Can not make a bootable CD to save my life!

I am trying to burn bootable CDs, but regardless of which software I use or which bootable ISO or NRG file I try to burn, the CDs will not boot on either my laptop or desktop.

I have tried burning these ISOs:
Windows XP Pro SP2 install (both an ISO and NRG)
BartPE Ultimate Boot CD
Gentoo Linux install

using these softwares:
Nero 7
Ashampoo 7
Ultra ISO
Magic ISO

My BIOS is set to boot from CD first. It makes an attempt but then quickly errors out. The most important one, Windows XP install, reports “Failed to load NTLDR”

I’ve tried every single setting I can and burned through about 30 discs. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG???

Make your own XP bootable cd with
Gentoo should be bootable from the start, so if it doesn’t start up with Gentoo setup, it didn’t boot from it.

Thanks, but I don’t think this will help - NO bootable image (I’ve tried 4 separate ISOs) that I’ve burned to CD will boot.

Win XP install error: "Failed to load NTLDR"
Gentoo error: “Image checksum error”

Not sure what you mean by the Gentoo, I know it’s not booting from the disc…

Tried the NTLiteOS, and as expected, failed. The problem from every single ISO I have tried is that the PC begins looking for files that ARE present on the disc, but it reports that the file or directory is not found.

Could this problem be media related? I am using good quality Sony CDRs. Does one brand to the next have better success in creating bootable discs?

try booting the ISO’s and the CD’s on a virtual machine such as virtualbox , to check if the ISOs are bootable & if the cds were burned alright , also try burnning with imgburn

run nero cd-dvd speed and do the benchmark test on each of the cds , also do the disc quality test if your burner supports it , take screenshots and upload to

Booted the ISOs in VirtualBox and they work fine. Since original post have also tried imgburn and still no luck.

Sorry no screen shots, but tried the benchmark, scored 16x and 24x. I did resort to burning the media at 8x a while back, just in case the media wasn’t great. Tested the media:

General Information
Drive: DVDRW DRW-6S160H
Firmware: CSG4
Disc: Data CD (Sony)
Selected speed: Maximum
C1 errors
Maximum: 17
Average: 0.16
Total: 556
C2 errors
Maximum: 0
Average: 0.00
Total: 0
Jitter: n/a
Scanning Statistics
Elapsed time: 2:04
Number of samples: 3502
Average scanning interval: 1.01 sec
Glitches removed: 0

It’s 2AM here in Hawaii, I gotta hit the sack and tackle this in the morning…

thats good but as alredy mentioned you should also try booting the CDs on virtualbox (click the “settings” button and goto cd/dvd-rom,left click “host cd/dvd drive” and select the right drive letter…) , the disc quality test looks real good but i’d still wanna see the benchmark screenshots, i need to see the graph to know if it went well or not , might find this program usefull oh and save as PNG

[B]edit[/B] just rememberd that nero cd-dvd speed have a built-in screenshot function,its that button in title on the upper right (after the[B] _[/B])

For Linux, why not go to DistroWatch and DL there bootable live cd or DVD…

Is BIOS set to boot to CD drive as first boot device, and will system boot to original Windows CD? The nLite utility should work well if you follow instructions and check appropriate options such as boot, service pack or other desired options.

bevills, yes BIOS is correctly set. nLite built great, but the burned image still fails when loading.

bunny, I get what you mean about booting the CD in VirtualBox (was tired last nite…) - did so just now and the recorded CDs do boot in the VM (but still not on my laptop or desktop machines, same error on both).

Thanks for the hint on nero ss - here it is (sorry it’s full screen, figured detail was better than not):

doesnt look good but thats not surprising considering the burst rate is way too low and also the read speed (should max around 48x considering your drive is an oem liteon SHW-160H6S) , check the DMA
also be aware that an 80 wires ide cable must be used for this burner to work properly , theres a simple way to determine if the cable your using is 40 or 80 wires , colors , in a 40 wires ide cable all the connectors are black while on an 80 wires ide cable each connector have a diffrent color blue/grey/black

Both the HDD and DVD are on my SIIG 133 controller. It reports the HDD at UDMA 5 and the DVD at UDMA 4. Both drives are using 80 pin cables.

Is the thinking here that a disc will burn successfully (with errors) and the OS can do reliable error correction; but as a boot-disc it is not suitable? (This could explain the image check-sum error when trying to load the gentoo install)

The SIIG controller is using most recent driver. I tried updating the DVD driver with SHW-160H6S updater but it reported that the drive was not the correct model. Searching for an driver for the 6S160H model yielded no results…

Does anyone have a noose they can spare?

dma modes looks alright,not the cable i see , seems optical drives just doesnt work right on this pci card (quite common,hard to find a card that works properly with em,most are just intended for hds) , i suggest youll connect the burner to the motherboard ide socket and burn again then youll probably get lucky , its called firmware not driver those are 2 diffrent things , and of course it did , it is the right drive but technicly not (your oem drive & the original liteon drive identify diffrently so…) you can use the liteon firmware only if youll patch it (you should ask on the liteon forum for more specific instructions,however i highly doubt this will fix the issue it looks like a controller problem,plus be aware crossflashing the drive will void the warranty)

[B]edit[/B] your controller card have 2 ide sockets right? is the hard drive & burner each on a seperate ide socket? its plain bad to hook em up on same cable

The Gentoo installer CD image should be bootable. Get the
MD5 or SHA checksums for the CD images from your
local Gentoo mirror site.

The checksums for the latest x86 live Cd are:


7a21c2f09edd51612fb2cd7984dd3577 livecd-i686-installer-2007.0.iso


d876060d2b322b9afffdcd81da2ec8433e489d93 livecd-i686-installer-2007.0.iso

If you are using a different image file, you will need to get the
correct checksums for the images you have. There are several
freeware checksum utilities for Windows.

Once you have confirmed that the images are OK, you should
be able to burn them a CD using the Burn Image function
in Nero. Enable the Verify written data option to make
sure that your burned disc is an exact copy of the image.

the HDD and DVD were on two separate channels, each the master. I went ahead and put the DVD back on the MB controller, but it now performs slightly worse on the benchmark, and the newly tested burns also do not boot…

I’m not desperate enough to go cross-flashing firmware just yet.

Considering the benchmark performance, is it safe to assume my earlier proposal, that a disc will burn successfully (with errors) and the OS can do reliable error correction; but as a boot-disc it is not suitable? Just want to make sure I should be focusing on hardware. I guess considering how many different apps I’ve burned with by now, it MUST be the burner.

You can never take it for granted. Always verify the burned data.
It only takes a couple of minutes.

I agree with easterbunny, the burst rate is too low. Check that DMA
is enabled for the CD/DVD burner and for also for your hard-drive
before and after the burn. Check that you are using the correct
IDE drivers. Which mainboard/chipset are you using? Try
removing the controller card and use the on-board IDE

Next time you burn an image with Nero, save a log and post
it here. Don’t forget to remove your serial number from the
log file before you post it.

Try burning the image with the Create Disc tab in CD-DVD Speed.
Use the save button (floppy disc icon) to save the PNG. This should
save a reasonably sized screenshot. The last one was too big for
my little 19in monitor :slight_smile:

replace the ide cable and try again :smiley:

he alredy did,when it was on the controller card at least

Both the HDD and DVD are on my SIIG 133 controller. It reports the HDD at UDMA 5 and the DVD at UDMA 4. Both drives are using 80 pin cables.

Yes, but if there are problems on the IDE channel, sometimes
a DMA enabled controller will revert to PIO mode.

A Nero log would tell us a lot?

Have you tried all 3 burners? Which Benq firmware is in use? You may want to check Benq forum to find best firmware, and latest is not always best. For example I have a LiteOn 165P6S that would burn neither MCC004 nor Verbatim -R 8X with original firmware, would burn Verbatim -R 8X but not MCC004 with latest MSOR firmware and finally would burn Verbatim -R 8X and MCC004 when flashed back to MSOP firmware. However, I also found Sony D21 +R 16X is only media thus far that would play in a Mintek portable DVD player. The point is it might be media or firmware issue if original Windows disk is bootable, and you may want to try some RW disks to avoid wasting media until problems are resolved.

bevills1 your a bit confused , guyin808 is the one with the problem not skelton :disagree: