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Windows 7: "press any key to boot from CD or DVD" doesn't always appear at bootup

22 May 2012   #31

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Please respond to gregrocker's request for a screenshot of your disk management layout.

He is our top expert in this field, if he can't help you we've got real problems.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #32

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks for the reply gregrocker,

Screenshot supplied...

Attached Thumbnails
"press any key to boot from CD or DVD" doesn't always appear at bootup-disk-manager.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #33


Your Win7 HD is a GPT disk which allows unlimited Primary partitions and requires installing the OS in EFI mode: UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums

You can confirm GPT by rightclicking on Disk1 in the Disk Mgmt drive map, open Properties and look at Volumes tab as shown here:

"press any key to boot from CD or DVD" doesn't always appear at bootup-capture.png

We are beginning to see more EFI BIOS as they come into the mainstream and will have to re-learn many of the install and repair methods for Win7 - many of which were pioneered here at SevenForums.

As of yet I've not seen this affect the OD in any way except that a separate EFI boot disk must be set first to boot to install or repair Win7. This is why I suggested you use the Dell F12 key to boot disk or flash media.

So you may simply have a faulty OD. There are other suggestions which have been made in the thread which should all be tried. Then I would try another OD.

There is no reason your other HD needs to be formatted GPT unless you want to exceed the 4 Primary partition limit or install Win7 to it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 May 2012   #34

Windows 7 Professional x64

hey gregrocker

Thanks for the reply.

I reset the BIOS to frist boot from UEFI, then Windows Boor Manager.

I tried one of the CD disk (one of the ones that do not show the 'press any key to boot') again, no screen to 'press any key to boot from CD or DVD disk'.

I rebooted pressing F12. The only 4 options were EUFI, Windows Boot Manager, Enter Setup, & Enter ePSA

ePSA Pre-boot System Assessment
All test passed:
Hard Drive 0-0-0
Hard Drive 0-0-1
CDROM Drive 0-0-0
CDROM Drive 0-0-1
Video Card
Sys Fan
SB Fan

I have tried the other DVD, as well as 2 external CD/DVD drives. They also work booting the 3 disks that the internal drives boot.

Any other ideas? (Win7 SP2? lol)


(edit) In finalities it looks like the software producers have to make changes to get on board with the GPT systems in order to get their software to boot with these newest systems. Any thoughts or comments?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #35


Try each of the other options you get when tapping F12 at boot. Enter Setup might be the disk you're trying to boot.

Post back a camera snap if possible or write down what the other choices bring up.

To be honest, until we know more about these BIOS you'll need to read your Manual closely on the Dell Support Downloads webpage. I also would only want to install in MBR mode unless you absolutely need that many Primary partitions which nobody does.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #36

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks gregrocker,

No camera shot possible. Pressing F12 takes me to the Boot Menu with the 4 options listed previously. Entering Setup from there does not provide any other options than before, it only takes me back to the BIOS (the same).

I also would only want to install in MBR mode unless you absolutely need that many Primary partitions which nobody does.

I have not yet come across any option to install in MBR mode, so far. And I agree that most people probably do not need that many Primary partitions. I don't think I do, at this time. So that leads me to 4+ questions.

1) Is it possible to change the Drive(0) from GPT to MBR safely? Will I still need the 300MB EFI System Partition?

2) Should I use DiskPart (or something else) to change the partitions 5-10 to Logical instead of Primary? I'm planning on installing most of my software on partition #7 PRGS (Primary at this moment), will I possibly encounter any problems?

3) Should I change Drive(1) (already MBR) to Inactive and Logical? Or should I go ahead and change it to GPT as well, should I ever decide to add 2 more HDs? There are 4 HD bays in this rig. The drive letters will definitely extend beyond Z, especially when 2 750GB external HDs are attached, each with 6 partitions, FAT32 format. What is the recommended procedure to format Drive(1) to GPT? Can Win7 do that, or will I need other software to accomplish that?

4) What are your recommendations for me in continuing to expand my system in the future?

Thanks for the answers and help,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #37


You would need to reinstall: removing EFI Boot disk from BIOS Boot order, clean the HD with Diskpart and run Convert MBR command as shown here: Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk - Windows 7 Forums.

Then Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #38

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks gregrocker

Thanks for answering 1 of 4


I'm out of here.....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #39


Ron, since changing to MBR requires a reinstall anyway then the other 3 questions become moot.

I also have no recommendations since EFI is new enough here we are just struggling to adapt our install and repair methods to it. I am in no position to advise yet on an EFI BIOS except that I won't buy one until a lot more becomes clear.

Sorry if you feel I shorted you. I have two dozen other open threads right now with about half who can't even boot their Win7 or get it installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2012   #40

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hey gregrocker & All,

I did not mean to appear rude in my last post, it was quite late for an old guy like me, and I had been fighting with this unresolved issue for weeks.

I solved one of the major issues dealing with MBR vs. GPT formatted HDs. I'll try to keep this short (and that is not too easy to do lol).

I ordered a new Dell XPS computer from Dell. Dell got the order wrong. The XPS was returned. I had to wait 10+ days for the refund to be accounted for. A new order was placed for the Dell Alienware Aurora-R4 computer. After spending 8+ days, and talking to nearly 30 Dell Pro Tech Support personnel, the problems were not solved. Dell agreed to exchange the Alienware computer for another one just like it. The specs are in my post #1.

The computer came with 1 - 1TB HD. The initial order included the computer, a 24" monitor, and an extra 1TB internal HD (customer installed). The original HD came formatted GPT. The 'extra' HD came formatted NTSF MBR, with no instructions or guide, just a plain plastic wrapper, in a box.

One of the main problems I was experiencing:

I partitioned the Drive(0) without any problem, the computer would still boot without error (all partitions on Drive(0) showed to be Primary). I partitioned Drive(1) (the MBR drive) with 4 partitions (3 came out Primary & 1 Logical).

The computer would not boot, saying I needed to run Bootup Repair to fix any problems. Bootup Repair never fixed anything (do not count on it at all).

Luckily I have a Rosewill SATA or IDE 3-in-1 (5.25", 3.5", 2.5") to USB2.0 Cable Converter Adapter. I physically removed Drive(1) from the case and used DiskPart to clean it and quick re-format it (NTFS), replaced it, and the computer started up just fine. If you don't do a 'quick' format, it will take approximately 20 hrs. to format a 1TB HD.

I began to experiment by adding just one extra partition at a time to Drive(1). After adding 2 partitions (now 3 total, all Primary by default), the computer would still boot without error. As soon as I added the 4th partition, which came out to be Logical by default, the computer failed to boot.

I needed 4 partitions (maybe 5 or 6 even) on Drive(1).

Being the experimenter I am, I removed the drive again, re-formatted it again, put in back in the case again.

This time I right-clicked on Drive(1) and used the option to format it to GPT.

Made my 4 partitions (all Primary, by default), and the computer booted without any error.


Dell / Alienware Pro Tech Support do not know about this issue, or how to resolve it.

If one is going to add an extra HD to their system, and it comes out of the box with the MBR format, do not have more than 3 partitions total (and they must all be Primary).

If you need more than 3 partitions, you must format the drive GPT. Apparently Windows 7 and GPT format does not accept Logical partitions.

I hope my days and weeks of trial & error helps others, before they are not able to boot their computer, as I was faced with for weeks. Now I can begin to use my new computer. :-) (and try not to sneeze lol)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 "press any key to boot from CD or DVD" doesn't always appear at bootup

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