Force machine to boot to CD

I have an old pc that will not boot to the CD-ROM drive. I know there is a tool that lets you boot to a CD even if the machine’s BIOS is too old to do that because I have used it before. Unfortunatly, I have lost that floppy. :frowning:

Can anyone tell me where I can get such a software??

Thanks tons!!!

have you tried going into your bios and changing it to boot from the cd-rom first, then there’s no need for a floppy.

or have a look here for another bootdisk

The BIOS doesn’t support booting from the CD. :sad:

Yes, I did go to Great site, but I didn’t see one that would let me boot from the CD.

I found a site for Smart Boot Manager tool that looks like it could do what I’m wanting, but it requires the image to be compiled. While very good with Windows, Linux I know next to nothing about, so I’m not sure about this. :confused:

Thanks for your quick response!

but can you not make another floppy to boot from, from
if you can’t change your bios to boot from cd, you’ll need a boot floppy to tell it to boot from the cd, is that not what a bootdisk is all about?

i’ve never used it before.

& welcome to the forums :cool:

Thanks for the welcome!!!

Ok, here’s the skinny. I’ve got this old Compaq Presario 6704 that I want to install Debian Linux on. I’ve never used Linux before. As I said in my other post, I’m a nube on Linux. If it were a Windows install I was trying to do, I could make a boot disk to load from CD quickly. However, I don’t know how to do that with Linux.

Ok, I finally found it. It is on the Debian CD, but not in the documentation. It is a version a Smart Boot Manager that is already compiled. You simply run a exe and it makes that boot cd.

Thanks Bjproc!!!

glad you got it sorted out in the end, you never said you wanted Linux installed, but your the same as me, i know nothing about it either. :slight_smile:

mmm debian. running it as we speak :smiley:

another option would be flashing the BIOS with an update that DOES let you boot from a floppy - but i can understand if you are hesitant to do so.

post if you have questions about using debian - i think others like it here as well

Hey guys. I happened across this forum in a Google search looking for something similar to Dorko’s request. Although Dorko was able to work around his problem using a different method, I thought it might be a good idea to go ahead and answer the original question (if for no other reason than the next time I Google “boot floppy force CD boot” I’ll have mirrored my bookmark. After all…

Anyway, to answer the original question, yes, there is a freeware floppy image that will let you redirect the boot sequence from the floppy to the CD drive, even on machines that don’t support bootable CD’s. It’s called Bootable CD Loader. On that page, scroll down and download The unzipped image can be written using dd in Linux, or RawWrite in Windows.

Incidentally, what I’m looking for now (and am unable to find so far) is a similar utility that will force a bootable USB flash drive to boot on machines where USB booting is not normally supported.

you and me both! when i saw this thread i got hopeful for a second that site might have what i was looking for. i’ll be sure to post back if i find something though! (bios updates are out of the question for me, but it might be something to look into if you haven’t already)

When you start your PC at time tries to read the CD press enter few times forcefully it will works.

Update BIOS is better solution IMO if it fixes boot device problem because it’s a permanent fix without relying on any third party software which could become damaged or corrupt. BIOS update may fix other issues in addition to boot device update. I updated an old AMD 750 MHZ system to enable USB 2.0 for example. Updating BIOS is no different than updating firmware for CD or DVD burner. The only bad things that can happen for either is loss of power during flash or flash with incorrect update. Just be sure you have correct update, and don’t flash during bad weather where there may be chance of power loss.

this works to boot from usb? or maybe i don’t understand what you’re saying…

updating the bios is always the best option…if bios updates are available.

unfortunately thanks to some weird partnership HP and Asus had at one point in time neither company is taking responsibility for certain products (like my motherboard) and each tells me to check the other for updates that don’t exist.

updating is very good advice (if you’re careful while doing so) but unfortunately isn’t an option for some…and it’s very frustrating.

Updated BIOS is rarely an option. The nature of this desire to boot to a USB flash drive inherently implies that the target computer is not owned by the operator. In my case, as a desktop support tech, I’d rather not have to spend the extra 30 minutes tracking down the exact model number of the mobo, tracking down whether an updated BIOS exists at all, building a boot floppy, and flashing said BIOS. If the only thing that’s wrong is that the machine won’t boot USB, I’ve learned that it’s a better policy not to fix something on someone else’s computer that’s not otherwise broken, lest ye run the risk of it becoming [I]really[/I] broken. Older eMachines, Compaqs, etc. generally only have BIOS patches released for a year or so after they’re deployed anyway. After that, the OEM manufacturers simply don’t give two craps about out-of-warranty computers.</rant>

K, so anyway,’s DOS USB drivers page looks promising.

thanks for the link (and the insight) but i don’t necessarily agree that it inherently assumes you don’t own the system.

first of all I don’t believe a person has the right to upgrade a system that they do not own…that includes everything from software upgrades to bios flashes unless they are expressly given permission to do so. As a desktop tech I can see why you wouldn’t want to deal with this for say a contracted client or something, but I see nothing suspicious in someone wanting this functionality.

my desire to boot from usb is just to get the most out of my own personal computer as possible. I have a few usb flash drives hanging around and I can toss those in a little change dish that takes up less space than all of the bootable cds I have lying around. Just trying to consolidate all of my computer “junk” really.

i know this thread had gotten off topic and I apologize but at least the original poster got their answer before it derailed!

Before I forget, allow me to append a link to’s instructions for making a USB flash drive bootable.

BIOS update has always been an option in my experience. I’ve built more than a half dozen systems, and I’ve never encountered 1 that didn’t have BIOS updates. It’s never taken more than a couple of minutes to find correct updates. All that’s needed is mobo manufacturer’s web site and mobo model number. Making a boot floppy is as easy as making a Windows startup disk, and all that need be done is follow simple instruction. The last BIOS update I did was saved to and executed from a folder on the hard disk instead of floppy unlike some executed from floppy. This most recent update seems to have fixed a problem of randomly losing hard drive partitions and the data on them, and the 1 done prior to that on another system enabled USB 2.0 that is many times faster than USB 1.1 which you’d know if you have used both.

There’s no more danger to updating BIOS than updating firmware for DVD-RW drive or any other hardware. Sure either 1 can be made inoperable by flashing with incorrect update or by power failure while flashing, but a little common sense and care in selecting updates makes it child’s play. To endure extremely slow USB 1.1 speeds, loss of partitions and data, or any other malady that’s so easily fixed by updates is ludicrous.

i will love you forever if you can prove me wrong. I’m not saying “hey you go find it for me” but if you’d like to give it a shot I’d be grateful! This model is based on what Everest Home Edition tells me. I’ve torn my computer apart on multiple occasions and can’t find the actual model number marked on the board itself. Under Motherboard ID I get a string that looks like the manufacture date, the next part looks like the on-board graphics description, then maybe the last part is the model number. I need a bios with support to boot from USB 05/08/2002-I845G/ICH4-P4G-LA It was made by Asus for HP.

I feel like I’ve done some pretty extensive searching, but It’s certainly possible I was looking in the wrong places…the internet is a big place.

I had same problem log time ago…( PI 90Mhz 24MB ram matrox 8m :slight_smile: there wasnt option to boot from CD), set in bios to [B]boot from floopy[/B] (on 1st place), then [B]set up floopy seek[/B] (or something like that) it should run from CD if there isn’t any floopy (i guess).

or just simply if its an old pc get an fdd drive, install on floppy some boot menager grub should work.

and if u still have a problem i can look for that pc and check configuration on it, dont worry i have done it so it should be able on your pc.