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I'm trying to boot Ubuntu on an old PC with Windows XP. I've changed the boot order in BIOS several times and have even purchased an external optical drive because I assumed it couldn't read the disk. Still, no luck.

What am I missing?

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Which version of Ubuntu? Any idea what processor is in the pc? – Joe Internet Jul 21 '11 at 4:06
could you describe in more detailed way, what happens? Do you get the bios boot menu, where you can select the CD drive as source? What does the screen show? It runs all the memory tests and then ignores the cd and begins to boot from HDD? Did you burn the cd as image and not as a data disc (some people did it and were suprised, that it does not boot)? – Juhele Jul 21 '11 at 5:55

Have you tried the latest version of Ubuntu? Sometimes you may have better luck with an older version. Also, does your BIOS allow for a USB boot? You can download UNetBootin to push a Ubuntu ISO to create a bootable thumb drive.

Secondly, are you sure you burned a good copy of Ubuntu? Could it possibly be that the ISO you burned was corrupted? It's usually a good idea to check the ISO against the MD5 checksum that's provided.

Finally, could it have been your disc drive? Have you tried burning a new CD with the new external drive?

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I am using the most current version of Ubuntu; downloaded it last night. I can try an older version. I know it's not a bad copy because I burned it three times, and tried a knoppix disc as well. The Ubuntu discs were burned on a different, newer computer. – Jack Stout Jul 21 '11 at 5:15
More information would definitely be good. System specs, screenshots, etc. It's hard to tell if you're even getting past the BIOS, if you're just selecting Boot from HDD, etc. – kobaltz Jul 21 '11 at 11:41

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