Windows Legacy OS forum


changing boot drive to DVD in XP

by craigscnet / June 9, 2011 8:14 PM PDT

I'm trying to get my PC to boot from the DVD with a full install DVD of Windows 7 in it. During a boot up when the message comes up and says "Hit any key to boot from DVD..." it continues on to boot from the hard drive no matter what key I hit.

I went into SETUP using the Delete key when my PC was starting and the CD-ROM/DVD was already set as the primary boot drive. I disabled the hard drive as the secondary so there was no secondary listed.

I tried again and again it booted to the hard drive. At first I thought that since I"m using a wireless keyboard that maybe the driver isn't loaded at the time it asks me to hit a key but if that were true, I wouldn't have been able to enter SETUP with the Delete key.

Can anyone help me boot from the DVD so that I can do a format and clean install of the Windows 7 DVD?


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All Answers

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Three possible causes.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / June 9, 2011 8:28 PM PDT

1. The keyboard indeed. What you say makes sense, but still I'd try a standard PS/2-keyboard.
2. The DVD isn't bootable. Easy to check in another PC.
3. The DVD-drive is defective. Then it needs to be replaced.


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by craigscnet / June 9, 2011 9:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Three possible causes.

Of course I just gave away two old pc's after they sat in storage for 6-9 years respectively. I'll have to borrow a keyboard. It doesn't make sense though that I can get into the bios settings using the keyboard.

Maybe it's a defective disk. A full version of Windows 7 is certainly bootable.

I haven't had any problems with the DVD drive. After having this boot problem, I played a DVD movie copied files from a disk and wrote files to a blank disk. I realize that that doesn't guarantee that the DVD isn't defective in another way but outside of just replacing it for replacing it sake, it seems to work fine.

If I can't find a keyboard here, I'll have to wait until the company from which I purchased it is open. They on Pacific time.

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by Jimmy Greystone / June 9, 2011 11:08 PM PDT
In reply to: thanks

No, it makes sense, it's just you need to have some programming experience to work it out.

Your BIOS may recognize your wireless keyboard, but once you get that "Hit any key" message, the BIOS has already handed off control of the system to the bootloader on your Windows DVD, which clearly is not playing nicely with your wireless dongle. If it's a bluetooth keyboard, that makes even more sense.

After you hear that first beep from starting up your computer, that's when the BIOS hands off control of the system to the operating system. A lot of people think that the BIOS is ever present, but it's really not. In the days of yore it was, but for decades now it just initializes the hardware and then once the OS boots, it completely bypasses the BIOS. Mostly because, to this day, the BIOS is still a 16-bit real-mode program. Which basically just means that if computers still relied on the BIOS for I/O operations, they'd be VERY slow. It'd be like adding an extra 50-75% overhead if not more. So if the bootloader (which is what's presenting that message to you) doesn't have some code written into it on how to handle certain things, it just won't, end of story. Given there are some limitations on how big that bootloader can be, they tend to keep things to a bare minimum.

And just a little bit of useless trivia... Back in the day when USB keyboards were just being introduced, I had a hard time getting Windows 2000 to get past that same point with a USB keyboard. The basic bug has been there pretty much forever, the specific devices it has problems with just change with time.

So get yourself a wired keyboard. I find it's a good idea to have one sitting around at all times, just in case. You can drag it out for cases like this, or if you dump a can of soda on your current keyboard or something like that. It can get you by for a few days, so that way you don't have to run to the nearest electronics store in some kind of mad rush to get a keyboard, then end up either spending way too much or settling for a POS.

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greate stuff
by craigscnet / June 10, 2011 12:29 AM PDT
In reply to: No

Great stuff Jimmy. It's funny, the only old computer I have left is my Mac Quaddra 700 that I bought in 1993 but that has the old Mac keyboard interface. I'll go get myself a cheap keyboard or borrow a friends. Thanks for the help.

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