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Computer won't boot from CD drive

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I'm new here and sad to say not very tech savvy. I'm having this problem as well, but don't know how to swap the cords around to check if that's it and I'm kind of scared to try just mucking about with it. I have tried everything that I know how to do, setting the boot sequence in the BIOS, changing which disk drive I have my Windows XP start up disk in, (I have two disk drives one is a regular CD drive the other is a DVDRW drive).

Putting the CD in the regular CD drive and booting up gives me the boot from CD screen for maybe half a second then it skips to starting windows normally. Putting the CD in the DVDRW drive gives me the boot from CD screen for roughly 30 seconds then it skips to starting windows.

I have tried to hit a key during the few seconds that it's on the boot from CD screen but it does nothing. This is a very old machine (over 15 years), and it's been reformatted before without issue. I really don't know what kind of system it is either because it's been rebuilt a couple of times.

I know that the motherboard has been replaced at least once, and the power supply has been replaced twice since I've had it. I don't know what any of the system specs are and I'm really not sure how to find out. So if anyone could help me out here it would be greatly appreciated.

I run my own business from home, (just starting out) and I can't afford to just go out and buy a new system (no matter how much I would love to) so this old POS is pretty much all I've got. Thanks much.