No CDROM boot option in BIOS (Dell desktop)

Dell / 8250
January 25, 2010 at 09:22:23
Specs: Windows XP
hi the bios cant find my cdrom drive i want to reinstall xp home i have also tried a usb cdrom drive to see if that hepls it still does not show up in bios could it be a virus of some sort i maybe wrong??

edited by moderator: Moved from Security & Virus Forum

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January 25, 2010 at 09:34:46
I doubt its a virus.

So when you boot your pc and hit F12 it doesn't show your CD drive at all? When using the USB CD drive and trying to install XP, what source are you selecting to boot from?

Have you checked to make sure all cables are plugged in properly and the ports are not faulty?

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January 25, 2010 at 14:57:19
Yours is an older model - Intel 85x main chipset.
Older bioses may not show the CD drive as being detected by the bios in the bios Setup, but if the drive does not show up in Windows it's definately not being detected by the bios.
However, I found some of the bios info about your model - it doesn't show all the details, but if the cd drive is being detected it should show up in the list of drives on the summary screen - the first screen you see.

If the optical drive does not show up in Windows, you probably have a connection problem to it, assuming the Intel 85x main chipset drivers were installed.
They were if you still have the orginal Dell software installation.
If you don't have that, your CD drive may not be detected in Windows until AFTER you install the main chipset drivers -

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

You should be able to see you can select CDrom or similar in the Boot Sequence (select it and press Enter to open it) settings in the bios. If it isn't present already, you should be able to select it from a list that pops up when you click on something there.
That should be floppy drive first (at the top), if you have one, CD drive, then hard drive, if you want to be able to boot from the CD drive.
I have found that in many older bioses, if the CD drive is listed before a floppy drive, a bootable disk in the floppy drive will NOT be recognized as bootable while booting.

Many older bioses are incapable of booting from a USB optical drive or USB flash drive - you have to be able to set the boot order or similar so can boot from a USB drive first, and the USB drive may not show up in the bios as detected by the bios but it should show up in Windows.

Remove or replace a CD/DVD drive.
The manual assumes the drive is jumpered CS - cable select.
It could also be jumpered master.
If you have two drives on the same data cable, both must be jumpered cable select, or one must be jumpered master, the other slave.
If you have it on the same data cable as a hard drive, some hard drives have two ways master can be set e.g. master (single) or similar, for when it is by itself on a data cable, or master (with slave), for when there is a drive jumpered a slave on the same data cable - in most cases the secondway must be used in order for both drives to be detected properly (or both can beset to CS).

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittant, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

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January 26, 2010 at 09:58:21
cheers for replys yes the cables r all working fine the bios did detect my cdrom drive but now its gone yes i have pressed f12 but still it doesnt say boot from cdrom maybe ill have a look at the chip set download might help

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Related Solutions

January 26, 2010 at 10:49:36
"...the bios did detect my cdrom drive but now its gone.."

Replace the data cable - they're cheap to buy - with an 80 wire one, if it's possible a hard drive or new DVD combo drive will ever be installed in the future on the cable.
If that doesn't help, you need to replace the drive.

In all the bioses I've seen, you can make a CD drive appear in the boot order - in this case that's called the Boot Sequence - in the bios even if the bios has not detected a CD or DVD drive, unless it's a really old bios and you can't choose anything but one of a pre made lists, which I very much doubt applies in this case.
It's possible in theory that you can't select that unless the bios detects one, but I have never seen that.

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