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Can't Boot From CD or DVD Drive

There are several situations where you might need to boot from an optical drive (CD or DVD), for example if you want to install an operating system or use a live disc to troubleshoot a system. In order to boot from an optical drive, the optical drive must be configured in the BIOS ( Basic Input Output System) boot sequence before the hard disk.

To enter the BIOS setup screen, restart the computer and watch for a message that appears briefly on the display telling you which key you need to press to enter the BIOS setup. It's usually the [F2] key or the [Delete], but it varies from one computer to another. After you enter the BIOS setup screen, follow the instructions on how to navigate and change settings. Navigate to the screen with the boot sequence and set the optical drive as the first boot device. Follow the instructions on how to save your changes and exit the BIOS setup.

After the optical drive is configured as the first device in the boot sequence, restart the computer. The computer will either immediately begin to boot from the optical drive, or the screen will display a message requesting you to press a key to boot from the optical drive.

Some optical drives take several seconds to spin up and signal the system that they contain a disc, by that time, the system may have gone on to try the next device in the boot sequence. If you have restarted the system several times, and this is a persistent problem, you may need to reconfigure the systems hardware. For example, relocate the drive cables so that the optical drive is the master device on the primary channel and the hard drive is the slave device on the secondary channel.

If the system still fails to boot from the optical drive, verify that the disc is bootable. Check the documentation to make sure the disc is bootable. Some older operating system setup discs are not bootable, instead they contain a utility program that is used to create bootable floppy disks. If the disc appears to be bootable try it in another system.

If the system still fails to boot from the optical drive, you should suspect that the optical drive is defective. Is the drive capable of reading another disc that is not bootable? Verify that the drive cables are connected properly and that there are no broken pins on the connectors. Try using a different optical drive in the system. Try the original drive in another system.

There are several situations where you might need to boot from an optical drive, for example if you want to install an operating system or use a live disc to troubleshoot a system. If you find that your computer can't boot from its optical drive, this article contains a few tips that might help solve the problem.

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