order” will clear up your confusion.

      Comment by techpaul | December 26, 2008 | Reply

  12. [...] reboot the computer. If your computer doesn’t show you the Ubuntu boot screen, check here, here, or here for help on getting it to boot to the CD. Once it has booted, you will be running Ubuntu [...]

    Pingback by Trying Ubuntu, Risk Free | Tim's Tech Rant | January 28, 2009 | Reply

  13. I just got a loaner from somebody and when I plugged everything in, the pc began booting up and then tried to boot from a cd, I tried changing the BIOS hoping that it was just changed in error, but it won’t find anything on the hard drive, I don’t have the original disc, does this mean that It doesn’t have Windows on it? What should I do?

    Comment by Rich | February 8, 2009 | Reply

    • All you should be doing in the BIOS is changing the ‘look to’ order. If there’s no CD in the tray, it will move on to the next bootable device.

      Since the computer is not yours, and without more information, I am very reluctant to give any advice except return the computer to the owner.

      It could be that the hard drive isn’t being recognized by the BIOS. This may be due to hard-drive failure, improper jumper configurations, or a bad/loose cable.. There are other possible reasons too, including a corrupted Windows.

      Ask the owner’s permission, and then,if the computer has only one hard-drive, you can try entering Setup (the BIOS), and see if there isn’t an option “Restore Factory Defaults” (sometimes, it’s just labeled “Defaults”), often this is F5, or F6, then Save and Exit. Do not do this if there are multiple drives.

      Comment by techpaul | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  14. i have an inspiron 5000 trying to delete existing system (windows xp) to reload xp on it ive set the bios order and still see no boot from cd prompt and it doesn’t autorun program. it simply loads exisiting windows program. i need to delete files on hard drive to install new program. friend gave me computer and hard drive is full. i’ve erased all programs and still is full. i have 5.68g hard drive

    Comment by Thomas | March 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Thomas–
      I reacted at first with my SOP answer which is: if the BIOS is indeed set to look to the CD-ROM before the Hard disk, and the CD-ROM is a recognized device (appears in “My Computer”) then the CD itself is not bootable — whether it is not a properly burned disc, has been damaged, or what, I don’t know. If it is original, Microsoft media.. well, it should work.

      And then I got down to the 5.68 GB hard drive, and went back to the “Inspiron 5000″.
      I hope you will not get all sore at me, and think me a snob.. but this is a museum piece. It is not worth any time or expense to twiddle with. I was going to suggest getting a decent hard drive (at least 20 GBs), and putting XP on it, until I looked over the specs.

      If you simply must get this thing working.. and I really hope that’s not the case.. please respond to the e-mail I sent you.

      Comment by techpaul | March 28, 2009 | Reply

  15. [...] Note: You’ll need to boot from the installation CD to install Ubuntu. This is done by restarting your computer, generally selecting F2 right away, and changing the Boot order to check your CD-Rom drive first. This tutorial has screenshots that walk you through booting from a CD. [...]

    Pingback by Ubuntu Linux on Old Computers | April 17, 2009 | Reply

  16. Thanks you are a life saver!

    Comment by Zara | April 20, 2009 | Reply

    • Zara,
      Glad I could help.

      Comment by techpaul | April 20, 2009 | Reply

  17. I just bought windows vista home premium 32-bit and am trying to clean install it right over my not so genuine xp. I’ve changed the order of the BIOS, and I’ve even tried disabling the harddrive so it doesn’t boot at all from there. Not once do I get a prompt to press any key to boot from cd, it just searches in the cd drive for a boot record, and fails. On another computer which just has a mess of problems, it doesn’t read it, and a menu comes up asking me if I want to go to safe mode, go back to my last best settings, reboot, boot up normal, and some other similar. Please help, thanks in advanced

    Comment by Buddyguy | May 13, 2009 | Reply

    • It sure sounds like the media (CD) is not “bootable”.

      Did you download the Vista? If so you downloaded a “dot iso” (image file) which requires a special “burn method”, and you will use burning software such as Nero to “copy CD to CD”.

      Try re-burning the download to disc, this time use the free CDburner XP, or Alex Feinman’s IsoRecorder.

      Comment by techpaul | May 13, 2009 | Reply

      • Folks, a bit of follow-up.
        The source of the trouble was not the media in this case, but the device. His computer was old enough that the optical disc was a CD-R/W, and the Vista disc is a DVD.

        I advised him that Vista on a machine of that vintage was not a good idea…

        Comment by techpaul | May 18, 2009 | Reply

  18. I have an hp pavilion with vista. I didn’t forget my password but it wont recognize it. Somehow the administrator account was disabled. Is that something i can fix from the system bios? I tried changing the password through the bios but it didn’t make a difference. I am starting to wonder if I somehow got a virus that changed the password. It was fine and then windows defender said it had to reboot and now i can’t get in.
    Thanks,
    Julie

    Comment by Julie | May 26, 2009 | Reply

    • Julie,
      In Vista Home versions, the Administrator account is not accessible, so you need to be able to get in using your User account.

      So, first thing to check is to make sure Caps Lock is not enabled, and try your password again.

      If that doesn’t work, you might (unless you have enable EFS encryption) try (at the login window) pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, and then pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del again, which usually lets you reset the password.

      You can also try booting into Safe Mode (press F8 repeatedly) and then using System Restore to “go back” in time to when it worked. See, http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/how-to-use-system-restore-to-fix-windows/.

      … of course, a qualified Tech can help you, if these steps don’t help — and if you suspect an infection, they can help with that too.

      Comment by techpaul | May 26, 2009 | Reply

  19. YAA Adding this to my bookmarks. Thank You

    Comment by silver high heel shoes | June 14, 2009 | Reply

  20. i have a hp dv1000 that will not boot from a vista dvd. (dv1000 does have a dvd drive) The dvd is bootable because I tried it on my other laptop an old gateway and it had no issue booting to it. Boot sequence has been set appropriately in the BIOS, I was able to boot to a linux live cd without issue. What d you think is the problem?

    Comment by belac | August 23, 2009 | Reply

    • belac,
      Since you verified the drive (by booting a Linux), and you verified the Vista DVD (by trying it in a different machine), and the boot order is correct, I have to admit that you have presented a puzzler. I have not experienced this issue.

      However, if you are talking about a non-Microsoft (official), self-burned disc, it is fairly common for DVD devices to occasionally be “fussy”, and simply not read a disc.. or a brand/type of disc, so I would ‘copy’ the Vista DVD to a new blank (and I would use a different manufacturer — such as HP, or Verbatim) using a “burning” program like Nero or IsoRecorder

      Also, I suggest clicking here and selecting your actual model, and then getting the latest “software and drivers” for your chipset, BIOS, and DVD.

      Comment by techpaul | August 23, 2009 | Reply

  21. I’m trying to format two computers, mine and my girls, a gateway, sata hdd, and a toshiba, ide hdd, they both have xp on them, but neither will boot the the “press any key to boot form cd” screen, I have a pirated version of windows and it works, but i’d rather have the original version, can anyone Plz help me to format them? O and of course the first to boot is the cd, just wont.

    Comment by I Need Help PLZ | September 7, 2009 | Reply

  22. Im trying to format two computers, a gateway, and toshiba, but neither will boot to the “press any key to boot form cd” screen, I have a pirated version of xp, but i’d like the original like they came with, but I bought them from freinds so I dont have any original cd’s that they came with.The Gateway had a SATA, and the Toshiba a IDE.
    Can anyone PLZ help Me???

    Comment by I Need Help PLZ | September 7, 2009 | Reply

    • I Need Help PLZ,
      While are many websites that would help you, this is not one of them. I will only suggest you contact Microsoft and enquire about getting legitimate copies of Windows; buy two copies retail; or.. download a Linux Distro, as Linux is free.

      Comment by techpaul | September 7, 2009 | Reply

  23. thankyou so much techpaul.

    it really did work.

    FLAME

    Comment by flame | September 8, 2009 | Reply

    • Flame,
      Glad I could help.

      Comment by techpaul | September 8, 2009 | Reply

  24. Thank you very much, I did it. I changed the Legacy Floopy Drivers, and I done the boot from the cd. Thank you again my friend!

    Comment by sakis | October 11, 2009 | Reply

    • Sakis,
      Thank you for taking the time to post those kind words.

      Comment by techpaul | October 11, 2009 | Reply

  25. big thanks tech paul for this article… got me back up and running!

    Comment by markstar | October 15, 2009 | Reply

    • markstar,
      I am glad I was of help. Thank you for taking the time to post this.

      Comment by techpaul | October 15, 2009 | Reply

  26. I need help!I have a bootable cd and i want to boot from it.But when i turn on my laptop i imediatly see “Windows XP”.There is no black screen or if there is one it lasts less than 1 second!What should i do??

    Comment by Nick | October 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Nick,
      Visit the website of your laptop manufacturer, and look to their support pages. Enter your model number (Inspiron 4000, for example).
      There you will be looking for “entering BIOS” (or “entering Setup”).

      That will tell you the key combination you need press to change boot order.

      Comment by techpaul | October 17, 2009 | Reply

  27. Sorry I am not from England and I do not understand many things.My laptop is an Eee pc 904 ASUS.Could you tell me the key combination I have to press?Or give me a link or something?Anyway,truly thanks for your help.I know I am asking for many things but I am not a professional like you.
    And sorry for my English.I am greek.If you can provide more help please hurry cause I am having problems with Windows.

    Comment by Nick | October 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Nick,
      try pressing the F2 key when you first power up.

      Comment by techpaul | October 17, 2009 | Reply

      • ok 9nx!and then?

        Comment by Nick | October 17, 2009 | Reply

  28. oh sorry in greek we write “9nx” which means thanks.the what do i do?

    Comment by Nick | October 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Change the boot order so that CD-Rom (or “Optical device) is first.

      But.. does your eee 904 even have a CD/DVD drive? If you are using a USB connected cd drive.. you have to have the ability to boot from USB..

      Comment by techpaul | October 17, 2009 | Reply

      • Oh NO!I am using a cd drive connected to my pc via usb.Could you please tell me exactly what do i have to do?

        Comment by Nick | October 17, 2009 | Reply

        • Nick,
          When you press F2 and get into the BIOS and look at the Boot Order, you will look for an option, “USB boot device”. If it is there, you move it to the top of the list.
          If it is not there, you will not be able to boot from a disc.

          If your eee is still underwarranty, you may want to contact ASUS for help.

          Good luck

          Comment by techpaul | October 17, 2009 | Reply

  29. Oh and one last question:If I boot from a cd will I find any changes to my initial operating system (Windows XP) the next time i open my pc?

    Comment by Nick | October 17, 2009 | Reply

  30. I have an idea. If i mount the iso file with the operating system i want to boot will i be able to boot from a cd?

    Comment by Nick | October 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Nick,
      The ability to boot from a USB device is determined by your hardware and your BIOS (see, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIOS) and not by the operating system. Most modern machines have this ability. (I am not inclined to visit the ASUS website and look up your machine, but you can.) I believe the eee pc does, and I believe all you have to do is press the Esc key when you first power up to see your boot choices..

      Now, your next question: generally speaking, when you boot from a CD, the act of booting does not make changes to your hard-drive’s contents. However, once booted, you may have the ability to write-to-disk and make changes. An example of this would be a bootable antivirus disc: booting the disc will not effect anything, but the scanner, when run, will have the ability to delete (or rename) files on your C:\ drive.

      There are user forums devoted to eee pc users (such as, eeeusuer.com) you may find more help there…

      Comment by techpaul | October 18, 2009 | Reply

  31. Here are the basic steps for activating Boot Booster if you’ve reformatted your primary drive and lost the “special” partition.

    1. Boot GParted – I used live USB created using unetbootin 2. Launch GParted and create a partition out of the 8Mb at the end of the disk (primary partition & unformatted) 3. Note the location of this new partition – mine was /dev/sda2 4. Launch terminal and use sfdisk to change partition type

    sfdisk –change-id /dev/sda 2 ef
    sfdisk –print-id /dev/sda 25. Reboot and F2 to enter BIOS to enable Boot Booster

    here is what it says.(boot booster is a function of eee’s to skip the bios [the black screen i refered to]and it says to turn it of)Can you translate it to a language known by people??I understood nothing!Completely nothing!were should i write all these??

    Comment by Nick | October 21, 2009 | Reply

    • Nick,
      Now you are talking about using Linux tools to alter the partitions on your hard-drive (which is dangerous and not typically something he “average person” should be doing) and I have no idea why. You original said you wanted to boot to a CD because your XP was having “some problems”, but you never explained what those problems were or why you thought booting to some CD would help.

      I am going to advise you to call ASUS for help and/or take the machine to an authorized ASUS repair shop, and do so immediately.
      That is my final reply to you. Good luck.

      Comment by techpaul | October 21, 2009 | Reply

    • Really thanks for your help .my last comment was what i found on the page you gave me.And i have no problems with xp i just wanna boot with Mac OS X Leopard(yes i know it is pathched).Can i install it another way(without booting from a cd)?

      Comment by Nick | October 21, 2009 | Reply

      • Nick,
        Ah.

        I do not think you will have much fun running Snow Leopard on a netbook (if it’s even poss), but use your favorite search engine to search for “dual boot to Snow Leopard” (alternatively, “boot OS X 10.6 on x86″).

        The steps to the hack are posted elsewhere. I don’t do hacks here.

        Comment by techpaul | October 21, 2009 | Reply

      • You think it is a bad idea???Well if you believe that and since you know a lot more than me i shall listen to you.Well anyway thanks for your help!

        Comment by Nick | October 21, 2009 | Reply

        • Nick,
          κανένα πρόβλημα!

          Comment by techpaul | October 21, 2009 | Reply

          • You speak greek?You should have told me!It took me so much time to translate……..Anyway thanks again.

            Comment by Nick | October 24, 2009 | Reply

  32. HELP! After I booted my computer from the CD, i now can’t boot from my hard drive cause it’s gone, please help!!

    Comment by Louie | December 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Louie,
      Nobody can help you with the information you provided (I should say, “failed to provide”) … for instance, what do you mean “the CD”? What did you do? What OS are (were) you using?

      When you are in over your head, I recommend getting professional assistance as a general policy. My professional services are available here.

      Comment by techpaul | December 28, 2009 | Reply

  33. HELP please.

    I tried to invoke the bios by pressing the F10.
    i donot see the boot option on top of the window.

    But is seen on the side screen like this:

    +- Select Boot devices
    Select menu
    || Select Item
    Enter Select > Submenu
    F1= HELP
    F9=Setup Defaults
    F10=Save and exit
    Esc = Exit

    But when i try to press +-, i am not able to goto Boot device selection. Sorry for my silly question. But i am stuck as i trying to boot from linux cd..My current os is stuck because of the virus..Thanks a lot for the help and comments…

    Comment by Priya | December 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Priya,
      Each BIOS is different, but they all work on the same general principles. First you need to use the up/down arrow keys to highlight the device (CD-ROM) and then use the +/- keys to move it up to top place (note: you may be using the wrong +/- keys.. if your keyboard has a 10-key number pad, you may need to use those +/-‘s).

      You may need to make a note of the BIOS’s name and revision number, and then use a search engine for “help+BIOS name” to get more specific instructions.

      Comment by techpaul | December 30, 2009 | Reply

  34. Thanks a lot for the info Paul.

    My version of the BIOS is F.22.

    On the top menu , i donot see any Boot option.

    I see the following options, which i can scroll using the up/down arrow.
    Main , Security, System Configuration, Diagnostics, and Exit.

    On the side i see , following options.

    +- Select Boot devices
    Select menu
    || Select Item
    Enter Select > Submenu
    F1= HELP
    F9=Setup Defaults
    F10=Save and exit
    Esc = Exit

    Then i tried to press, +- to goto “Select Boot devices”. But i am unable to goto that option. (of selecting Boot devices)

    thankyou
    Priya

    Comment by Priya | December 31, 2009 | Reply

  35. I have shared the photos of the BIOS screen and the keyboard. If it is useful. Any help is very much appreciated.

    Comment by Priya | December 31, 2009 | Reply

  36. sorry, the photos are at :http://www.flickr.com/photos/46065559@N05/

    Comment by Priya | December 31, 2009 | Reply

  37. Thankyou all, i figured out. It was under system configuration.

    Comment by Priya | December 31, 2009 | Reply

  38. Hi techpaul,
    i hadn’t writen for a long time but you should have no problem remembering me!I am Nick the guy with the hacked Snow Leopard version of Mac.I KNOW ITS IRRELEVANT BUT I HAVE SEEN NO WEBSITE ABOUT IT SO PLEASE HELP!!!!!my father(no kidding)accidently downloaded a fake “security tool programm”!it is loading my pc with viruses right now and i cant control anything!it says that there is a virus to every programm i pop open and it closes every programm(even cmd and task manager) down!!!!!please help!

    Comment by Nick | January 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Nick,
      Before you do anything else, disconnect it from the Internet.

      You have been hit by a “rogue”, (see http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/internet-plague-rogue-antivirus/) and your machine is quite infected. I advise you to take it to a qualified computer repair technician (with experience in malware removal).

      If that is not practical and/or feasible for you.. you can try the methods described here, http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/how-to-cure-a-malware-infection/. (You will need access to a non-infected machine.)
      After that, you will want to run HiJack This! and post the results on one of the recommended forums.
      With luck, and several hours (days?) effort, you may get clean again; but bottom line is get professional help or reformat your hard drive, reinstall Windows, and restore your computer from your most recent backup.
      (For my articles on backups, click here.)

      Comment by techpaul | January 7, 2010 | Reply

  39. Excellent, quick and easy. 5/5* Many thanks! ^_^

    Comment by 5o4_BoY | March 7, 2010 | Reply

    • 504_BoY,
      I am glad you found my How To useful. Thanks for commenting.

      Comment by techpaul | March 7, 2010 | Reply

  40. the same probs tat every1 has

    Comment by fchj | April 23, 2010 | Reply

  41. Hi I cannot find the Removable Disks tab in the Bios.I cannot find CD-Rom either.

    Comment by Jonathan Su | June 8, 2010 | Reply

    • Jonathan Su,
      The place you look is typically in Boot > Boot order (sometimes “device order”).. which may be under “advanced”.

      If you make a note of the BIOS author and version #, you should be able to find the information on the Internet. Since I don’t know what you have — American Megatrends, Phoenix, or what — I cannot tell you.

      PC manufacturers often tell you on their support pages as well.

      Comment by techpaul | June 8, 2010 | Reply

  42. hi My setup is totally differnet from the picture

    Comment by SLIGHT | July 20, 2010 | Reply

    • SLIGHT,
      Of course it is. The odds of your machine having that particular BIOS, from that particular author, are rather minute.

      However, the method is “universal”. You just need to adapt the particulars to your BIOS. Google is your friend here.

      Comment by techpaul | July 20, 2010 | Reply

  43. Well I must be doing something wrong. I am trying to do a complete reformat by loading XP. This is a computer I inherited with a legit XP version but I don’t have the CD (altho I have the installation key). I DO have a legit XP from my old computer but it’s an older service pack than what’s on my computer. I figure I can download what is needed from Microsoft. The Boot sequence has 2 choices…Hard disk drive C or IDE CD ROM device. I chose the later. The primary Master is the hard drive, Slave drive is off. Secondary is CD-ROM. When I reboot it does not give me an option to do anything…just boots normally. Windows Explorer shows the XP CD to be in drive ‘D’. This is a Dell. I have an old HP (more than 10 yrs old) that runs great! (believe it or not) but it runs a little slow, which is why I was given this one. If I try to open the program from Explorer it says “If I try to install old over new…” but it doesn’t give me an option to say OK. What am I doing wrong?

    Comment by Frustrated | August 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Frustrated,
      My initial impression is that when you change the boot order, it is not “Save and Exit”-ing.. (which may be due to an old battery?).. so when it reboots it goes back to looking for C:\ (which it finds).
      But my second angle is that it can be the boot media. Use a search engine and learn about “slipstreaming” service packs (on XP), and create a new disc. That could cure both your issues.

      Comment by techpaul | August 15, 2010 | Reply

  44. I am trying to boot to my windows 7 DVD. I have the boot order set to as follows:
    CDROM
    CDROM
    CDROM
    CDROM

    So I figure, it’ll boot up, if the disc isn’t bootable it’ll just fail.
    Is there some sort of new thing in BIOS’ that ignore what you tell them and boot to anything available?
    Using this configuration it boots to my SATA HDD with windows XP on it.
    Very annoying, very strange.
    BIOS: Phoenix – AwardBIOS

    Comment by Roarke | September 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Roarke,
      While BIOS -es can and do occasionally get “corrupted”, and need to be “flashed”, I suspect it is simply being confused.

      I would, first, use F5 (or whatever key your BIOS uses) to “Restore defaults” – return the BIOS to its factory condition – and then reboot.
      Then, simply move the CD-ROM up the list until it is higher than the HDD on the “boot order” list.
      Save and Exit.

      If that fails, try a different bootable disc (such as a Linux disc). Does that work?

      If not, and your computer is still under warranty, contact their Support. If it is out of warranty, try downloading the latest BIOS update (for your model) from their website.
      [note: flashing your BIOS is not w/o risk. Carefully read and follow the instructions.]

      Comment by techpaul | September 28, 2010 | Reply

  45. Thanks so much for providing this forum! I followed your instructions for changing the BIOS and everything went well until I tried to change the order. Nothing happens when I press the + or – sign. I’ve tried moving CD up and moving HD down and nothing at all happens. Obviously the computer is recognizing my commands because I was able to get to the Setup Utility, navigate to Boot and highlight CD-ROM. Why can’t I move it?

    Comment by Naomi | January 9, 2011 | Reply

    • Me again :-)

      When I wasn’t able to change my BIOS, I went to the Boot Menu using F12 and asked it to use my CD-ROM what I see now is:

      No boot device available
      SATA 0: Installed
      SATA 1: Installed
      SATA 2: None
      SATA 3: None_

      Comment by Naomi | January 9, 2011 | Reply

      • I’ve resolved my issue. Again, thank you for providing this helpful forum.

        Comment by Naomi | January 9, 2011 | Reply

        • Naomi,
          I am glad you got it figured out, and I thank you for your support.

          Comment by techpaul | January 9, 2011 | Reply

    • hi techpaul, i have the issue that naomi had can get to the boot section and highlight cd-rom………..and it wont move, have tried the both places with the – + sign but they refuse to budge…..and naomi found the solution, but didnt say what! could you please help, thank you…huia

      Comment by huia white | March 9, 2011 | Reply

      • huia white,
        With some BIOS’es, you can use a different Function key to choose a boot order on a case-by-case basis. And some manufacturers use different methods for permanently setting the boot order. It will vary..
        What I do – when I run into a ‘unique’ one (like yours) is look up the specific BIOS how to (preferably on the manufacturer’s website) on the Internet.
        When Setup first loads, you will see the make and version of your BIOS.

        Comment by techpaul | March 10, 2011 | Reply

  46. I tried wat u said but it just sits there for a bit then goes back to start repairs then hangs?

    Comment by DJ | February 3, 2011 | Reply

    • DJ,
      This article is about setting the boot order, so the machine will look to the optical drive for startup information before looking for an operating system on your hard drive. You will know if you did it right if the disc spins up (you can hear it) before the disk activity light start flickering. If nothing happens after that, well, you could have a bad/non-bootable disc, or other issues. You say “starts repairs”, but you don’t give me enough information for me to know what that means.

      If you would like to contract my help resolving your computer problem, see Aplus Computer Aid.

      Comment by techpaul | February 3, 2011 | Reply

  47. Hi guys ,hope it helps,i also couldnt boot from CD on Vista. I ran setup,changed boot priority,but still no luck. I went back to setup ,and there was something else I had to enable,i forgot the exact name but it has bootup priority in it,so just look for it. It should boot from CD then

    Comment by Werner | March 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Werner,
      Accessing your machine’s BIOS (aka “setup”) or boot order has nothing to do with whether the machine is Microsoft Vista or XP or whatever.

      As the article mentions, the easiest way to determine how to access and set the boot order is to go the manufacturer’s FAQ and/or Support pages for your particular model (of machine).

      Comment by techpaul | March 14, 2011 | Reply

  48. as you pointed out i adjusted the order as floppy-cd-hd……the msg shows “Boot from CD/DVD:” and then after it stops working …….moreover my boot mgr is compressed…plz help..

    Comment by shikhar | June 6, 2011 | Reply

    • shikhar,
      From this extremely limited amount of information… I could only suggest that you have a technician take a look at your system.

      I would offer my services, but I only accept clients in N. America.

      Comment by techpaul | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  49. I have a SOLTEK 2003 Computer running MS vista but it is damaged and I want to install a new one. The problem is it doesn’t want to boot from the cd. This is the message it displays: “CDBOOT: Cannot boot from CD – Code: 5.

    Comment by Anonymous | June 10, 2011 | Reply

  50. What would be a good program to recover my Vista password? My laptop will not boot to the Vista recovery disk.

    Comment by Dan | June 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Dan,
      The best tool for the job is the one you say will not boot – that is troubling.

      You might see, after 3 incorrect guesses, a line under the password pane, that says “reset password” (or you can try pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, then Ctrl+Alt+Del again), if you do, click that.

      Note: I will not publicly post a “how do I bypass passwords?” answer (though criminals have no qualms about asking me). When you Google this topic, and start browsing the millions of answers, and start looking at password cracking programs, be aware that all come with the risk of losing all your data. (And require making a CD…)

      If you do not have a full backup of your files, cannot boot to your disk, and cannot remember your password — I always advise people to take their machine to a reputable technician (or have one visit). They will have the proper software tools, and experience, to safely regain access to your user account.

      Comment by techpaul | June 26, 2011 | Reply

      • Thanks Paul,

        I just wanted to run a Vista recovery disk and start all over again on this laptop but even when I use the BIOS to tell it to boot to the CD and enable the F12 key to choose which media to boot on, the CD is not available as a boot media. With no floppy drive I was hoping to make a CD boot disk and then delete the windows directory, hoping that it would then boot to the CD. Guess the old days of fixing the older systems with the windows98 service disk have gone away.

        Thanks again for your reply….Dan

        Comment by Dan | June 28, 2011 | Reply

        • Dan,
          These days you can still do that type of thing, but you boot from discs or thumb drives.

          The Optical drive is not listed in your BIOS? Take the unit to a pro.

          Comment by techpaul | June 28, 2011 | Reply

  51. Paul,

    My laptop doesn’t have a floppy drive. Guess I could buy a floppy/USB drive if I buy one and use the windows98 startup disk? If I use the thumb drive I don’t have the revovery disk on the thumb drive. The optical drive (CD) is located in the BIOS along with the USB drive and I can select either one for 1st boot but they all run through the F12 key prior to the boot and supposedly boot from what ever you select. Well, the USB and the CD don’t show under the F12.

    Take the unit to a pro? Hope your not recommending Best Buys, I have already seen their pro staff years back and was not impressed.

    I do want to thank you for all your time Paul in trying to help me with this laptop. It is hard to find good people out there like you that take the time to help someone out…Dan

    Comment by Dan | June 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Dan,
      Maybe I wasn’t clear… the floppy has gone the way of the Dodo bird; and no, you could not use a Win95/98 startup floppy (nor XP startup). You need to use (be able to) newer media types, and the appropriate files (such as are contained on the Vista disc.).
      If those are not showing in your (F12) boot priority list, well.. that’s troubling.

      And no, when I say “take it to a Pro”, I most certainly do not mean drop it of at a BigBoxRetailUSA store. I mean a professional, certified, repair technician (or service).

      Comment by techpaul | June 28, 2011 | Reply

  52. Paul,

    I finally got it to take the VISTA recovery disk. Then during all the re-boots, it decided not to re-boot on the last one. Now the computer won’t power up any more. The “ON” light comes on for only 2 seconds.

    Must be my day…..Dan

    Comment by Dan | June 30, 2011 | Reply

    • Dan,
      It wouldn’t be an HP laptop, would it?

      I don’t know what you were doing that required so many reboots (gaining access to a User Account wouldn’t require any besides the one) except possibly re-Installing Vista?

      Comment by techpaul | June 30, 2011 | Reply

  53. Paul,

    Nope, not an HP. A darn nice Acer. Well, I might have exaggerated the amount of the reboots. I know it had already done one reboot and this looked like the last one while I was re-installing Vista.

    What did you do on your HP to bring it back?

    Dan

    Comment by Dan | July 1, 2011 | Reply

    • Dan,
      Reason I asked is there was a rather notorious defect in many models of HP/Compaq laptops (with nVIDIA chips) .. not germane to Acers (at least, I don’t think).

      I really have no advice for you except the following: if you cannot re-initiate an Install, take the unit to a pro. (Or call Acer. See what they say.)

      Comment by techpaul | July 1, 2011 | Reply

  54. Paul,

    Finally fixed the problem. It was either the power cord or the power cord plug in which prevented the laptop from re-booting to continue the Vista setup.

    It’s up and running now and I just wanted to thank you for all your help on this.

    Dan

    Comment by Anonymous | July 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Dan,
      Great!

      Step #1 on the Troubleshooting Checklist is “verify the cabling” (aka “is it plugged in?”)

      I applaud your stick-to-it-ivity.

      Comment by techpaul | July 5, 2011 | Reply

  55. The message to ‘press any key to boot from cd’ is one second, i must have reset it at some point and i forget how to set it back or change it. do you know where the option is in windows to change the length of time the message displays during boot up?

    Comment by paul | August 28, 2011 | Reply

    • paul,
      Without looking at your system…
      Top of my head.. it may be a cfg file on the cd (if it only happens with one disc) or it may be the BIOS (not a setting in Windows). I would enter setup and restore the BIOS to defaults (exactly how you do that will depend on your machine, and the BIOS manufacturer) and then reset the boot order if required (to have the optical drive be ahead of the HHD). Your PC’s manufacturer’s FAQ and/or support pages are the place to look. Good luck.

      Comment by techpaul | August 28, 2011 | Reply

  56. Thankyou this problem did my head in!!!

    Comment by Tom | September 23, 2011 | Reply

    • Tom,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know I helped out.

      Comment by techpaul | September 23, 2011 | Reply

  57. hi man, i need help… I did this in here and I press f10, i press ok and then makes the computer restart… i need help now pls…

    Comment by Maik | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  58. hi man, i need help… I did this in here and I press f10, i press ok and then makes the computer restart… why it restrt and why it did not shows (press any key to boot from cd) …. i need help now pls…

    Comment by Maik | October 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Maik,
      Did you “Save changes” to your BIOS?
      It’s possible your CD is not bootable (maybe, it wasn’t burned properly) and there are a dozen other ‘possibles’.

      Here’s what you do: go on Google. Let’s say you have a HP Pavillion 443SD computer.. on Google, type in HP Pavillion 443SD change boot order. (Or go directly to HP Support and enter Pavillion 443SD change boot order.
      The computer builder’s website will tell you the exact steps, and keys to press.

      Comment by techpaul | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  59. thxs man…

    Comment by Maik | October 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Maik,
      Each computer is different, so.. even I (who does this practically everyday) would have to look it up. The PC maker is the place.

      Comment by techpaul | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  60. I have recently installed windows Vista Service Pack 1 after being reccomended to do so by my computer. It encountered some kind of error and refused to proceed. At this point I restarted my computer and after hitting blue screen with start windows normally tried starting with repair. That worked once and the install resumed. It proceeded another 1/10th of the download before stopping. Attempting to kickstart it again I restarted and launched with repair. But this time it took me straight to the blue screen with the tech information of “*** STOP: 0x0000c1f5 (0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

    Following all your steps I have booted from the CD “Operating System” which is windows Vistas 32bit reinstallation DVD in hopes of restoring back to factory default or even booting up. But I still encountered the Blue Screen. To my knowledge this is the only disc I have but I will keep looking. If there is anything you can suggest to atleast get me back to factory defaults I would be very much in your debt! Thank You in advance for all the help you have given all of us!

    Comment by Derek | December 4, 2011 | Reply

    • Oh and Starting with Safe Mode also brings me to the same blue screen. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!

      Comment by Anonymous | December 4, 2011 | Reply

  61. hi! got some problem with my computer. it says “boot from cd” what does this mean?

    Comment by Maylyn M. Milado | January 4, 2012 | Reply

    • Maylyn M. Milado,
      “boot” (short for “boot up”) means “load into memory, process, and run (execute)” .. what we think of as “start” (or.. “launch”).
      So, when we come out in the morning and turn on our computer, to start using it, we are “booting” it. To “reboot” means to turn it off and then on again (restart the machine).

      Most of the time, you “boot” your “operating system” (Microsoft Windows, or Mac OS) from the files on your hard drive (internal storage), but sometimes in special situations, we need to “boot” (start/run) a different “operating system” loaded onto a different source — such as if there is problems with the hard drive, or Windows.

      If you see that message, there is probably a CD/DVD in your disc drive that is capable of “boot”-ing and performing some special task.

      Comment by techpaul | January 4, 2012 | Reply

  62. Hi My Laptop has just crashed. whern I start it it doesnt get as far as the BIOS Screen so hitting a key does not help. I have the statup/recovery disc and a copy of Windows 7 but neither will boot. Any suggestions?

    Alan

    Comment by Alan Barclay | January 5, 2012 | Reply

    • Alan Barclay,
      Picking through the utter lack of information here, I am guessing (from your Windows 7 reference) that this is a new(er) machine. So hopefully it is less than a year old and still under basic warranty — my advice, call the manufacturer.
      If it is out of warranty, my advice, take it to a certified technician (not a BigBoxUSA warehouse/store).

      Comment by techpaul | January 5, 2012 | Reply

      • Thank you for this. It is under warranty do I shall follow your advice. Thanks and apologies for lack of detail.

        Alan

        Comment by Anonymous | January 5, 2012 | Reply

        • Alan,
          When you call the manufacturer, you can save some time/steps by having the S/N and model # of your unit handy. This is usually found on a sticker on the bottom (underside).

          I hope this is not the serious problem I suspect, and also hope the tech’s get you back up and running quickly. Good luck.

          Comment by techpaul | January 5, 2012 | Reply

  63. [...] most popular post: This one was easy: I just looked at my stats. How to boot from a CD There may come a  time when you may need to boot from a CD — to run a ‘pure’ antivirus scan, [...]

    Pingback by 7 Links Challenge « Tech – for Everyone | February 1, 2012 | Reply

  64. Hi I have a Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile Laptop ( 4 years old) which was running Vista and was completely full so I used Killdisk to wipe everything and purchased a genuine Microsoft Vista Home Basic DVD to reinstal it. I’ve carefully followed all the above instructions and the laptop wont boot the DVD. You can hear the disk turn a little but then nothing. I have booted XP onto the laptop, so assume the drive works and I can boot from teh Vista disk on my other machine, so presume the disk isn’t corrupted. I’ve reset factory BIOS defaults and then double checked the boot order is ok. I am now absolutely stumped – any help would be great !

    Comment by aimee p | February 4, 2012 | Reply

    • aimee p,
      I am not sure I understand why you went to the extreme of wiping your hard drive, but that’s done. And I don’t know which model Esprimo you have.. but I am a bit puzzled too.
      See, from what you describe, it sounds like the drive will read/boot CD’s (I am assuming the XP Install disc is a CD) but not DVD’s.. which usually is an indication the optical drive is too old to read/boot a DVD media. (But 4 yrs seems to me at first think too young to bump into that) Sometimes, a firmware update (of the optical drive) fixes that.. but since you have no OS, that option’s out.

      I guess (and keep in mind, I am not there looking at what’s happening) the easiest and cheapest ‘fix’ might be to use another machine to copy the Vista Install disc onto a thumb drive, and boot from that (see, How to Create a Vista Installation USB Key) or
      borrow/buy a (newer) external DVD drive..

      (Assuming your BIOS allows USB booting, of course.)

      Comment by techpaul | February 4, 2012 | Reply

  65. Paul

    Thanks for your advice above. HP directed me to an answer on their site for “black screen” that entailed removing battery, holding off switch for 30 seconds, etc (do search of Black screen on HP site) that I thought was a spoof but absolutely worked. Laptop now runs better than before.

    In response to Aimee’s problem I also found that HP have “hidden” the BIOS on this year old laptop so I can’t change it to look at the CD drive first. This may be why her laptop won’t boot. Not sure of an answer but hopefully will look for the USB PORT for thumb drive.

    Comment by Alan | February 4, 2012 | Reply

    • Alan,
      I’d say you got lucky. Usually they tell you that a new motherboard is needed.

      The “HP blackscreen” is a notorious design defect which resulted in a class action suit (improper cooling of the nVIDIA graphics) and multiple tens of thousands of “DON’T BUY HP!!” comments posted on the Internet.

      I, and many other techs I know, will not touch “blackscreen” troubles on certain models of HP laptops (as the cure is temporary, at best) … just to give you an idea.

      (The period for filing under the settlement is now over [see, nvidia settlement].)

      Sorry Alan. I was slow catching that you are the same Alan as posted much earlier. (Not enough coffee?)
      Most new PC’s have an F key option for selecting the Boot order, shown on the startup splashscreen (and they have an “just this once” or “always use” option).

      A Google search with your __Make+Model__ and the words “change boot order” should help you discover the correct procedure/Fkey to press.

      Comment by techpaul | February 4, 2012 | Reply

      • Paul thanks for this and my fault for changing my online name I’ll try the F key but must admit that since I’m now an Apple Fanboy with my iPhone and iPad, the need to do PC is limited.

        Comment by Alan | February 4, 2012 | Reply

        • Alan,
          Apple Fanboy, eh???

          I banish thee! Out! Out! Out!

          (Just kidding… and, thanks for the follow up!)

          Comment by techpaul | February 4, 2012 | Reply

  66. setup cannot find hard disk???

    why this happend when i boot my laptop

    Comment by Anonymous | March 22, 2012 | Reply

    • Sir or Ms,
      I would have to ask you several questions before I could begin to answer this question — a lot depends on what you were doing.

      But I think this is quite serious. If your laptop is still under warranty, call the manufacturer.
      If not, take it to a qualified technician.

      ASAP

      Comment by techpaul | March 22, 2012 | Reply

  67. I have a desktop with windows7 which is not genuine. I want to replace it with HP. All my attempts are fruitless. Please kindly help me out of this.

    Comment by Charles Ooro | May 28, 2012 | Reply

    • Charles Ooro,
      Let me start by saying two things: one, I commend you for wanting to untangle yourself from the illegal copy of Windows and, two, I have no idea what “all my attempts” equates to .. or what kind of errors you see.
      And I am having to assume the “HP” means that you have an OEM install disk from Hewlett-Packard for some version of Windows.. that is legal, and that came with that machine.

      So all I can tell you, here, is that the typical process is to Format (wipe clean) the hard disk, and then boot to the (legit and properly prepared) “Install media” (usually a CD/DVD disc) and run the setup.exe (which usually starts itself automatically).

      If you cannot accomplish this yourself, you might want to take the machine to a professional Geek (such as myself) or perhaps get some telephone advice — maybe from the machine’s manufacturer (if it’s still under warranty) or from Microsoft (1-866-727-2338).

      Comment by techpaul | May 28, 2012 | Reply

  68. I have a custom built pc running Window 7 Ultimate (x64) AMD Phenom II X 6 1090T 8 GB . Built in 2010. It ran fine the first 6 to 8 months I had it. I did have some errors but they were not consistent. Initially I wrote them down and brought the information to my IT person. I have taken it to professional IT persons before and the results are always the same, My computer starts to run slow and freeze up. I use it for business so I don’t play games and the websites I use are related to work. The technician always reformats my hard drive. I am told my internet explorer become corrupted and that is why it is running slow and freezes. It has happened again (3rd time) and this time I was considering doing the work myself. I have a NAS system so everything is always saved on my computer. Right now it is turned off and not being used. The only way I can use it is in safe mode because it runs to slow and consistently freezes up. I use Kaspersky internet security. I just can’t be paying someone every 6 months when this same problem occurs. I was considering buying Acronis software program to help me with this problem. I have older computers and have never had this problem before in fact I am typing on a 2005 pc with 200 bus and it runs better than my custom built computer.
    Question: What do you think I should do?

    Comment by Kim Hab | July 9, 2012 | Reply

    • Kim Hab,
      Hire me as your IT person.

      Ha! Sorry, couldn’t resist. Seriously now, you pose a great question.
      If (repeat, “if”) the cause for the slowing down is a corruption of IE, you may have luck resolving this by doing this repair: http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/repair-internet-explorer/ (if you’re using IE 9, click here.)

      The “ghost” program (Acronis) would save time, as you could “restore” all the files on the hard drive to a “known good” point in time (you would then visit Windows Update, and get the OS up-to-date), and the cost of a reformat reinstall by your IT person.. once you got it in good shape and install Acronis that is.

      But I don’t know that IE is the culprit (there are other likely candidates). And I don’t know what other programs you’re running. So I cannot give you a definitive answer.

      You might try running CCleaner to remove all your temp files (http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download) and you might also try uninstalling/reinstalling your security suite (Kasperski), and see if that restores speed.

      Or you might simply need to clear your browser cache.. (which the first repair more than does). See, http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/how-to-clear-your-cache/.

      Hard for me to say. I can tell you for sure that a rig like yours should not be slow. I hope one of those does the trick for you. If not, I may have other suggestions.

      Comment by techpaul | July 9, 2012 | Reply

      • Paul, Thank you very much for your suggestions. I have reset Internet explorer and deleted my cache.

        i think you may be right that there is something else effecting the slowness of the Operating System.
        I have been suspecting my Kaspersky may be interacting. I am going to work on the computer this weekend starting today. I think I will follow your advice and start by uninstalling programs and I think my internet security program will be the first culprit. I am going to have to do this in Safe Mode which is OK and I will update you. Thank you so much for your advice. And if I can’t solve it I may be hiring you. You sound great!

        Comment by Kim Hab | July 13, 2012 | Reply

        • Kim Hab,
          Two things to know before you get started. One, the rule is, if it connects to the Internet it needs antivirus. So that is why I suggested resetting the Kasperski by uninstalling it, then re-installing it again.. or installing a different security product (so while the Kasperski is not installed, unplug the machine from the Internet).
          Second, if you must work in Safe Mode, you will need to download and “launch” SafeMSI to activate the service which will let you install/uninstall programs. Here’s a link: http://download.cnet.com/SafeMSI-exe/3000-2094_4-75724774.html.

          Good luck!

          Comment by techpaul | July 13, 2012 | Reply

          • Paul, My problem, I hope, is almost over. You have been great. Well I will fill you in on the details. I listened to you and uninstalled my Kaspersky and every program that I thought would of or could of interacted with my OS system. And I even did a restore. It was starting to work fairly well then here comes my Microsoft Update—115 of them. Downloaded updates just fine then restarted and problems: the system just froze up.
            I spent allot of time just to get there. Well it gave me the courage (like your John Wayne comment) to do a re-formatting of my hard drive. I have never done this before and boy did I learn allot! Now I know why you guys get paid the big bucks. It was hard for me. I have a custom computer so when I got to partion the hard drive there wasn’t anything there. I found out that I had to load my RAID drivers. Praise GOD that you tech guys blog out there on the internet. That was my first big problem then second one I got stuck in DOS and it was my own fault I left a disc in the driver. Then going online to load all the drivers and update my BIOS since I bought the computer in 2010. Then my last problem was .iti error message. That is now fixed. This has really been a learning experience for me. I think a store bought computer might be easier, maybe. I guess it depends on how many errors you have reformating. I am getting better loading drivers especially my 64 bit printer drivers., This time it was the easiest that I have ever had. I am still not out of the water yet. I still have alot more softwear to load on my computer and then I buy ACRONIS. I can’t wait. I hope the next time I do this it will be easier with the new program I am about to buy. I still have more issues to work out but ,hopefully, the worst of it is over. You gave me courage to do this and I am very grateful.

            Comment by Kim Hab | July 15, 2012 | Reply

            • Kim Hab,
              Thank you for the feedback.

              I have many reactions to everything you related (and could spend an hour talking about them, I suspect) but the main things that would concern you are:
              1) I tip my geek cap to you, and I will tell you that a very, very similar experience, a long time ago now, was what started me on the path to “repair technician”. (Basically, I just couldn’t let the machine be “smarter” than me.. nor more stubborn.) When you are done, you will most definitely qualify as a “Power User”.

              2) Once you have the machine set up to optimal, one of the “ghost images” (Acronis) most certainly should be stored on another – separate – drive. As your failsafe. I use a USB-attached “external hard drive” for that. Once you’ve done that, you can create another “master” image on your local disk, and let Acronis run and automatically keep track of changes, and then use that (local image) as sort of a super System Restore (or.. “time machine”).

              And, not really pertinent to you, but I feel compelled to say it..
              3) I don’t get “big bucks”.

              Comment by techpaul | July 15, 2012 | Reply

  69. Hi Guys,

    I have a laptop “Acer Aspire 5315″; OS: Vista. I want to install Windows7 using bootable cd.

    Option 1: F2 let me enter BIOS but the boot menu is disabled; can’t change the booting order :(

    Option 2: Then I tried to use force boot; F2 gives the followings>>
    Edit Windows boot option for: Microsoft Windows Vista
    Path:\windows\system32\winload.exe
    Partion:2
    Hard Disk:29026e91
    [ /NO EXECUTE = OPTIN ]

    What command should I use to make it boot from CD?

    Comment by Hasin | August 25, 2012 | Reply

    • Hasin,
      There is no “guys” here, only me.

      I think the following will help you set the boot order to first look to the optical drive (you do not want pursue your second choice):

      “Shut the notebook completely down. Now turn it back on, and as soon as the Acer screen comes up, hit the “F2″ key to enter the BIOS. Navigate to the second page of the BIOS (titled “Main”) by pressing the right arrow key.
      You may wish to turn of “Network Boot” by selecting it with your arrow keys and hitting enter, then changing it to disabled. This is often used in a cluster-lab environment, and for normal users only slows down your boot process.
      You must now turn on the F12 Boot Menu by selecting it with your arrow keys, hitting Enter, and changing it to “Enabled”
      Now switch to the “Exit” page, and hit Enter to “Exit Saving Changes”. The BIOS will ask you to confirm, tell it “Yes”.
      Now the notebook will reboot, and you must hit F12 to boot from your CD.
      On the “Boot Manager” screen, chose the second option which should be an ATAPI drive, such as a DVD-RW or CD-RW, highlight it with your arrow keys and press Enter.”

      Comment by techpaul | August 25, 2012 | Reply

      • Amazed with such quick response :)
        The thing is all the config change type thing in the BIOS in this laptop is disabled. I can change only some values like clock/password.
        Same thing with Main tab; only clock change is enabled :(

        Comment by Hasin | August 25, 2012 | Reply

        • Hasin,
          You might try:
          * In the BIOS, pressing the key to “restore factory defaults” (often F5).
          * “Flashing” the BIOS.
          * searching/posting your question on the Acer forum.

          Comment by techpaul | August 25, 2012 | Reply

  70. Thankyou very much

    Comment by Sanjay devada | March 3, 2014 | Reply

  71. My HP g56 doesn’t come up. If you leave it for some time, and try to power it, it comes up trying to boot, stop on the way, and goes off

    Comment by Jeffery Jonathan | March 26, 2014 | Reply

    • Jeffery Jonathan,
      I do not know, off the top of my head, if the g56 is a susceptible model but, that sounds to me like the notorious “hp blackscreen” — a hardware issue. (For which, there is no real, “good” fix.) Hopefully, it’ll be something simple, like a CMOS battery, but I recommend: take the unit to an experienced technician.

      Comment by techpaul | March 27, 2014 | Reply

    • alanbd,
      Well.. since he said it “then goes off”, I assume he means an auto-shutdown – one symptom of the “hp blacksreen of death” (caused by a defect in the graphics chip cooling, and requires a “reflow” to correct [a temp fix]). But I hope I’m wrong. And I thank you for pointing to that (lengthy) thread.

      Comment by techpaul | March 27, 2014 | Reply

  72. my acer notebook laptop won’t let me go into the bios settings,it tells me to press f2 but when i do,it tells me please wait which will never end.I tried booting from a dvd disk but never helps and also tried a bootable usb but doesn’t work…can anyone electify me on that situation

    Comment by kapembe | July 23, 2014 | Reply

    • kapembe,
      It’s more of a ‘tapping’, or press-press-press-press-press motion, then a press-and-hold. And it is done when the computer is first powering up, before the OS (usually Windows) even starts to load.

      If you continue to have trouble, have a tech take a look at it.

      (Note: newer machines often have a direct “Select boot order” Function key. Try to read the quick-flashing ‘splash screen’. Or look on the make/model manufacturer’s FAQ web page.)

      Comment by techpaul | July 23, 2014 | Reply

      • Thanks alot I took out my hardrive and install windows 8 but what’s bad is this, even after I remove the hardrive and switch on the laptop it still tells me to press f2.

        Comment by Mr. Reinhold | July 23, 2014 | Reply

        • Mr. Reinhold,
          Um… what is the exact message you’re seeing? What happens when you do press F2?

          Comment by techpaul | July 23, 2014 | Reply

          • It says please wait but it takes for ever. .

            Comment by Mr. Reinhold | July 23, 2014 | Reply

            • Mr. Reinhold,
              If you have access to legitimate Windows 8 install media (the disc), and you can boot to it, you may be able to run the automatic startup repair tool (and that may fix your issue, and might not). But I suspect your best bet is to have a technician look at your machine.

              Comment by techpaul | July 23, 2014 | Reply


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