Comp won't boot from CD drive

Hi guys. Here is my problem.

System specs:

Athlon Thunderbird 1400
Micro ATX VA mainboard (MS-6340M ver 3.0b, Via KM133A chipset)
256mb PC133 ram
GEForce 2 MX400
2 x 20 gig H/D
Sony CDR

Iwant to install XP and my computer won’t boot from the CD.

My old computer (PIII 600) has Win98SE installed. I can format the C: drive, select CD-ROM for the 1st boot device, put the CD in either drive, turn it on and it installs Win98 straight off the CD…no boot disk required. This one won’t do it and I want to know why. When I get that sorted out then I will deal with XP. My guess is when I can get this comp to install Win98 direct from the CD with no boot disk, then XP will go straight on too.

Maybe I’m just dumb but I figure if a 5 year old computer will do a fresh install straight from the CD, then an 18 month old computer should do it too…especially as the current OS is designed to load straight from the CD. Even when I start the install from Windows, once it has collected all the necessary info from my computer,then it boots into DOS to do the install and crashes because it won’t read from the CD. Then when I start the comp it stops at a choice between starting with Win 98 or XP except XP is not loaded so I have to select Win 98.

AllI want for a start is for me to be able to select the CD as 1st boot device (I can select it but it won’t recognise it) and install Win 98 from the CD. My old one did it so this one should be able to do it. Once I have it so it will do it with Win 98, then I will tackle the XP problem. My old comp didn’t have a floppy drive for about 12 months and I could still do a format/reinstall and I want that ability even if I don’t have XP.

When you change boot from cd in the bios, you also have to disable booting from the HDD, otherwise it will look to the hdd to boot and not the cd rom. The only reason I can think of that win98 boots from cd is because you already have it installed and the hdd is picking up the installed version, The reason I say this is because win98 does not boot from cd (an original doesn’t anyway)

I’m not sure but I don’t think that is right. Win 98 as far as I am aware is also a bootable CD. With my PIII 600 I used to reinstall Win 98 every couple of months and like I said in the original post, it didn’t have a floppy drive for over 12 months and in that time I did at least 4 fresh (format the H/D and install) installs in which I booted straight from the CD. I just went into the BIOS and selected the CD-ROM drive as first boot device, didn’t disable anything else, turned it on and away it went with no problem.

With this system I can format, select CD-ROM as 1st boot and it won’t boot. I can’t remember exactly what message it gives as I haven’t tried for a few months.

hmm well it seems you may be right i just checked my win98 cd with isobuster and it has the boot image on it. Now you got me wondering why won’t my 98 cd boot from cd rom. My xp cd boots no probs :confused:

Try disabling boot from Hdd when you set boot from cd rom. That’s what I do and it works perfect everytime. When I just change boot from cd rom and not disable the hdd it always finds the Hdd first and says it can’t boot.

if the hard drive doesnt have any bootable OS on it, it will look in the cd drive…but that is really weird, regardless.

you can boot into dos with a floppy, and then go from there. the only thing i can think of is that it doesnt have any cdrom drivers present to read from cd, regardless of what the bios is telling you. installing from dos is a temporary fix, at least?

I am having a similar problem. I have also posted a message right above about my problem.
I have installed Windows Xp from a Creative CD-ROM drive booting from this drive. But, this week I replaced this drive by a LG DVD-ROM drive. My problem is that this new drive does not recognize the WinXP(and also Win2000) installation CD-ROM and cannot boot from it. My CDRW drive can still recognize and also boot from it. So, my guess is the problem is that the new DVD drive cannot recognize bootable CDs, maybe if you have changed your CD-R drive in your new computer, your drive may have the same problem of my one. I am trying to find out why the drive cannot read the bootable CD.

Some drives have problems booting off of win2000 and winXP cd-roms. Microsoft realized this and made an alternative for such a situation. You can boot off any DOS or win98 disk or any startup disk with cd-rom support you can find, try Then insert the win2k or XP cd-rom, and look at the folders using the dir command. You will notice a directory called BOOTDISK. Do a cd bootdisk and the DOS prompt will place you in that directory. Then use dir again and you will see an exe file called Makebt32.exe. This will go through as process of making 4 setup disks to start the install from floppy, just have 4 blank floppy’s ready. Unfortunately only win2k has this, for winXP I think has bootable floppy images. Also from my experience XP has very few cd-rom’s it can’t be booted from. But win2k has many… I mean many.

here is a link to diff XP boot disks:

last i knew, there was a directory you could change to and install straight from dos on the cd. lemme search…

couldnt find it on our site … googling…

k, found it. you boot to dos, find the i386 directory on the cd. and run winnt.exe instead of winnt32.exe. why it will tell you it cannot install from dos is beyond me.

Some systems will not but from a cd rom properly. If both the drives are still in the box, try putting the cd in and see if it will boot from either of the drives. Sometimes it has to be in Master cd-rom device. Other setups are different. You might be able to get away with trying both cd’s as a boot device.

oh duh - cloakdoa is on top of things. my bios can only boot from master. can’t believe i forgot that. thank you for the reminder :wink:

give that a try - see what happens.

Windows 98, 2000 Pro, XP Pro are all bootable. I use my disks to format & partion drive before installing. I had a “copy” of XP Pro that :wink: had problems doing this. I fixed by installing W2K Pro first then XP.