The BIOS settings may be preventing booting from the CD-ROM.
If you press F2 as soon as the BIOS posts, you should be able to access the BIOS control panel.
Some older Dell computers use an alternate key sequence instead of <F2> to enter System Setup. These key sequences include:
* <Fn>+<F1> (laptop computers only)
* <Fn>+<Esc> (laptop computers only)
You are looking for Boot Order, or similar, and you need to move the CD-Rom up to the top. No mouse controls here, it's all keyboard controls.
I made the mistake of offering help to a friend who owns a Dell Dimension B110 PC. Wow, a socialist BIOS! Not much freedom for controlling your PC. I "successfully" registered at Dell's "Community" and forums for help, but there is no way to post a message there. Now I don't own a Dell, but I already dislike the company.
Well, my friend got whacked by the Nuqel.E virus that tries to force you into buying bogus "Spyware Soft." The infection disabled his antivirus program! So much for AVG. His password won't work to access Windows (but Safe Mode works). I want to re-write his MBR, or at least write zeros to the HDD and rebuild it. But the optical drive fails. I hooked up a floppy drive, and it too is inaccessible. I tested the floppy and CD-ROM drives on another system, and they work fine.
Is there a hidden setting in the BIOS that may allow me in? If I could boot to a CD or DVD I might be able to rebuild his HDD. Any suggestions will be most appreciated.