How to Change the Boot Order on a HP Pavilion

By Lita McLeary

The "boot order," otherwise known as "boot priority" or "boot sequence," is the order in which the hardware storage devices are read by computer. By default, the boot order of HP notebook computers starts with the floppy drive, followed by the CD/DVD-ROM, hard drive, USB drive and network adapter. If you are going to reformat your HP Pavilion laptop using an installation CD, for instance, you will have to change the boot priority so that it reads the CD/DVD-ROM drive before it reads any other drive.

Step 1

Turn on the computer and press the "F10" key to access the BIOS. It can also be accessed by pressing "F2" or "F6," depending on the model of HP Pavilion laptop you are using.

Step 2

Use the arrow keys to navigate to the "Advanced" tab, then select "Boot Order." If you want your CD/DVD-ROM as your first boot priority, set it as "number one," then configure your second, third and fifth boot priority. Follow the instructions on your screen to properly change the boot order.

Step 3

Press "F10" to save your settings or navigate to the "Save and Exit" tab. If you are asked to confirm your action, type "Y" (indicating "yes").

Step 4

Wait for the computer to reboot. If you are going to reformat using an installation CD, insert it into the optical drive of the computer.

Step 5

Reboot the computer once again and wait for the computer to recognize the CD. Once it is recognized, the computer will prompt you to "Press any key to boot from CD..." Do this before the computer boots the next device in line.

Tips & Warnings

  • Instructions for changing the boot order may vary depending on the model of HP Pavilion laptop or BIOS brand installed in the computer.
  • Make sure that the device you want to boot is "bootable," meaning it has a small operating system installed in it. If it is not, the computer will not be able to recognize the device and will fail to boot the device.
  • If you are having problems booting from a device or are experiencing other problems with your HP Pavilion laptop, consult the Hewlett Packard website for support (see Resources).
  • The "BIOS" is an essential component of the computer and should not be altered unless needed. Be very careful when changing BIOS settings as it may affect the way the computer runs.