|Which specific Toshiba Lifebook model is it? |
Some notebook models have a built in optical drive, some don't.
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or, if you are able to go on the internet with it, it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site and loading a program they have available.
Try booting with some other CD or DVD that you KNOW is bootable on other computers.
The laser lens may be "dirty".
If a laptop or notebook has a built in CD or DVD drive, eject the drive's tray, and with no disk on it, clean off the obvious laser lens with a tissue or a soft cloth.
If it has an external USB connected drive, if it's a smaller portable type, do the same thing; if it's a larger type that has an external power adapter, or if it's a drive in a desktop computer, use a laser lens cleaning CD in the drive. If you don't have one, they are available at most places that sell CDs or DVDs, or even some "dollar" stores have them for a buck or two.
The USB port the USB connected external optical drive is connected to MUST be able to provide the full max spec 500ma. Plug the drive into a USB port built into the mboard, or directly connected to the mboard on a desktop computer.
If it has an external optical drive, the bios should detect a bootable disk in the drive , IF the bios can be set to boot from a USB connected device, assuming the drive isn't defective, however, the XP Windows CD will probably NOT load the contents of the CD, because it can't recognize most of if not all models of external optical drives, unless it's a model that was available circa when XP was first released, ~2001.
"I have tried this with newly burned XP (OEM) cd's (3 different ones) and the Hiren's boot CD."
You will have the greatest chance a bootable CD or DVD will work on any computer if you burn to a CD-R, or a DVD-R if the drive supports DVD disks.
If you copied an existing bootable Windows CDs contents, the OEM XP CD copies will NOT be bootable unless you used "disk at once" or similar when you burned them, and you MUST have your Folder Options - View settings set to show all your hidden and system files on the computer you burn the disks on, BEFORE you burn the disk.
The *.img file that makes the Windows CD bootable is NOT visible to the operating system, even after View settings have been set to show all your hidden and system files on the computer . If you use "disk at once" or similar, that file is copied despite the fact the operating system can't see it.
If you made a "slipstreamed" Windows CD, e.g. people commonly do that these days because they want to integrate the SP3 updates into the contents of an XP CD that does not have them, you must provide the *.img file from the original CD, which can be extracted by you using third party software, or otherwise provide one that will work, to the burning program, and do the burning procedure correctly (you have to change some default settings) , otherwise the "slipstreamed" Windows CD will NOT be bootable.
You often cannot make a bootable "slipstreamed" Windows CD with a free OEM or Special or Limited version of burning software. E.g. Nero software must have the Nero Burning Rom module. Some versions of Nero Burning Rom have bugs, and you must re-select Enable expert.... settings just before you burn, otherwise they are NOT selected and the Windows CD will NOT be bootable.
As for the Hirems boot CD, you must follow the correct procedure to make the CD bootable.