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Old 07-12-2008, 12:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Dell refuses to boot from CD

I'm working on a Dell Dimension 3000. It has two IDE optical drives, one DVD-ROM/CD-ROM Combo drive and one CD-RW drive on the secondary IDE channel. It has an IDE HDD on the primary IDE channel.

The computer in question was brought to me with a massive malware infection, including Advanced Antivirus, zlob, virtumonde, sony rootkit, and some new and as of yet unidentified bundle of fun that restricts all system access policies, all of this a mere 2 days after I had cleaned it up and handed it back to them spyware-free, but I digress...

The point is, in order to clean some of these infections, I need to boot to an alternate OS and nuke them from orbit, but the computer won't boot to a CD in either of the optical drives.

I know the drives work; I can see the media in both of them when it's booted into Windows in safemode with command prompt. I also know the CDs work. I have tried a memtest disc, a drive fitness test disc, and an ultimate boot CD, all of which work fine on other computers.

The BIS sees both optical drives and lists them as CD-ROM drives on the secondary master and slave IDE devices, although it only shows one "IDE CD-ROM Device" along with the HDD in the boot order. The CD-ROM device is listed before the HDD.

I've tried disabling the HDD altogether from the boot order, but that only results in a boot error, OS not found. I tried changing around the primary and secondary IDE channels, also no results. It just boots directly into Windows on the HDD, regardless of selected boot order, even when specified explicitly in the boot options selection screen.

I've also tried resetting the BIOS, pulling out the CMOS battery, still no dice.

Any idea why this machine won't boot from the optical drives, or how I can fix it?
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell refuses to boot from CD

Try taking disconnecting one of the optical drives at a time.
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell refuses to boot from CD

set it to boot from cd first. then hit the spacebar button. a check mark should appear in front the the rom drives, enabling them to be booted. if there is no check mark then they are disabled. you should be able to boot now
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell refuses to boot from CD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxon View Post
Try taking disconnecting one of the optical drives at a time.
I'll give that a shot when I get back to it. For now I've managed to make due by removing the HD and hooking it up to another machine to clean out the rootkits and files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricB View Post
set it to boot from cd first. then hit the spacebar button. a check mark should appear in front the the rom drives, enabling them to be booted. if there is no check mark then they are disabled. you should be able to boot now
I'm really not an idiot when it comes to the BIOS. As my post should have implied, the CD drive _was_ checked and in the proper order, and I even tried _unchecking_ the HDD, but that only resulted in a boot error. For whatever reason, the BIOS is refusing to boot to any bootable CD, despite showing it as an option in the boot order -- it just skips over it.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Dell refuses to boot from CD

Can you try a usb boot. Many *nixs have USB images avaliable.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell refuses to boot from CD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunjo View Post
I'll give that a shot when I get back to it. For now I've managed to make due by removing the HD and hooking it up to another machine to clean out the rootkits and files.



I'm really not an idiot when it comes to the BIOS. As my post should have implied, the CD drive _was_ checked and in the proper order, and I even tried _unchecking_ the HDD, but that only resulted in a boot error. For whatever reason, the BIOS is refusing to boot to any bootable CD, despite showing it as an option in the boot order -- it just skips over it.

I worked on many a dell computer and I never paid any attention to the check mark. I had an issue the other day where it would not boot to the hard drive. I finally figure out to hit that space bar. I was thinking that maybe you had that issue
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dell refuses to boot from CD

On most dells at the bios splash screen it will say press f12 I believe for boot options. then you can select a cd rom to boot from.

Have you tried that?
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