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Can't boot from CD drive


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#1 shawnvw

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 03:37 AM

I have a Dell Dimension desktop with two CD drives. I had to reformat the hard drive, and now I need to reinstall Windows XP. However, it seems that no matter how I setup the BIOS, it ignores the CD and tries to boot from the blank hard drive.

I've even put boot disks in both CD drives, and set the BIOS so that it had to boot from them and not the hard drive, but they still didn't work.

Any ideas?

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 05:17 AM

Were the drives working correctly with CDs before the re-format?

Are the drives being correctly ID'd by the BIOS? It's possible that in the past the BIOS has not been set for this and Windows has been IDing the CD drives itself and ignoring the BIOS. (In fact in some installations the BIOS is deliberately set to NONE for optical drives, as the BIOS equipment table passed some wrong information to Windows.) If the drive ID options are set to AUTO, try changing them manually to CDROM, or vice-versa, sometimes one way works better with some drives.

As far as booting goes, the BIOS could perhaps be confused by the presence of two CD drives, and may flip into action if only one of the drives is connected (assuming they are IDE drives, with the drive on its own channel as Master).

Edited by Platypus, 28 December 2008 - 05:19 AM.

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#3 shawnvw

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 03:09 PM

They worked a few days ago, but the last time I tried the drives was just before the reformat, and they didn't work at that time.

I tried your suggestion: in Setup I disabled the Primary (or Master, I forget which) IDE CD drive, rebooted, and forced it to boot from the CD. It successfully booted from the Secondary (or Slave) CD drive.

I reinstalled Windows, but now that "working" CD drive is acting up. Sometimes when I press the Eject button (hardware or software), the motor grinds but the tray doesn't open.

Edited by shawnvw, 28 December 2008 - 07:09 PM.





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