Cannot Boot

By jbzeigler ยท 15 replies
Dec 3, 2008
  1. I recently obtained an old machine that is a P3 500 MHz p.o.s. I formatted the hdd using my dell and installing the hdd as a secondary. I just installed the hdd back into its original machine. It's blank - obviously. How do I go about booting and installing Linux? I have no boot disk and it doesn't want to boot off of a Windows 95 CD even after I change the boot sequence.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Windows 95 had upgrade version too
    Not sure if "upgrade" was bootable, it could have been

    Anyway, you need to get into your System Bios Setup screen (sometimes DEL or F2 when you first turn on your computer)

    Once in this BIOS Setup screen (also known as CMOS) locate the boot order, and make sure CD is the first bootable drive (then Save and Exit)

    Or throw away, whichever is easier :rolleyes:

    Linux boot CDs do not work on all computers
  3. jbzeigler

    jbzeigler TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    I've already changed that. It's now set to CDROM, A, C. CDROM is D.
  4. jbzeigler

    jbzeigler TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    I've tried several different CDs that I believe to be bootable. I'm wondering if the CD ROM drive didn't quit on me or something.

    The WIN 95 CD is not the upgrade. It's an official copy. I tried to get a bootable floppy made but I don't even know where to begin since the system is wiped clean and my other system has XP HOME.
  5. King Ping

    King Ping TS Rookie

    Ok this just happened to me on my XP OS
    When you come up to the start up screen ie: the screen which says its found hubs and stuff
    press your "delete" key or some times its F2. As soon as your in the bios go to boot-up and select boot priority when in it set n0.1 to cd-rom save and quit from the bios. Now your system will re boot when it finds your windows OS cd in the drive it will open a new screen...this may be a command prompt. on this screen type in "chkdsk" in to the prompt it will do its thing for 1 moment when it is done it will try to restore and replace any lost fles. if this is successful it will yet again reboot. now your system should be back to normal. as soon as this is done go to the windows update web site nd update to the ltest version of window.
    hope this helped
  6. jbzeigler

    jbzeigler TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    Let me start over just to clarify...

    I recently obtained an old PC. I removed the HDD from it and formatted it using a different PC. I then reinstalled the HDD back into the old PC. This "old PC" is a P3 500 MHz. I turned the PC on and it does not find the HDD. The HDD is formatted, so I would assume that this is normal. My issue is that I do not have a boot disk (floppy disk). I do have a Windows 95 CD. However, when I attempt to boot using this CD (after changing the boot sequence in BIOS), I get an error. It will not boot to any CD. I've attempted several CDs that are believed to be bootable. Could the CD ROM drive be bad?
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523


    If you have tried several Boot CDs and none start, then I would say highly likely faulty CD Drive.
    To confirm even further. you could download a floppy Boot Disk, start your computer from A drive this time, and have the Windows CD still in the drive. Once the floppy has installed the CDRom support, you could then change to the drive (usually by typing D then a colon : , then Enter) and do a quick read of the drive (ie DIR then Enter)
  8. jbzeigler

    jbzeigler TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    Referring to - how do I know which one I should download?
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  10. jbzeigler

    jbzeigler TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    I swapped the CD ROM drive out due to an error:


    I was still unable to boot from a Windows 95 CD but I'm not 100% that it was bootable anyway. I was able to run an OpenSUSE CD but am a little lost on installing it...
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    That's out of my area
    I personally like the live uBuntu Boot CD
  12. jbzeigler

    jbzeigler TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    I'm just having a difficult time finding a flavour of Linux to use since it is an old machine. That, and I know zero about Linux in the first place.
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  14. jbzeigler

    jbzeigler TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    By the way, thanks for the link for the bootdisks. Unfortunately, all three of my floppy disks had errors on them. Oh well. Floppy disks - what a thing of the past.
  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I still use floppy, when I image my HardDrive
  16. noorman

    noorman TS Rookie Posts: 16


    On the old PC, you can easily use the older Ubuntu 6.06 LTS desktop version.

    Should still work and should still have support because it is of the type Long Time Support (3 years for Desktop, 5 for Server) ...

    Look here for a download:

    I always check the MD5 hash of such a download before I burn.
    then, whilst burning, tick the box for 'Write Verification' (after the burn) to make sure that you didn't burn a coaster !

    ( a distro like Ubuntu does automatic updating to fix bugs and security issues )

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