Hi, Leo. I just purchased Macrium Reflect, Version 5, and I did as you
explained in your newsletter last week. It was an excellent explanation to
install, make a rescue disc, and then image backup. After I created the
rescue disc, I tried to check to see if it will boot the computer in case of a
system problem. I found out that Windows starts as normal; not using the rescue
disc. How do I turn the DVD drive on to boot from the rescue disc? Thanks very
In this excerpt from
Answercast #17, I explain how to set your BIOS to boot from a rescue
Turn DVD drive on to boot?
So, it’s not that you need to turn the DVD drive on, and in fact, it’s not a change you make in Windows at all. The boot process happens before Windows is even loaded.
What you need to do is make a change to a BIOS setting.
BIOS is software that is built into your computer that helps the computer understand how to boot. It’s the software that you see on your screen immediately after you turn the machine on. It may run a memory test. It may tell you some version information about the machine, some amount of memory you have, some hardware information – those kinds of things.
Those tests are all performed by software that is a physically part of the machine, whether or not you have a hard disk installed, much less Windows.
Enter the BIOS before booting
What you need to do is: at boot time, press the key sequence or the “key” that causes the BIOS to enter its settings editing mode.
Now, I have to say the “key” because I don’t know what the key is for your computer.
Typically, there will be a message on the screen that says, “Press something to change settings” or “For settings” or something like that:
- It could be any one of the function keys, F1 through 12.
- It could be Delete.
- It can be a couple of other keys I’ve seen randomly used.
Pay attention to what that key is. Look for it as you reboot your machine next time.
Press that key before the boot process actually begins and the BIOS will enter a settings mode – a mode where you can make some fundamental changes to your system settings, to your BIOS settings.
One of the settings may be called the “Boot Order” or the “Boot Priority.” Again, the terminology varies from BIOS to BIOS.
Also, where it will appear in the settings will vary from one machine to another. So I can’t really point you specifically where to look.
The concept is the BIOS (when it tries to boot) will check the hardware that’s installed on your machine in a particular order. For example:
In the days of floppy discs, the BIOS would check the floppy disc to see if there was a disc inserted, and if there was, it would try to boot from that before it even looked at the hard disk.
If there was no floppy disc, it would look at the hard disk.
Nowadays, we actually have several different kind of alternatives for booting. We can be looking at the hard disk; we could be looking at a CD; we could be looking at an attached USB device.
But the difference is that the BIOS needs to know which one to check first.
In your case, it sounds like the BIOS is checking the hard disk first and since it’s finding a bootable operating system on the hard disk, that’s what it runs with.
Set CD/DVD as priority boot
Without checking anything else, the BIOS setting that you change actually instructs the BIOS to check the CD drive or your DVD drive first before it checks the hard drive.
If you don’t have a DVD installed, actually inserted in the drive, it doesn’t matter. The check is very quick. It immediately moves on and checks the hard drive.
But if you do then have a bootable CD inserted into the drive (as you would with a restoration disc), then the BIOS will begin to boot from that without even looking at the hard drive.
So that’s the thing you need to look for; that’s the thing you need to change.
I’m sorry I can’t give you more specifics on exactly where to find it on your machine, but that is how you get your machine to begin to boot from a CD that’s been installed.
Next from Answercast #17 – Can I delete the paging file if I’m using an SSD drive with 8GB of RAM?