Unable to format, CD drive will not boot first

By CoolhandLocke
May 2, 2009
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  1. New to the board and here's my first post :) I've been trying to format my HD for a few days now and do a clean install. I have the original "Recovery XP" disks that came with it and i also have an unused Liscensed Windows XP cd. Both Cd's have been tested/used before and work & the Drive itself is only a few months old. Even after changing the order in the bios at startup, it still goes straight to the XP loading screen then to desktop. I've done the F8 key and there isn't an option to boot from cd from there and as said before i did change the startup order and thats not working either.

    In a nutshell the disks are good, the drive is good but it's not recognizing the startup order in the bios? Just want to format, don't care about the data and any help would be appreciated. I'm usually pretty good at diagnosing the problem through google and fixing it but this one really has me at wits end lol...
  2. Onaled

    Onaled Newcomer, in training

    I had the same problem last night where I tried to re-install my OS. Ok if u want to format your C drive and reinstall the OS press the F10 and chose CD as the boot device and voila thats it. Try that and see what happens.
  3. CoolhandLocke

    CoolhandLocke Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Just gave it a try but it didn't work. Same ol' thing just kept on going like normal to my desktop.
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    F8 is for safe mode.

    1) Can you Explore the CDs once XP is started? (i.e. verify both the CDs AND your cd reader work)
    2) Verify you can boot from these CDs on someone else's computer(i.e. step above means they're readable but being bootable requires MORE on the CD then just able to read them)
    3) Have you modified your boot sequence in BIOS?
    4) What make/model computer do you have?
  5. CoolhandLocke

    CoolhandLocke Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Cd's are explorable & i tested them on my laptop. The official XP one worked fine and booted up, the other did not but it's made only for my other pc. Boot sequence has also been modified, just skips past it. The computer is (unfortunately) an E-machine T1440. It's pretty old but i've never really had any problems with it, i keep my antivirus and spyware programs up to date, etc.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,284   +154

    Have you ever booted from that drive?

    When your computer starts do hear the drive spinning up? The CD read indicator light flicker? (at least tell if it's at least trying to read the device??))

    If it's at least trying to read, you can also just download and burn a bootable image of UBCD and see if it boots from a UBCD cd (btw.. those XP boot CDs always require you "hit any key" to continue boot. Possible you're not seeing it? Try hitting space bar every couple seconds from power on until Windows loading screen just-for-the-heck-of-it!)
  7. CoolhandLocke

    CoolhandLocke Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I honestly can't remember if i've booted from this drive. It's only 3-4 months old so theres a good possibility i have not yet. The light is on when the computer starts so i guess it's trying to read. I did the "hit any key" thing too but that did not work, just took me to some screen kind of like the boot from safe mode screen. Still no luck on this one but thanks for the quick responses guys.
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