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Windows 7: Cannot boot from CD - need to format & install

29 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Cannot boot from CD - need to format & install

I have bought an old PC just for the case. It has an 80gb drive in it, so I thought I would use that for a new Vista I had lying around. I installed a new motherboard/cpu/ram combo I had (all working well prior).

When I fire it up, the old drive had versions of both XP and 2000. However, both are corrupted an none will boot. The PC goes into a reboot loop each time, regardless of what I try. I have set the bios to boot from the cd drive with the MS original copy Vista, but it refuses to do so.

Any way I can force the boot from the CD drive - or force a reformat? I cannot get to a command prompt, even trying safe mode.

No biggy as I will just use another drive (once returned from Seagate), but it is a bit annoying not being able to do this. Perhaps the drive itself is corrupted?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #2

Windows 7 HP / Ultimate x64

If the BIOS has been configured to boot from CD, only the following possibilities exist:

1. The Vista install disc has scratches or other damages and is therefore unreadable. (get a different copy and try again)

2. The CD drive isn't functioning properly (check drive with a diff. PC, or get a new drive)

It would be cheaper to buy a new CD/DVD drive, than change the HDD itself.

Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP


You'd need to run a XP Repair Install to get XP to start on new hardware. It would be a way to run Vista installer if you can't get it to boot.

Try tapping the BIOS boot menu key given on first boot screen, select DVD drive (you do have a DVD drive, right?), do you get "Press any key..." prompt?

Try writing the Vista DVD to flash stick using UltraISO trial version: on FIle tab select Open DVD, on Bootable Tab select Write Disk Image, FOrmat, Write. Boot under USB, Removable or HD's.

As a last resort, repair and start XP, run Vista DVD from desktop to overwrite the the first partition. Then from Disk Mgmt after install, delete all other partitions if desired.

Adapt these Tips for getting a perfect Win7 reinstall - same with Vista: Reinstalling Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1

FWIW: I am not sure but you might have a vista dvd disk and your drive is a cd.
Just a thought.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks for the replies.

The Vista disk is brand new so no scratches.
The drive is a DVD drive which was functioning perfectly when I tokk it from another PC a few months ago - and appears to be functioning fine (can hear it wind up and down when reading the disk).
I dont have an XP disk to try.
SHould have the replacement HD from Seagate this week (an old Seagate drive I had dies under warranty), so I will just wait and install that.

Is it possible to simply mount the old drive in another PC and wipe it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #6

Windows 7 32 bit

If you just want to erase the HD see if someone has a USB or ESATA Docking station. Or you can use one of those drive enclosures. See this thread for info using diskpart command:

Wipe HDD with "diskpart >> clean all"

Depending on the edition of Windows you may also be able to do everything from Disk Management applet. But diskpart.exe works no matter what flavor of windows as long as it's Vista or later. NTFS changed slightly with Vista so I wouldn't use an XP system to format it. Wiping should not matter though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP


You can also burn to CD free Partition Wizard bootable CD which will autostart on its own (if the drive works correctly), from Disk tab Wipe the HD which should then force the Vista DVD to autostart itself.

I gave you several other things to try as well which should be exhausted to correctly troubleshoot what's wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Hi Greg - Have tried tapping the Bios and have selected DVD for primary boot and nada. I at no stage can get a Press Any Key prompt. Cannot repair and start XP as I have no disk - and from the behaviour of the machine, I doubt I am ever going to get the op system to fire up. Haven't tried UltraISO as yet, but have a copy of the Partition Wizard bootable CD so will give that a go. The HD is of no importance so to completely wipe it is fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #9

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1

I suspect your DVD drive to be the culprit. You can check this drive on another working machine and try to read a DVD/CD. Or get another DVD drive in your machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cannot boot from CD - need to format & install

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