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I'm encountering boot failure while trying to install a Linux distro from a CD. I'm using an older PC; here are its specs:

HP Pavilion 2.66GHz, 512MB RAM with a BIOS revision of 6/30/2003

I reclaimed an older drive (Seagate ST340810A) that seems to be working, as it's recognized in the BIOS (auto-detected).

I downloaded a mini.iso of Ubuntu 10.10 that I want to install, and burned the image to a CD for install.

My boot sequence is: First Boot Device [CDROM]. I disabled devices 2-4 so I can just force it to read first from the CD-ROM.

This old PC also has a separate CD writer which is a Sec.Slave. The Sec.Master is the Toshiba DVD/ROM DSM-171 drive where I placed the burned Linux CD.

With these settings I cannot get it to boot. I get the message

"DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER"

when I try

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Welcome to Super User, @jdamae! Your question is fine here, but just so you know, the people who run SU have a site all about Ubuntu questions as well; it's at askubuntu.com. – Pops Feb 16 '11 at 0:07
    
ok, thanks for the tip. i'll post it there too. – jdamae Feb 16 '11 at 0:20

Have you verified the iso you have downloaded?

Has your burning program verified the burnt image?

Does the cd work on another computer?

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the image is good. file size matches the download. I just checked it. I can see the config files while opening on my macbook. so, it looks good to me. i don't have another pc to boot it on, except for macbook. – jdamae Feb 16 '11 at 0:16
    
I'd try and find a friend willing to let you test the disk on their PC. – PriceChild Feb 16 '11 at 9:11

I have seen some older machines with IDE-based DVD units fail to boot/recognise Linux CDs. The fix was to replace the DVD unit with a CD-ROM/CD-RW drive for the install.

Can you remove the DVD drive and make the CD-ROM the secondary master?

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i unplugged the DVD drive, made the CD-ROM the secondary master..no luck. still same message. – jdamae Feb 16 '11 at 1:39

Did you download the 64-bit version instead of the 32-bit version? You need to make sure that you download the correct version for your processor, and I'm guessing that it's a 32-bit processor.

You'll need to burn the image as an ISO image and not as a data image. Data CDs are not bootable. Use something like InfraRecorder for Windows (it is easy to use and has an option for burning ISO images).

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The bit version would not have an impact on the boot until it tries to install. Or I'm a just guessing here? – TFM Jun 21 '11 at 6:39
    
@TFM If he has a 32-bit processer, the disk will try to load the included 64-bit kernel on a 32-bit processer, which will NOT work. – tjameson Jun 21 '11 at 7:05
    
I understand that, but would loading the wrong kernel generate a "DISK BOOT FAILURE" message? – TFM Jun 21 '11 at 7:29

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