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Can't Boot From Cd-rom, Bios Seems Correctly Set Though... Any Ideas?


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#1 caljohnsmith

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:20 AM

One of our computers has an old Abit BH6 motherboard that I believe is v1.0 and not v1.1. In BIOS, if we set the boot order for CD-ROM first, we can't get any bootable CD-ROMs to boot--instead the C drive gets booted. And strangely enough, the CD-ROM light even comes on at startup (we can hear the disk start spinning too), yet it does not get booted; BIOS always then boots the C drive. We of course verified that the bootable CDs are indeed bootable on another computer. And another strange clue is that we can change the order so that the floppy drive A gets booted first, and it works fine to boot from a floppy. :thumbsup:

We even successfully updated to what I believe is the final version of the BH6 BIOS, version SS. Still we can't boot from the CD-ROM. We know the CD-ROM reads disks fine, because after booting into Windows (C drive), we can access the CD-ROM with no problems.

Does anyone have any ideas? We really could use some help! Thanks for any assistance. :flowers:

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#2 Sterling14

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:30 AM

Perhaps a bios update can fix this? If your board is using Bios V1.0, and there's newer versions, you might want to try and update it. Make sure you get the right one though. If you don't you could ruin the motherboard.
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#3 dc3

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 10:03 AM

The absence of the BIOS will not harm the motherboard, but it will render it useless. You can purchase the EEPROM with the proper BIOS from the manufacturer it you do have a problem flashing the BIOS.

Does the CD-ROM remain as the first device in the boot order after you go back into the BIOS after making the change?

Does the date and time remain correct.

How is the CD-ROM appearing in the BIOS, CD-ROM master, slave?

Have you tried uninstalling the drive in the Device Manager and reboot the computer? This will force the installation wizard to recognize the drive as new hardware, and it will search for the proper drivers for it.

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#4 hamluis

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 10:42 AM

On some older systems...I've found that I had to change the first two or three boot options in the BIOS...in order to boot into an XP install via CD.

I'd try making the optical drive the primary, secondary, and tertiary options :thumbsup:.

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#5 caljohnsmith

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:06 AM

Perhaps a bios update can fix this? If your board is using Bios V1.0, and there's newer versions, you might want to try and update it. Make sure you get the right one though. If you don't you could ruin the motherboard.

Thanks Sterling14, but I have the last and latest BIOS for the board (version "SS"), at least according to the research I did. The "1.0" is just my motherboard version, not the BIOS revision.

The absence of the BIOS will not harm the motherboard, but it will render it useless. You can purchase the EEPROM with the proper BIOS from the manufacturer it you do have a problem flashing the BIOS.

Does the CD-ROM remain as the first device in the boot order after you go back into the BIOS after making the change?

Does the date and time remain correct.

How is the CD-ROM appearing in the BIOS, CD-ROM master, slave?

Have you tried uninstalling the drive in the Device Manager and reboot the computer? This will force the installation wizard to recognize the drive as new hardware, and it will search for the proper drivers for it.

Yes, the date/time stay correct, and yes, BIOS does remember the boot order I set when I reboot and check the changes. Where do I check in BIOS for whether it sees the CD-ROM? If I go to the section that lists my IDE drives, I see only my HD (C drive). Can a CD-ROM use IDE, or could it be SCSI (or something else)? I've never had to install one so I don't even know what the options are when you buy one.

And about uninstalling the CD-ROM so that device manager will have to reload the drivers for it, I don't believe that's an issue, because as I mentioned the CD-ROM works fine in Windows. The problem is I just can't boot from it. Is it possible though for the CD-ROM not to be recognized by BIOS and yet Windows can see it and use it just fine? It seems like this could be possible.

#6 caljohnsmith

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 12:47 PM

Thanks to everyone who offered their ideas. I found out about a solution that works great; instead of trying to get my BIOS to work, I used a program called "SmartBootManager" to create a bootable floppy, I booted from the floppy, and then it allows me to boot from my CD-ROM.

In case anyone else has a similar problem and wants to try SmartBootManager, here are the steps I followed:

1. Download SmartBootManager 3.7.1 from: http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/3.7/sbminst.exe
2. Open a terminal window (Start > Run... > cmd), navigate to the folder where you saved "sbminst.exe" in, insert a blank floppy in your A drive, and type "sbminst -t us -d 0", hit return, and voila! you now have a floppy with the SmartBootManager installed on it. ("-t us" option installs the smartbootmanager in english, and "-d 0" installs it onto the first drive, or the floppy A drive).
3. Make sure your BIOS is set to boot from a floppy; when booting from the floppy you created it will give you the option to boot from the CD-ROM (if it is detected).
4. If you can't even boot from a floppy, it is possible to install SmartBootManager on your C drive with: "sbminst -t us -d 128 -b backup_mbr" where the "-b backup_mbr" option will make a backup of your current MBR (saved as "backup_mbr") before overwriting the master boot record (MBR) on the C drive with SmartBootManager.

#7 garmanma

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 01:46 PM

Just a thought. This is an old board. It even has an ISA slots, correct? Remember with 98 and ME you had to use a ME floppy boot disk that came with CD drivers. www.bootdisk.com
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