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Can't Boot From Optical Drive

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#1 LuisAE


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Posted 21 June 2009 - 06:30 AM

I have a Dell Optiplex GX280 SD. When I first purchased the PC it came with a CD-ROM drive and Windows XP Professional pre-installed. A few months after purchasing the computer I decided to upgrade my IDE CD-ROM to a IDE DVD-RW. I purchased a brand new DVD-RW drive and replaced my CD-ROM with it. Everything worked well, I was able to play CD's, burn movies, etc. A month later, I decided to upgrade my Windows XP with Windows Vista Home Premium. I purchased the DVD and installed it with no problems. My DVD-RW drive worked fine, even after installing Windows Vista.

A week or two later, I recieved a brand new blank 80GB SATA HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for my Dell Optiplex GX280 SD. As soon as I recieved it I pulled out my Windows XP CD and inserted the disc into my DVD drive then shutdown my computer and replaced my 40GB SATA HDD with my blank 80GB HDD. Once I turned on my PC, I got a black screen with a message that said: "Disk Error Press any key to restart". I didn't understand. I was expecting the computer to automatically boot from my DVD drive so that I could install my Windows XP CD into the new HDD.

I restarted my computer and went to Setup then to Boot sequence and beside On Board or USB CD-ROM drive it said (not present), BIOS wasn't recognizing my DVD drive. So, I shutdown my computer, unplugged the power cable and disconnected the DVD drive, then I reconnected it and made sure everything was securely connected. After plugging the power cable back into the computer I turned on the computer and checked BIOS once more but it still didn't recognize the DVD drive. I thought to myself "maybe the drive is dead," but that couldn't be right because I can open and close it. So, I decided to uninstall the DVD drive and install my CD-ROM to see if it would recognize it, but unfortunately it didn't.

I wasn't sure whether it was the IDE cable or the IDE connector on my motherboard; so, I decided to replace the IDE cable with a brand new one. I connected the black end of the new IDE cable to my DVD drive (which is set to Master) then the blue end to my motherboard. As soon as I turned on the PC, I went to Setup then to Boot Sequence to check if BIOS was recognizing the DVD drive but it said the same thing as before: On Board or USB CD-ROM drive (not present).

I said to myself, "well, then it must be the IDE connector." So, I decided to buy a PCI card port adapter with an IDE connector. Once I recieved the PCI card port adapter, I installed the card into the motherboard and connected the IDE cable into the IDE connector on the PCI card. I started the computer and Windows Vista loaded up, but nothing happened. However, after restarting the computer once again Windows Vista automatically began to install it's driver.

After Windows installed the driver I went to My Computer and check to see if the DVD drive's icon showed under Devices and Removable Storage, and it did. However, when I tried to boot from the DVD drive I was unable to. I checked BIOS and it said the same thing as before, "On Board or USB CD-ROM drive (not present)".

So, I decided to purchase an IDE to USB adapter. Once I recieved the adapter, I connected the optical drive, via USB, into my PC, using the adapter, I turned on my computer and before Windows Vista started up I got a black screen with a blinking white line on the upper left hand corner of the screen (I'm assuming that the DVD drive is what's causing this to happen). Everything seemed OK, until I realized that nothing else happened, the screen doesn't move on to Windows Vista.

So, I decided to disconnect the adapter from the USB port and restart my computer. WIndows Vista started up and everything seemed to be working fine again; so, I reconnected the adapter. Windows immediately began installing the driver. After it installed the driver I checked My Computer and noticed that the DVD drive icon was showing. I restarted the computer once more with the adapter connected and I got the same black screen as before.

I disconnected the adapter and restarted my computer, again; Windows Vista started up. I connected the adapter and after windows installed the driver I decided to insert my Windows XP CD; it read the CD perfectly.

I restarted my computer and as expected I got the same black screen, but this time it said 'Press any key to boot from CD'. I said to myself, "Finally! now I can install the OS to my new HDD." At least that was what I thought. However, when I installed the 80GB HDD into my PC then attempted to boot my Windows XP CD from my DVD drive, instead of getting the black screen that said 'Press any key to boot from CD', I got, just, a black screen.

I'm pretty sure that BIOS allows booting from a USB device because I'm able to boot my Windows XP CD with my old drive. I'm assuming that since there's already an OS installed in my old hard drive Windows is able to install the adapters driver.

This is how my BIOS boot sequence looks:

1. Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive
2. Onboard or USB Floppy Drive
3. Onboard SATA Hard Drive
4. Onboard IDE Hard Drive (not present)
5. USB Device
6. Onboard Network Controller

When I turn on my computer, using my OLD drive, while my Windows XP CD is inserted into my DVD Drive, I get a black screen that says 'Press Any Key To Boot From CD'. If I decide not to press any key, after a few seconds, Windows Vista starts up. However, if I turn on my computer, using my OLD drive, WITHOUT my Windows XP CD inserted, I get a black screen with a white blinking line on the upper left corner of the screen. Whether I decide to press any key or not the screen stays this way and Windows Vista doesn't boot up. In order for Windows Vista to boot up without me having to insert the Windows XP CD, I have to change the order of my BIOS's boot sequence so that the Onboard SATA Hard Drive boots before the Onboard or USB CD-ROM. If not, my computer will not get pass the "Black Screen of Death," as I call it.

When I turn on my computer, using my NEW hard drive, whether my Windows XP CD is inserted or not, I, once again, get the "Black Screen of Death."

Also, if I change BIOS's boot sequence so that 'USB Device' is first, I get neither the 'Black Screen of Death' nor the 'Press Any Key To Boot From CD' screen, instead I get a black screen that says Missing Operating System. This happens with both the new hard drive and the old hard drive and, also, whether or not I have my Windows XP CD inserted.

I can't think of anything else. What should I do? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. :thumbsup:

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 21 June 2009 - 12:55 PM

I just read something yesterday that stated...that recovery/restore Dell CDs for a given model...could not be used to install XP on a new or formatted hard drive.

I see the same for your system, https://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...toggle=&dl=

So...I guess the question is...what disk are you using to attempt this install?


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