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Have just bought a 2nd hand PC with Windows 7 Ultimate installed.

I want to boot off DVD, but when the DVD is in the drive Windows still boots up. I hit < f2 > to get into the BIOS menu, and it opens a page entitled "Windows Boot Manager".

"Windows Boot Manager" has a memory test, and some "Advanced Options" that allow me to force it to boot in safe mode etc. I don't see any way to change the boot source from HDD to DVD though. How can I boot from DVD?

I haven't figured out the exact age of the PC yet, but it did originally have XP installed so must be quite a number of years old.

I'm aware of this other similar question but I think my situation might be quite different because there seem to be so few options available in the BIOS.

I see also that upgrading the BIOS may help.

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Have you tried all of the different function keys (F1, F2, ... F12), the delete key and or the spacebar. Not all computers access the bios the same way. What make and model is the computer? If it is "homemade" open it up and see what model number the motherboard is. – opsin Jan 19 '12 at 3:00
Also, try booting from a CD. It could be that your CD/DVD player can't boot from a DVD. Any idea what the make and model of it is? – opsin Jan 19 '12 at 3:03
@opsin, not yet. I'll try those and report back. The brand on the box is Ipex. I will open it up shortly and make notes of the hardware. I will come back to you with the DVD model too. Thanks! – Highly Irregular Jan 19 '12 at 3:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you're seeing the "Windows Boot Manager" then you've already missed the chance to get in to the BIOS - it's before that. On most PCs and laptops there is a button you tap as soon as you boot up or see video output. It's not the same on all PCs, but it's usually the delete key, F2, or F1. If it's an IBM/Lenovo you can hit the blue think vantage button.

You can change the boot order once you get in the BIOS. Generally, it's a blue screen with white text (if you've never used it before).

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I've been in quite a number of BIOS screens before, and "Windows Boot Manager" certainly didn't look like any of them. Strangely though, it's what comes up when I hit F2 when I see the "<F2> BIOS" note at the bottoms of the screen. I will try hitting it earlier, and report back. – Highly Irregular Jan 19 '12 at 3:35
Could be that you have one of those odd keyboards that requires you to hold a Fn or F key down before you press F2. I've only one that required this, a Lenova. Usually the bios disregards these "fancy" keyboards, but not always. – opsin Jan 19 '12 at 3:56
Yeah, you have to be rather swift to get in to the BIOS on the newer machines. They almost make you have to hit the button before you see the video come up. I know boot manager comes up if you hit F5 or F8 for sure. I wonder if M$ made it come up when you hit any F-key now..? – skub Jan 19 '12 at 3:56
Bingo! It seemed to be the case that by the time I saw the "BIOS <F2>" message, it was too late - hitting F2 earlier (but not too early) seemed to do the trick. That got me into the BIOS. It's a bit irritating that the same key also starts the Windows Boot Manager (as it confuses things), but I guess different PCs probably have different BIOS entry keys. Thanks very much for your wisdom! – Highly Irregular Jan 19 '12 at 7:41

I remember reading somewhere that certain laptops, possibly Toshibas, do not include a inbuilt BIOS setup utility and rely on ACPI via a Windows utility to change boot-time settings.

I'm not sure if this is correct, but check the manufacturer's website for a setup utility or something similar.

My ancient Tandy 1000TL my friend gave me (circa 1987-88) was like this - you had to run a SETUPTL.EXE program from a floppy to modify BIOS settings, it wasn't on the ROM (although, oddly enough, DOS 3.2 was...)

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Will investigate if I run out of other options. This is a desktop PC though. – Highly Irregular Jan 19 '12 at 4:27

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