Cannot boot from CD/DVD unless HDD is blank
Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:42 AM
I'm attempting to reinstall XP Pro x64 on my backup computer. When I attempt to boot from the CD, it just skips that step and boots straight to the HDD. I've already made sure CD/DVD is the first boot device, and I've even taken the step of hitting F12 to choose the first boot device on startup. This isn't an issue with the DVD drive or the disc, as I've used 3 different discs on 3 different drives (including an external). I've also tested one of the discs on another laptop (just to make sure it would boot), and it did indeed begin the setup from the CD. So the discs are fine, and the drives are fine. I've tried using my current 36GB Raptor drive, and a test 40GB IDE drive I had laying around, the same situation occurs with both.
However, if I completely wipe the 40GB (haven't tested yet with the Raptor, and don't want to until I'm sure everything else is working fine) - including all partition information - then the CD will boot without incident. I'm currently installing on the 40GB to make sure nothing is wrong with the system, before I proceed to wipe my main drive; but I was curious to find out if anyone else has encountered this issue and/or knows what the cause is and how to rectify it.
It just dawned on me that I haven't tested with another version of Windows, but I doubt that would matter since I've already determined the discs work. Still, any insight would be appreciated.
Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:00 AM
At least on I386 - but I cannot see why x64 would be different - the CD/DVD bootsector invokes BOOTFIX.BIN before passing control back to the CD booting IF the hard disk(s) is bootable.
The BOOTFIX.BIN is the thingy that displays "press any key to boot from CD".
(if the hard disk is not bootable the BOOTFIX.BIN is NOT invoked, but it should be enough to set NO partition as Active )
It is possible that you have some "strange" CD/DVD or that your particular BIOS somehow cannot properly manage the little program.
(maybe the actual optical drive is SATA and this creates the problem?) <. only a shot in the dark
You can try to burn a copy of the CD/DVD but excluding BOOTFIX.BIN.
Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:13 AM
I suppose I should mention a few specs, now that I think about it. The motherboard is a Gigabyte K8N Ultra-9. It has an Athlon X2 4400+ with 4 x 512MB Corsair XMS sticks. I've considered removing some of the memory, but I'm not getting any stability issues, so I doubt that it's related. However, I may test that later when I have a chance.
On consideration, I just realized I could try a SATA DVD drive instead. When I have an opportunity to power down my primary PC, I'll pull the optical drive from it and test again.
Still, if anyone has encountered this issue before, it would be helpful to hear your experiences with it. Even if you never did ultimately resolve the problem.
This post has been edited by Jito463: 25 October 2011 - 06:16 AM
Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:33 AM
Please review this:
it is very possible that by hitting the F12 you alter the boot device priority "temporarily", so when the bootfix.bin tries to inspect the hard disk MBR it cannot "find" anymore the CD/DVD to get back to it.
And is possible that your particular motherboard BIOS behaves strangely, maybe because you have two optical drives?
It is not explicitly mentioned there (and I really cannot recall exactly ) whether the test on the MBR is performed on having a partition Active as I suggested before of if some other tests are performed.
Posted 25 October 2011 - 09:27 AM
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