How to Boot From a CD-ROM

By Techwalla Computers Editor

When troubleshooting a computer because of technical issues with the installed operating system, it may become necessary to boot from a CD-ROM. While it may seem technically challenging, it is not that difficult and a person does not have to be a computer expert to do it.

Things You'll Need

  • Boot disk

Step 1

Obtain an operating system boot disk. These boot disks will come with the original materials which accompanied the computer at the time of purchase most of the time. However if the disk is missing you will need to contact the computer maker or store where you bought the computer to obtain another boot disk.

Step 2

Insert the boot disk into the CD-ROM of the computer.

Step 3

Reboot the computer. Click on "Start" from the main operating system menu. Then select "Turn off computer" from the start menu. Finally, choose "Restart the computer" from the computer power dialogue box.

Step 4

Press the "F8" function key as the computer restarts to enter into BIOS setting of the computer. You may have to press the "Ctrl" key at the same time depending on the manufacturer of the computer. Consult your owner's manual for additional information as each computer can have different BIOS access options.

Step 5

Locate the boot option menu item in the BIOS. It should list the hard drive as the primary or first device. Use the up arrow key or space bar to select the CD-ROM as the primary or first boot device.

Step 6

Push the "Esc" key and then save the changes to the BIOS settings. Then allow the computer to continue with the restart. It should boot from the CD-ROM now. If it does not boot correctly check the owner's manual or the manufacturer's website for further instruction.