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Reformat computer - will not boot to cd

By greenparkgirl · 16 replies
Nov 9, 2009
  1. I have been trying to reformat my computer because of a virus. I cannot get the computer to boot to cd. I changed the settings in bios so that cd was first in line, but it still will not boot to the cd. It just starts up normally. Can you please give me some ideas on how to get it to boot to cd another way? Thank you.
  2. dipo003

    dipo003 TS Enthusiast Posts: 37

    I think u should confirm that your cd reader is detected and ok. Well, i don't know which bios u've got on your computer. try to disable other booting options then make sure your cd is neat, i mean some old readers may not read rough CDs very well.
  3. greenparkgirl

    greenparkgirl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think the cd reader is fine. I can open up the operating system cd when I start up the usual way. I just can't boot to the cd. Is there another way that you can manually boot to cd without changing the bios?
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,101   +419

    To make things a little easier what motherboard do you have? Depending on the motherboard you can also hit a key such as F12 to get to the Boot Menu and temporarily change the boot order.
  5. secretme

    secretme TS Rookie

    what os are you trying to install? you can try a usb install.
  6. greenparkgirl

    greenparkgirl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am not all that computer savvy as you probably already noticed. I have a dell dimension 4600. I am not sure about the motherboard. I did temporarily change the boot order, but it doesn't seem to work. Do you think the virus could have messed with that?
  7. greenparkgirl

    greenparkgirl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am trying to install windows xp. How do you do a usb install with a cd?
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    F12 = Boot Menu appears in the upper-right corner of the screen when the computer first turns on

    Press F12 key, and select your CD Drive (which has the Windows or Recovery disc in already)
    If it doesn't boot from the drive, either the CD is damaged (scratched; dirty; warped), or the drive is faulty

    Please also post one reply at a time
    If you need to reply again (and your post is still the last post in the topic) then use the Edit button, to add to your post
  9. secretme

    secretme TS Rookie

    first you need to check to see if your motherboard supports booting from usb. to check:
    1. when you turn the computer on press f12 to enter bios
    2. go to boot settings
    3. check that listed usb is in the boot order (it may be named something similar depending on your bios)

    after that there are several free programs that convert your windows xp cd to usb flash. you will need another working computer to create the windows xp install usb flash drive.

    I use a program called multi-boot 9 or 10 i forget the version, but that pretty much does all the work for you. I am @ work and do not have the program on my work computer. If you pm me your e-mail I can e-mail the program, its a small cmd based program that does all the work for you in like 4 easy steps.
  10. secretme

    secretme TS Rookie

    now that i think about it, what does happen when you try to boot? can you access bios? do you temporarily see the windows xp loading screen before it crashes to a blue screen with white writing (the "blue screen of death" aka bsod)? or if you receive an error message with any type of code, it would be very helpful to know what that code is.
  11. greenparkgirl

    greenparkgirl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I can boot up normally. I can get into windows and access my programs. The problem is that I have thousands of infected files and counting. I can't get rid of the virus, and I read that reformating was the only option after unsuccessful tries to kick the virus.
    I can get into the bios (if that is what you call pushing f2) I can change the boot sequence, which I have done. This is the sequence I have right now.
    1. ide cd-rom device (with a check)
    2. Hard disk drive c (with a check)
    3. Diskette Drive (no check)

    I can get into f12 boot device menu
    I highlight #4 for ide cd rom device and then push enter. It makes some noise but then just starts up normally to my username and password.

    I have 2 cd drives. I have tried the operating system disk in both. Neither does anything. I don't see any error codes. Should the disk work in either of my disk drives?

    I just did a different boot sequence.
    1. ide cd-rom device (with a check)
    The others did not have check marks

    When I do this a black screen with white writing says strike f1 to retry boot, f2 for setup utility.
    I keep pressing f1 and the same message appears.
    I did this with the OS cd in both cd drives.

    I am wandering if my top cd drive doesn't work and the computer will not boot to the bottom cd drive. I know the bottom cd drive works but maybe it isn't an option for booting?
  12. secretme

    secretme TS Rookie

    oh, i thought windows wasnt working, and it looks like your motherboard does not boot from the usb :(

    however, you could run the windows cd within windows. just put the cd in the drive and then in my computer, double click the cd drive with the windows cd in it.
    1 of 2 things should happen, either it will launch the setup or it will display the contents of the disc. if it displays the contents of the disc just double click the setup.exe and it should launch the windows setup.

    make sure you have your product key available, if you dont you can use a keyfinder to find your current product key that you can use to re-install windows.

    when you do install, make sure that you do a full installation. also have you backed up your files? formatting will erase everything.

    one more thing, did the windows cd that you have come with your computer, or is it a spare disc? i only ask because if you have an oem license (meaning it came pre-installed on your computer) then it will not work with a retail (store bought cd) and vice-versa.

    please check both:
    to check your current installation
    1. right click on my computer and go to properties. write down the first 2 sets of numbers from your product id and post here "xxxxx-xxx" the first 5 are the Microsoft Product Code, it tells which version of Windows is installed such home or pro, and the second 3 are the Mircosoft Product Chanel, this tells the type of installation such as oem or retail.
    2. please post here.

    to check the cd:
    1. go to my computer
    2. right click the cd drive and go to explore
    3. open the i386 folder
    4. open the setupp.ini file
    5. post the PID here

    Both sets of values have to be compatible.
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Well I wouldn't be posting my PID or obviously my key either, just in case

    But, since you have now explained that you have two CD Drives connected to your IDE cable, I think we found the issue ;)

    Please disconnect one of the CD drive's IDE cable
    Confirm the other CD Drive is jumpered to CS (Cable Select)
    Then boot from that single CD Drive
    If it still doesn't boot, then change the jumper to M (Master) and then try again

    That should fix the not finding your Windows setup CD issue
  14. secretme

    secretme TS Rookie

    I wouldnt post the product key, or the entire PID.

    I was only asking for the first 8 digits of the PID that only identifies the type of installation that it has. it is important to know that it matches the type of product keys the installation disc will accept.

    There is nothing unique about the first 8 digits other than the fact it may change based on the type of installation, other than that its really just a catagory. Thats if you want to use the same product key that is currently installed.

    If you have a seperate product key that came with the installation disc even better, there is nothing to worry about other than activation.

    If you are using the product key on the COA (Certificate of Authenticity) on the case of the computer, you must check the PID in the setupp.ini found in the i386 folder of the CD to make sure it matches the type of key that is printed on the sticker above the product key.

    Unfortunately there is not 1 disc to rule them all.
  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Correct there's a whole bunch of them ;)

    CCP Compliance Checking Program (Upgrade Version)
    EVL Evaluation Version
    FPP Full Packaged Product (Retail Version)
    MPC Microsoft Product Code
    OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer
    RTM Release To Manufacturing
    SEL Select (License for 250 or more PCs)
    VLK Volume License (Product) Key

    As stated here: http://www.tech-forums.net/pc/f9/many-versions-xp-188450/
  16. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,101   +419

    I'm sure you are following the correct procedure but just in case I copied the following from the Dell manual.

    Notice that enabled devices must have a checkmark so make sure all of them do. Be sure to physically move the cd device up on the list.
  17. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

    Is this the original OS CD or a copy? If its a copy it may not have been copied correctly and not be bootable. One other thing to watch for is a "hit any key to boot from cd-rom" message. It goes by quick so if you are not watching you could miss it. Some PC have it some don't, if it comes up and you don't hit the any key you won't boot from the disk, it will just skip it. ;)
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