I am installing Windows 7 on an old machine. I can not even get it to boot. I get this error message:

CDBOOT: Cannot boot from CD - Code: 5
Boot Failure from Previous Device..
Boot Failure from Previous Device..
Broadcom UNDI, PXE-2.1 (build 082) v1.0.3
Copyright (C) 2000-2002 Broadcom Corporation
Copyright (C) 2007-2000 Intel Corporation
All rights reseved.
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable

PXE-M0F: Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM.

Boot Failure
Reboot and Select proper Boot device
or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device
Press any key when ready

PC is functional, at the moment it runs Windows XP. DVD drive is functional, and while XP is booted, it can read Windows 7 installation DVD and run installation. Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta did not find any problems with the machine.

10 Answers 10


This site has a good tutorial on how to burn a bootable DVD that doesn't have this issue:


During the boot from the Windows 7 installation DVD on some PCs the error message "Error Code 5 - can not boot from disk" appears. Affected are primarily computer with older motherboards of the company "AsRock" or "MSI". Other DVDs on these PCs can boot without problems; e.g. from a Windows Vista installation DVD. And the Windows 7 installation DVD is also OK, because this DVD can boot on other computers. Also the replacement of the DVD drive does not help. And booting from the USB stick does not help either. The error seems to be an incompatibility of "AsRock" motherboards with the DVD boot sector used by Microsoft in Windows 7 installation DVD.

Here's a way how to create a new bootable DVD with the free burning program ImgBurn which is compatible with the "AsRock" or "MSI" motherboards.

In addition to the burning program, ImgBurn still requires a proper boot sector. If a Windows Vista boot DVD is available, the boot sector can be extracted from this DVD. If no Windows Vista boot DVD is available, the freeware vLite can be used. In the program directory of vLite there is a suitable file "boot.bin", which is also a compatible boot sector.

  1. After starting ImgBurn, choose in the overview "Create image file from files/folders
  2. Insert Windows Vista DVD. On the "Advanced" tab -> "Bootable Disc" -> "Extract Boot Image" select the appropriate DVD drive and then click on the floppy icon.
  3. Give the boot sector file a meaningful name; e.g. "Vista-BootImage.ima"
  4. The next message window will ask whether this file shall be used for the current project
    • this saves filling out the above fields manually
  5. Thus, the fields under "Make Image Bootable" is automatically filled
  6. On the "Options" tab, select "ISO9660 + UDF" and activate the checkbox for "Include Hidden Files" and "Include System Files"
  7. On the "Labels" tab add the "Volume Label" for ISO9660 and UDF
  8. On the "Advanced" tab -> "Restrictions" -> "ISO9660" activate the checkbox "Don't Add ';1' Version Number To Files"
  9. On the "Advanced" tab -> "Restrictions" -> "UDF" nothing needs to be changed
  10. Now insert the Windows 7 installation DVD and choose the DVD as source
  11. Choose "Destination" ISO file name
  12. For creating the ISO file click on the large button
  13. After a short analysis the ISO file is created
  14. After completion of the ISO file select the "Ez-Mode Picker"
  15. As final step choose "Write image file to disc" in the overview window to burn the newly created ISO image file to disc
  16. Select the just created ISO file as source
  17. After inserting a blank DVD the burning process can now be started with the big button

Boot XP and install Windows 7 from there. (Worked for me. Probably would work if Vista was already installed, instead of XP.)

  • Unfortunately this does NOT work, when trying to install Win7 64bit on a 32bit XP Mar 8, 2014 at 21:52

I found a German post (Google Translate see below) that describes how to create a bootable Windows 7 DVD if you encounter "error 5" while trying to boot from the Windows 7 DVD. It appears as if the 4 years old MSI board I was using is the source of the problem as I've replaced the DVD drive with a currrent model, which did not solve the problem.

The post describes how to patch the Windows 7 DVD with the boot image of a Windows Vista DVD. If you're able to boot from a Windows Vista DVD but not from a Windows 7 DVD, the procedure is likely to solve your problem.

Because I'm a new user I am allowed to post only one link. Here's the English translation of the article referenced above.


According to this and this thread, it could be a problem with the installer software recognizing the Bios / IDE-controller of the DVD-drive, or the DVD-drive itself (during boot from CD). It could also be a problem with the boot-loader on the DVD-image.

Try tthe following (ranked in what I believe is the least -> most work)

  1. Make copy of the Windows 7 DVD
  2. Install windows from an alternative device
  3. Swap the DVD-drive
  • Thanks, I found the threads myself too, but I could not find any useful information there. DVD drive and DVD image work just fine, I can run Windows 7 installation while XP is booted (that is what I did at the end). It must be that Windows 7 installation software does not recognize DVD drive. Aug 23, 2009 at 7:47
  • The fact that you can read the disc inside xp doesn't necessarily mean that the drive supports booting from dvd.
    – Col
    Aug 23, 2009 at 8:54
  • @Col, good point. I forgot to add that I installed XP from that DVD drive, so I guess that means the machine can be booted from DVD drive. Aug 24, 2009 at 8:18

Don't try to boot off the CD. Do this instead:

  1. Allow Hard disk boot
  2. Press F8 on startup
  3. Select Safe Mode with command prompt
  4. Select CD drive ":"
  5. type "Setup"
  6. Press Enter key
  • Unfortunately this does NOT work, when trying to install Win7 64bit on a 32bit XP. Mar 8, 2014 at 13:03

I'm not sure if it's helpful, but I also experienced the Windows Code 5 error for my motherboard when booting. The solution that ended up working (after trying gujin bootloader, and then trying to swap in a vLite bootloading file into the ISO) was to burn the DVD ISO file as ISO9660 format instead of UDF format. My Asus P5B motherboard could not boot from a UDF filesystem format.

I went through several DVDs until I realized that it could be the file system on the DVD that's preventing bootloading.


For installing Windows 7, use a bootable pen drive with the help of Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool (it's a software to make a bootable pen drive), and the installation is just like booting from DVD.


This is more for the WinPE crowd that might stumble on this post.

WinPE 3.0 (7 kernel) will not boot on these older systems either for the same reasons.

The WinPE 2.0 (Vista kernel) will; you can use the etfsboot.com file that comes with WinPE 2.0 when creating your ISO with oscdimg in place of the standard one to solve this problem as well

Vista WAIK (With WinPE 2.0)


What worked for me: I got hard-drive connected to anther PC, here I started instalation with no ther HDDs connected. When Installer prompted for first reboot, I powered it off, reconnected HDD to problem-making PC and started it with DVD in drive. It started and continued installation normally, now PC runs win7 with no problem. Sad is, you need "healthy" PC to run it.


Another method would be to use a Windows Vista Recovery CD directly to boot and then switch to Windows 7 DVD installation.

This method does not include changing/creation/patching of any iso images but uses a freely available Vista image for booting.

Make sure to use a 32 bit Vista CD if you are planning to install Windows 7 32 bit, or to use a 64 bit Vista CD for installation of Windows 7 64 bit.

  1. If you don't have a Vista Recovery CD at hand, download it. For example here (from german site, the CD itself is german language only. Sorry, it dit not find any international version so far):
  2. Boot from the Vista CD.
  3. Select Repair Options in the upcoming window, click next (it does not matter which - if any - operating system you select for repairing), select command prompt in the next windwow --> a command prompt appears.
  4. Eject the Vista CD, insert the Windows 7 DVD.
  5. Change to the cd/dvd drive in the command prompt, for example by typing D: and hitting Return.
  6. Type setup and hit Return.

Now, your Windows 7 installation should start!

Note: An XP repair CD does not work as the repair OS is accessed directly from the CD. In my case, this prevented the CD from being ejected. Another issue would be that of 64 bit installation on a 32 bit repair system.

Note 2: This method does not always work as the installation of Windows 7 relies on cd/dvd drivers which might not be present when executed from Windows Vista.

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