Windows question (eek!) How to boot from CD


Hi All,

Of course I should probably post this to a Windows board somewhere, but I don't fraternize with that ilk, so I'm hoping someone here has an answer.

How do you boot from the Windows XP install CD (on a Wintel machine of course! ;)

I tried starting with the CD installed, but no luck. I also tried running the installer software off the CD, but it tells me I can't because I've got a newer version (service pack 2) on the machine, but the disk is SP1.

That's fine, I'm trying to start from scratch (I'll update to SP2 later.)

Does Windows have the equivalent of a startup disk control panel?

Any help would be much appreciated. Save me from Windows hell.



Never mind. Seek and you shall find. F2 on boot gives the BIOS and all its glorious options.

Hope this helps someone else.


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
of course, that depends on the BIOS. What machine is this?? Is it a brand name (Dell, HP, etc.)? Is it a home built one?? If homebuilt, what motherboard and BIOS is being used?

Normally, the PC will tell you which key you have to hit to switch the boot order. If not, just go into the BIOS and change the order to CD-ROM first, Floppy second, and HDD third. You can change it back to the way it was once you finish booting from the CD if you want.


wow, 1.4g is way faster!
yes, set the boot order in the bios, cd first to boot from the cd. and if you are wanting to start from scratch, be sure to reformat the drive with the installer, or that newer/older version problem will reaccure.
as far as format, fat 32 if you want win9x to ever be able to use it, but if you'll be sticking to xp, use ntsf.

now i will say the macman's prayer for the soul that must use windows.

May your travel to the Dark Side be short,
May it be without repeated system crashes, or the dreaded BSOD!
May you pass through this Black Time without losing your mind,
And when you return to The Light, We welcome you and still love you,
Because we know that your time away was not by your choice.
You are forgiven.

The Ghost

In the Machine
larry98765 said:
Does Windows have the equivalent of a startup disk control panel?
On my Dell laptop, F2 provides the opiton of a one-time startup to a CD without actually changing the BIOS. F12 takes me to the BIOS where I can change the startup order as mentioned above.


[Bobs/Prog/Design:~] mod%
Staff member
F8 held at startup on most newer versions of Windows will give you a menu that has a bunch of boot-up options (Normal, Safe-mode, command prompt, etc.).

The easiest way to reinstall XP is to format the drive first, then put your CD in and boot the machine. It should boot the start-up program off the disk then.