Windows XP machine has no DVD drive. How to boot? Only CD-Rom and hard drive boot choices


  • _OpenMandriva Lx version:_3.03

  • Desktop environment (KDE, LXQT…): Windows 7 on an XP machine.

I would like to keep my Windows 7 O/S, as I still have an XP computer that is not currently working. Is there a guide for Windows XP? The machine had XP originally but was updated to Windows 7. Thanks for your help. I have the 32-bit iso file on a USB stick and I have a DVD external burner I can use.

  • Description of the issue (screenshots if relevant):

  • Relevant informations (hardware involved, software version, logs or output…):

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If I understand well, you have an old computer originally shipped with XP then upgraded to W7 (32 bit?).

You wish to install OMLx 3 while keeping W7 on the computer or at least boot Omlx in live mode from the USB stick or the external DVD (USB?). Is that ok?

Did you copy the iso file as any regular file on the stick? If so, you should first make a bootable USB key with the iso file. If you have only Windows available, you might try with a helper software like Rosa ImageWriter.

Then try to boot from the key which should be recognized as an external bootable drive. You also might have to open the bios setup to select the right drive.

If the preceding steps are successful, you may consider installing the distro on your computer. That’s another story, though :slight_smile:


Hello @gxulien and Welcome to OpenMandriva and the OpenMandriva forum.

The advice above from @jclvanier is excellent.

It would be very smart thing to read the Release Notes and Errata for Lx 3.03 before attempting to install. Pay special attention to the ’ Recommended Hardware’ section.

First thing I would try is simply to try to boot that USB stick. As @jclvanier stated you will have to enter the computer BIOS to select that boot option. Here’s how to do that:

Before your computer boots your current operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux) you should see your BIOS loading screen. Check the screen or your computer’s documentation to know which key to press and instruct your computer to boot on USB (or DVD).

Note: Most BIOS have a special key you can press to select the boot device and all of them have a special key to enter the BIOS configuration screen (from which you can define the boot order). Depending on the BIOS, these special keys can be Escape, F1, F2, F8, F10, F11, F12, or Delete. That information is usually briefly written on the screen during the boot sequence.

Please let us know if you have any difficulties or there is anything you don’t understand and someone here will walk you through this. And don’t worry we’ve all been in your shoes at one time or other. Also remember once you do this one time successfully you will realize that this is way easier to do than it to write “How to do it”.

The quotes above are from this.

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@gxulien there is this Official OM documentation also:

Also there is this. The quality and veracity of videos on YouTube varies as we all should know by now. Caveat Emptor.

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OK, lack of response from OP (Original Poster). Closing topic. Also unless I’m mistaken the original question has been answered.

If you believe closing this topic to be in error please PM me and I will reopen it.


Topic reopened at OP request. Apologies if I was impatient, I do struggle with that from time to time.

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Thanks everyone for the help. My original problem was that the USB stick wasn’t detected, so I thought it was the old OS not being able to boot from a flash drive. I went back into setup and changed the boot device order, but Windows still boots:

  1. disabled (left alone)
  2. hard disk (changed from CD-ROM and made no difference).
  3. CD-ROM
  4. Disabled

Boot hard disk priority:

  1. USB
  2. Installed hard drive
    I’m thinking there’s something wrong with the USB stick, formatting or file. I’ll reread everything and redo that next and report back. I’ve been all through the quick start and such, but I’ll have to learn about disk partitioning from YouTube if that’s something I need to do.

The file system on the USB is FAT32 and the file is OpenMandrivaLs3.03-PLASMA.I586, 2.23 GB Disc Image File. I tried the Windows utility to check the disk for errors.

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I think you don’t want burn the ISO to Flash Drive with a Windows tool. It is better to uses ROSA Image Writer which is available for Windows. (As previously suggested by @jclvanier.)

I used PowerISO, which I saw suggested somewhere or other. I’m going to redo it regardless, so I’ll try Rosa this time. I didn’t even know there was a Windows tool to burn the ISO.

Well, I got Knoppix to boot from an external DVD drive and bought some DVDs (my software engineer friend still uses these for backing up data!). Unfortunately, when I change back the boot order, it won’t boot from the hard disk (or the USB, regardless of hard disk priority). I used ROSA to burn another disk, not without problems to get it to burn. Another file without Plasma worked for burning with ROSA, so I went with that.OpenMandriva Lx - Browse /release/2014.2 at Hopefully happy ending coming today.

Post-edit: Thought about this some more and re-read this entire thread. since you are just trying to learn how to get whatever you want to boot to actually boot you can use whatever works for that purpose. Do you really have a 32-bit computer? If so then 2014 would be a good choice for that.

Well 2014 was a particularly good release but that was nearly 4 years ago. Do you really want to install a 2014 release?

FWIW; 2014 is no longer supported. This doesn’t mean it won’t work. It should work just fine in fact.

FWIW-2: This is link for current ‘stable’ release here.

Anyway I do need to know if you actually have a 32 bit computer? That should have been my first question.

Yes, 32-bit. XP 2004, ancient processor, Windows 7 installed, - if I can ever get it back. I was really careful in the bios not to mess with anything besides the boot order, but something broke or hangs up. The memory check message has the number nine that appears in various states of incomplete display. I can get into setup and I can boot Knoppix from the CD, but the hard disk won’t boot and the USB stick file won’t boot, and I’ve done all the permutations of the boot order.

Problem solved. I used PowerISO to burn the file to an external DVD drive. I got this old machine from my intro to computers prof. It’s being “repurposed”. I still have my machine with the same specs, but I got this Windows 10 desktop for $185, so newer machines are getting pretty cheap refurbished. This was an experiment that I was unwilling to try on my main computer, which is good because I still can’t get Windows to boot again, but that’s a problem for later. I’m excited to set it up, but I think I’ll just pray it doesn’t crash and let it sit until I’m fresh in the morning. Thanks for all your help.

Thanks for the help. I ordered a DVD and burned a copy with PowerISO and it booted. Rosa would hang up at the end of the file burning for some reason, but when I finally got the whole file to burn, no boot. Tried different ports. The bios could see the stick, so it remains a mystery.

Well, it booted meant that I got to the setup screen to select my timezone, so I thought everything would be honky-dory after that. Then it stuck up on a picture of icicles hanging from a cave. This time setup had a few more things to set, but the picture of the duck has turned to some water pipes and the DVD drive is making a lot of noise, so I think it’s doing something. It hangs up during the installation after I have selected my language, time zone and keyboard. I got the welcome screen once, but it froze. Then I got the welcome screen I think, but it was just a white box of the same size. I don’t want to have a dedicated external DVD anyway, I just wanted it to work so I can start working with it.

I apologize for the rambling. Here’s where it is: The machine gets stuck during boot with the DVD. It’s never booted from a USB. I get to various stages of completion. The farthest that I got was the welcome screen, which promptly froze. Sometimes it just stops reading the DVD. Last night it kept whirring into the night and was still going this morning. Is it the old XP processor that could be the problem? It will load Knoppix to run from the CD. I ejected the disk when it was trying to do something for a long time and it said that the modem setup failed.

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Yes, that could be the problem. You need to tell us what your hardware is exactly. More likely this could be a computer with not enough memory or maybe not enough disk space. Linux distros usually publish “Minimum Hardware requirements” for a given release. If you are trying to use OM Lx 2014.2 you would need at least 1 GB RAM, 10 GB hard disk space, and a lot of people found they really needed 2 GB RAM for 2014 to work well with KDE4 desktop. For OM Lx 3.03 you need 2 GB RAM and 10 GB hard disk space. This could also be a problem with graphic hardware so we need to know that too.

Worth mentioning (for training and education): Listing the hardware you are trying to install on should be listed in users 1st post for problems with installing and booting. Big keys are do you have enough RAM, enough disk space, and is your graphic hardware problematic? For instance if user has nvidia graphics that usually requires special treatment. Also possible with AMD or Radeon graphics and perhaps some others.

Then for now forget USB flash drives. That computer may be so old that this won’t work or won’t easily work.

Stick to trying to get a DVD to boot but only if you meet hardware requirements listed above.

Exactly how are you burning the .iso file to DVD. It has to be burned as an ISO file or it won’t boot.