How To Boot From The CD/DVD Drive

In this guide you will learn…

• How to set your computer to boot from the CD/DVD drive.

Real world application…

• If you’re thinking of installing Windows XP or one of the many Linux distributions, then this guide will be most helpful. One way of installing these operating systems is to boot from the CD/DVD drive.

• Some applications require a non-windows environment to function, this functionality only becomes available once you have booted from the CD/DVD drive.


Your computer will more than likely be configured to boot from your computers hard disk drive. This is to say that once you turn on your computer the hard disk drive takes over and your operating system will eventually load. Now to change this we have to enter a part of the computer that is known as the BIOS. Within the BIOS you can change many settings and one of those settings should be the order in which your computer is set to boot. 

For example: 

1) Hard Disk Drive

2) Floppy Drive

3) CD/DVD Drive

All that is required, is to swap the order so that the CD/DVD Drive is first. This should then allow you to boot from the CD/DVD Drive.


As I’ve said above to swap the order you will have to enter your computers BIOS. To do this requires you to press a key or a combination of keys when your computer is starting. Which key or combination of keys depends solely on the manufacturer of the BIOS. To navigate, select and to make any changes you will have to use your keyboard. Some modern BIOS’s allow you to use your mouse.

Motherboard Manual: The motherboard manual should tell you exactly how to boot into the BIOS and to change the way in which the computer will boot. 

The following is how you change the boot order in this BIOS…

By pressing the DEL key when your computer is starting you should see something like this.

Using the arrow keys select Boot and press enter to access the Boot Device Priority menu.

Press enter on the highlighted 1st Boot Device and select CDROM from the menu.

In this BIOS you have to press F10 to save and exit any changes that you have made. Press enter and the changes will be saved and you will exit the BIOS.

When your computer is starting it will now boot from the CD.


This is all that is required to make your computer boot from the CD/DVD drive and as long as you save the change you should be fine. If you do not you’ll have to go back and start again. If you are uncertain of what you are doing then choose not to save any changes. Once you have finished booting from your CD/DVD drive make sure you change the order back so that the hard disk drive will now be booted from first.

Note: Please consult your motherboard manual for specific instructions on how to go about making your computer boot from the CD/DVD drive. Or visit the website of your motherboard manufacturer to see if there is a manual that you can download.