1. If your motherboard is of descent quality and from a reputable
manufacturer and no more than say 3 maybe 4 yrs old it should
allow you to boot to cd. What motherboard do you have-------
2. It sounds like the real problem is your backup disk wasnt burnt
correctly. I have made backups of my OSs from 98 to XP Pro and
all I have to do is put the backup disk in the cd drive and the disk
will boot up to the main menu.
98 and 2K can boot directly to cd from a freshly formatted hard
drive but I do think XP needs either a running windows version
or the setup disks to boot to before you can install XP.
Get a bootable copy of XP working and either the 6 (i think) setup
disks or if the pc you are using now is the pc you want to reinstall
XP on and has a version of Windows simply put the backup in your
cd drive and if the backup is good it will bootup to the setup screen.