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I have a computer which has had a previous installation of linux on, and after various attempts to format the harddrive, I cannot get the bios to recognize the windows xp cd as a boot device. Linux has taken over the bios. Can someone give me advice how I can get the computer to boot from the cd so I can get windows back on there. There is currently a grub console which appears now after every boot up. But unfortuntely I am clueless.



I have the dvd set as the boot device.

I have tested the boot dvd on another computer and it works fine

If i select F8 for the boot menu then i get the cent os choice with one option. I am now on the GRUB Command line, not knowing a thing.

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Can you access your BIOS settings at all? Maybe the boot order is just changed. – ThisTime Aug 30 '09 at 18:46
I have checked the bios and the dvd drive is the first in the priority – REA_ANDREW Aug 30 '09 at 19:01
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Linux cannot have flashed your BIOS, unless some pretty weird operations were done on this computer. Under normal circumstances, either the CD is not set in the BIOS as the first boot device, or the XP boot cd is faulty, or the CD drive itself is faulty.

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Please see the question as I have updated it – REA_ANDREW Aug 30 '09 at 19:03
Curiouser and curiouser. What happens if you try to boot with a Linux live CD? – harrymc Aug 30 '09 at 19:38
Sorr I do not have the linux dvds anymore. Just the windows dvd which i am trying to get it to recognise so I can push the magical ANY key to boot from cd and be back on windows. – REA_ANDREW Aug 30 '09 at 19:49
I think that you're getting the Grub line because you're booting from the hard disk. This means that Linux is still present on the hard disk, but also that the cd isn't booting. I asked about Linux live just in order to have you try another boot cd. If the boot cd is ok, than it must be either the drive or the bios. – harrymc Aug 31 '09 at 6:31

When the computer starts the boot sequence pres the button to enter the BIOS set-up (del, or one of the F keys typically).

Soemwhere in the BIOS you should be able to choose the boot sequence and/or what drives are bootable (HD, USB, Cd/DVD). Ensure that you can boot off the CD AND that it is first in the sequence. This should allow you to boot off the CD.

A normal Linux installation will not mess with you BIOS.

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The dvd drive is the first boot device in the priority, I have updated the question with further information – REA_ANDREW Aug 30 '09 at 19:01
Does the DVD drive work? How do you know it works? If this is a desktop are the power and data cables plugged in correctly to the drive and motherboard? – Will Aug 30 '09 at 23:00

have you checked if your cd/dvd unit can read cd's? what happens when your in linux and you put xp cd in the drive? can the system read it? if it has problems reading it then your cd unit needs cleaning. is original cd or you have burned it? try burning at lowest speed and use more reliable media.

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I'm gonna assume you want to wipe linux. This method has NEVER failed, but well, will totally and irrecoverably delete your linux partition but you'll likely be able to install windows.. Backup, and restoring linux is probably an option i suppose

If all else fails, get a DBAN disk, and see if that boots.Backup anything and everything you will need from the linux partition - its gonna get obliterated- Do a basic wipe - this'll take a long while so do it overnight. Try booting windows once its done. it should work. Now.. why i have no idea, but it works.

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If you have Ubuntu 9.04 you can install and format your hard drive, then boot from a Windows XP CD and delete the Linux MBR from your drive.

You can then install Windows with no problems.

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Sorry I am un able to follow what you mean currently looking at GNU GRUB 0.97 – REA_ANDREW Aug 30 '09 at 19:03
  1. put the cd into you computer
  2. reboot
  3. Grub Menu will come
  4. press c to enter commands to grub
  5. type exit
  6. hit enter
  7. CD Loads
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