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Thread: Boot record from CD-ROM... not found?

  1. #1
    Taking a break
    Registered: Dec 2002

    Boot record from CD-ROM... not found?

    Have I got a riddle for you.

    I wanted to format an old box and give it away or something. So I put on the XP Home Install disc, restart, enter BIOS, change the boot order, save & exit, and... the PC skips the CD-ROM and starts normally.

    So restart again, enter BIOS, delete all boot devices other than the CD-ROM, save & exit and... the PC skips the CD-ROM and starts normally.

    So restart again, enter BIOS, change the "Try other boot devices" to No, save & exit, forcing it to run the CD-ROM and nothing else, and...

    "Boot record from CD-ROM... not found."

    - It happens with XP Home, XP Pro, and even 2003 Server Enterprise Edition I had lying around, so it's not the disc itself.
    - You can read all the above once you launch the OS, so it's not the drive.
    - BIOS sees the drive just fine, well it wouldn't be available as a boot device if it didn't. So it's not the BIOS.

    Any ideas? Only one I have so far is replacing the CMOS battery(it really is ancient hardware) but it's an extremely long shot.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Location: free koki
    Have you tried fitting another CD-ROM in there? You haven't specified whether the unit actually spins the disc or not, but even if it does it might have trouble reading it.

  3. #3
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Can you see from the BIOS POST information at startup or drive setup screen in the BIOS whether it lists the CD ROM drive as being present? I wouldn't rely on the "boot from CDROM" option being present as a guarantee that the BIOS has seen your drive - that's often just a generic option. Of course, you could prove that one way or another by physically unplugging the drive and checking if the option in the BIOS changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koki View Post
    it really is ancient hardware
    How ancient is it? Some of the original CD ROM drives were controlled via sound cards and were not standard IDE. Pretty unlikely that you'll have one that old but it's possible.

    Of course, it would also be useful if you can give some details about the CD ROM / motherboard / BIOS type - will make the riddle a bit less open ended...

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: UK
    If it's a copy of a CD-ROM/DVD, then it could have been written as non-bootable. I had this problem when slipstreaming my SATA drivers to my Win2000 CD. Try seeing if it will boot the Ultimate Boot CD, or a bootable Linux CD such as Ubuntu. This will tell you if it's a problem with the CD, or with the hardware.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Utah
    Yeah, it's the CMOS battery. Even after changing the boot order, it turns off for a sec when you're rebooting. Then it goes back to factory settings, which is hard drive first, apparently. Go to the drug store and find a replacement battery, they are likely by the hearing aid batteries.

    Another test for bad CMOS battery is to change the date/time. When you reboot, it will be back in like 1992 or something.

  6. #6
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Quote Originally Posted by TBE View Post
    Yeah, it's the CMOS battery.... Then it goes back to factory settings
    I wouldn't rule anything out, but as it appears to remember setting "boot other devices" to "no" I don't think that's the cause.

    Edit: However, yes - it's definitely a good idea to change the battery anyway, particularly if the unit is several years old.
    Last edited by Al_B; 11th Aug 2010 at 03:55.

  7. #7
    Taking a break
    Registered: Dec 2002
    Changing the battery achieved nothing.

    Changing the CD-ROM drive fixed it.

    ...but.

    I then switched it back again to the old drive. Still got the error. Now when you force it to use only the CD-ROM and it can't find boot record, it displays something like "Insert proper boot device and press any key to continue". So I did press the key. And it worked.

    And that's how it works now. I tested it five times - it never finds the boot record on the first try, but always finds it when you tell it to try again.

    Amazing.

  8. #8
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    I've seen that on old drives that take a while to spin up. The BIOS may be checking the drive before it's ready and gives the error - then, by the time you press the key, it's had chance to spin up correctly and it can boot from it. Normally you can tell if this is the case by listening to the sound the drive makes.

    I'm guessing it's not a major problem as you won't be booting from the CD ROM normally.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Al_B View Post
    I've seen that on old drives that take a while to spin up. The BIOS may be checking the drive before it's ready and gives the error[....]

    I'm guessing it's not a major problem as you won't be booting from the CD ROM normally.
    And if this becomes a major issue in the future, one can try to delay the machine in order to give the CD-ROM unit more time to spin up. This can sometimes be done by telling the BIOS to boot from the floppy drive at first, and from the CD or hard disk after that. Another possibility would be to allow an extended memory check at boot; the short version of this memory test is often referred to as "quick boot" in BIOS Setup.

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