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Re: Computer won't boot from CD

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Edwin Sineath wrote:
> I put in a live CD to boot from, computer doesn't boot from it, boots
> from hard drive. But once it boots up, the CD is recognized so
> apparently there is nothing wrong with the drive. But I don't know what
> is causing this. The BIOS is set to boot from CD first.

Perhaps you could describe how you made the CD ?


Say that a friend tells you about a neat LiveCD you can download.
You download a file "my-livecd.iso" from a web site.

Now, some people would be tempted to just copy the file directly
to a CD. That won't work. If you did that, and then plugged the
CD into a Windows computer, it might show a single file
sitting on the CD, with the name my-livecd.iso .

Inside the ISO9660 file, is not only a file system, but also
the information necessary to prepare a bootable CD. So the
ISO9660 file is a "container" and not a simple file. You need
a burner program, that can read the container, and convert
it into a bootable CD.

An optical CD burning program such as Nero, knows how to
parse an ISO9660 file and prepare a bootable CD from it.

There might also be free optical burner software programs
you can use as well. Check for programs such as CDburnerXP
or IMGBurn.

If you already have a working Linux distro, the "K3B" program
knows how to burn CDs and DVDs.

In terms of the thing that makes the CD bootable, you can
read articles like this.

There is one program for Linux, that you can use to
evaluate storage devices of all sorts. The program is
"disktype". Disktype can be added to your Linux machine with
the resident package manager. (I'm not aware of a version
of this that is available for Windows.) Rather than compile
this myself, I just went into Synaptic Package Manager and
added it.

This is something I tried, when Microsoft offered Windows 7
for download (Release Candidate 1), as a 2GB ISO9660 file.
I downloaded the file, and then analyzed the file with the
disktype program.

disktype 7100.0.090421-1700_x86fre_client_en-us_retail_ultimate-grc1culfrer_en_dvd.iso

This is what disktype reports.

--- 7100.0.090421-1700_x86fre_client_en-us_retail_ultimate-grc1culfrer_en_dvd.iso
Regular file, size 2.357 GiB (2530975744 bytes)
UDF file system
Sector size 2048 bytes
Volume name "<5500><4400><4600><2000><5600><6F00><6C00><7500>< 6D00><6500>"
UDF version 1.02
ISO9660 file system
Volume name "GRC1CULFRER_EN_DVD"
Application "CDIMAGE 2.54 (01/01/2005 TM)"
Data size 2.357 GiB (2530975744 bytes, 1235828 blocks of 2 KiB)
El Torito boot record, catalog at 22
Bootable non-emulated image, starts at 663, preloads 4 KiB
Platform 0x00 (x86), System Type 0x00 (Empty)

You can see mention of "El Torito" there, implying that the disc prepared
from the file will be bootable.

There might be other means to make a CD bootable - that is all I know
about it.

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