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Home > Optical Storage > How To Boot Your Computer From An Optical Storage Device CDROM Drive
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This page will provide an overview of how to boot your computer from an optical storage medium or commonly referred to as a bootable CD.
 
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How to Boot Your Computer From an Optical Drive

Introduction

If you are thinking about reinstalling your operating system or installing a Linux distribution you'll have to setup your computer to boot from the optical drive installed in your system.

Booting is a startup sequence that starts the operating system of a computer when it is turned on. A boot sequence is the initial set of operations that the computer performs when it is switched on. Every computer has a boot sequence. The average computer doesn’t understand the boot sequence but is important to know for customizing and troubleshooting your computer.

How To Boot Your Computer From An Optical Drive

This section will outline the steps required to boot a computer from the CD-ROM / DVD-ROM drive.

  1. You will need to restart your computer. Immediately after you see the POST routine start, you'll need to press a keyboard command to enter the BIOS setup. This can be done by pressing F1, F2, Del, or F12. The actual command to get into your BIOS setup screen varies depending on the manufacturer of your computer. If you miss this screen simply restart your computer and try again.

    The motherboard manual for your computer should tell you exactly how to boot into the BIOS and to change the way in which the computer will boot.

    Below is a sample of what you might see when you enter the BIOS setup.

    Accessing the bootup menu in BIOS

  2. f you press that key and get the timing right, it will lead you to your PC's Setup screen--a program built into the BIOS and that doesn't need an operating system. Look for a submenu called Boot or Boot Options. Once there, look for an option called Boot Order (or something similar). Alter that setting to put the optical drive ahead of the hard drive.

  3. Once everything is set up properly, when you boot your PC, it will first check the optical drive. If it finds a disc there and the disc is bootable, it will boot from that. If the disc isn't bootable or there is no disc, it will boot from the hard drive.
How To Install A DVD-ROM Drive
This document will outline the steps required to install a DVD-ROM drive into your computer. You'll learn the basics of how to configure the drive for proper installation.
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How To Boot Your Computer Directly From An Optical Drive
This document will outline the steps required to boot your computer directly from an optical storage drive, for the purpose of troubleshooting your computer or reinstalling an operating system.
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