Booting from external CD drive

By Rossco
Jun 10, 2006
  1. I'm hoping somebody can help me with this problem.

    I have a Dell latitude laptop P3 700 that was a hand me down from a friend. It does not have an internal cd drive or floppy.It is currenlty running Win XP SP2.
    When it boots up it asks me if I want to boot up into XP or a previous operating system. When I boot up into XP It works no problem so It's not a major problem, but if I want to boot from an external CD drive it does not work. I Have tried going into the BIOS but the only option I get to boot up from is the hard drive or
    removable media. When I choose removable media it does not boot up from the external either. It has 1 USB port which is USB 1 so I bought a PCMCIA card with 2 USB 2
    ports. I plugged the external cd drive in and then tried to boot from the external but still no joy.

    I thought that maybe an update of the BIOS might work as in the BIOS there is nothing related to the USB port, but I have read that on order to update the BIOS I need to boot from a floppy or external drive and i'm not even sure if updating the BIOS would work anyway.

    Although there is no problem booting into XP, If at anytime I wish to format my hard drive I think I might run into a problem.

    When choosing to boot from a previous operating system, the windows 98 screen comes up then i'm left with a command prompt.

    I spoke to another friend who is fairly knowledgable about these things and he said to buy an external floppy which is not USB but serial or parallel (not sure!) and plug into the appropriate port and try booting from that. Would this work?

    As I said above this is not a major issue as I can still boot into XP no problem, but I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas?

    I have used this forum in the past to solve various computer problems and thought it was about time I signed up.

    Many thanks
  2. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    why doesn't it have a CD or floppy drive... how was XP installed on it with no CD drive?

    an external parralell floppy may work, but what good would it do? you could format the drive but you still have no CD drive to install the OS from (your external doesn't work at boot up, it only works once the OS is loaded right??)
  3. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Most older systems like you have do not support booting from USB devices.
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