Booting from CD-ROM

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 21 April 2002 / Last Updated on 21 April 2002]

When installing Windows98 or Windows Millenium, there is first a challenge :
- how to start the SETUP program on the installation CD-ROM ?

that requires, that some kind of operating system is already installed on the system,
which is able to access the CD-ROM and able to start the SETUP-program.
(often, a DOS-boot floppy disk is used to install a minimum DOS-system, just loading the CD-ROM-driver
and MSCDEX.EXE, allowing to run SETUP ).


Starting with Windows NT4, then with Windows2000 and now with Windows XP,
the installation CD-ROM is bootable, allowing to make an installation without having
first to install another operating system, just to get the CD-ROM drive to work.

All modern PC-systems , manufactured in the last years, support this feature, but it may be
required to configure this feature (a previous owner of your system may have deactivated
this feature or may have changed the boot priority sequence ) :

start/restart your system and check the boot-screen :

Image

look for a message similar to : "Press ... to enter SETUP", on most PC's it will be the DEL-key.

pressing that key will enter your PC BIOS setup :

Image


Look for a menu-option "Boot". If it is not listed, check the other screens of the BIOS setup,
it is often part of an advanced setup page.
Image


The screen should show the Boot-sequence (in this example, the system will first try to
boot from the Removable device = Floppy disk, if it ca not find a bootable floppy, it will try to boot from Harddisk,
and as long as a harddisk is installed, it will either boot from the harddisk or report a boot problem, if there is not yet
an operating system installed on the harddisk. It will NOT try to boot from the CD-ROM) and some instructions
on how to change the boot-sequence (in this example : using the "+" and "-" keys ).

Follow these instructions to have the first to try to boot from CD-ROM before trying to
boot from harddisk :

Image

Then store this new configuration (in this example via : F10).

You can now insert your bootable CD-ROM and install it by booting from the CD-ROM
(example : installation of Windows XP ).

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