Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicate:
Install Win7 from USB

I am trying to install windows xp to a laptop that do not have a dvd/cd drive but has a usb port.I can access the command prompt and i was wondering how i could change the default bios setting to be the flash disk using the command prompt.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Joe Taylor, ChrisF, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Mokubai, Ivo Flipse Jan 10 '11 at 10:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

You cannot change BIOS settings from the command prompt. To access the BIOS settings, you need to press a hotkey during system boot. This is typically F1, F12, DEL or INS, but may differ on your system. The key you need to press usually briefly appears in a description during boot; if not, try (keep) pressing TAB to see more information as your computer is starting up.

Note that accessing the BIOS occurs before Windows (or whichever O/S or boot device is specified) starts, so if you see your operating system booting, you haven't pressed the key quickly enough.

Most systems even have a dedicated key to choose the boot device. On my system, it is F12. Once pressed, you will be asked which device to boot from -- it does not change any settings, it just boots from the specified device that single time. On my home PC, the button is F8, but make sure you don't press it while Windows starts or you will get the screen to boot into Windows' safe mode.

Take note that not all motherboards support booting from Flash disks. There are solutions for this: you can modify your flash disk to appear as a removable disk drive, but you shouldn't do this unless strictly necessary.

Also beware that installing from a USB stick is significantly slower than from CD/DVD.

share|improve this answer
    
"Also beware that installing from a USB stick is significantly slower than from CD/DVD." -- that's almost always untrue. –  Matthieu Cartier Jan 11 '11 at 14:05
    
I've only run into a few USB sticks that read faster than a typical 24x DVD drive (~32 MB/s); your average USB 2.0 flash drive usually runs at about half that speed. From my own experience, my (relatively expensive) SanDisk Cruzer Contour took a good 20 minutes longer over installing Windows 7 than from DVD. –  Paul Lammertsma Jan 11 '11 at 16:59

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.