The answer is “yes”, but that may not help you, depending on what you’re
attempting to do, and what computer you have.
It’s not Windows you should be concerned about. It’s your PC.
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Windows can certainly boot from a CD-ROM. In fact, that’s pretty much what
happens when you install Windows from a CD-ROM. You boot from the
CD-ROM the setup program runs and it installs Windows.
What’s more important is knowing whether your computer supports booting from
CD-ROM. Most contemporary PC’s almost certainly do, but older machines quite
often don’t include the support necessary – they’ll only boot from a floppy, or
from the hard disk.
Even if your computer does support booting from CD-ROM, some are not
configured to enable that support by default.
The way to tell if you computer supports it, and to enable it if it does, is
to boot into the BIOS setup for your computer. Exactly how that’s done will
vary from one computer to the next, but it’s typically done by pressing one of
the function keys at the beginning of the boot process, before Windows starts
loading. Once in your BIOS setup, you can look for, and alter, boot options.
That’ll include which devices the computer will look to boot from, and it what
order it checks. If “CD-ROM” is included, and it’s looked to before the hard
disk, then you should be good to go.
Creating a bootable CD-ROM is another story. Windows doesn’t really
include support for creating a CD-ROM that you can boot from. A popular set of
tools for creating a bootable CD-ROM is called Bart PE, for “Bart’s Preinstalled Environment”. I’ll warn you that
it’s not for the faint of heart – it’s targeted at the more technical user.