Detecting bootable disks

By pjsnyder7082 ·
I have a set of Recovery disks that won't work. Is there a way to find out if they have the appropriate files to make it bootable?

Apparently there is nothing wrong with the hard drive, which has nothing on it, the optical drive, or the memory. The disks are brand new and don't have any scratches or visible defects.


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Have you looked at the Files on these disc's?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Detecting bootable disks

More importantly have you tried any other Bootable Disc's in this Optical Drive?

Have you set the Boot Order in BIOS to boot off the Optical Drive First?

What have you done to confirm that the Optical Drive is in fact working?

Make yourself a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD and see if this Boots


If it doesn't it's either the Boot Order in BIOS is set incorrectly or the Optical Drive has died and gone to Silicon Heaven. Or the M'Board or Data Lead to the Optical Drive is faulty. :)


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bootable disks

by pjsnyder7082 In reply to Have you looked at the Fi ...

I can see the files on the disks, but not on the computer I want to use them on.

Other bootable disks will work in the optical drive.

I have used the optical drive to install an O/S.

The boot order is correct.

Only these disks don't work and they are recovery disks sent from the manufacturer of the computer.


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Define a few things please.....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Detecting bootable disks

What do you mean by they won't work? Will the computer not boot to the CD's? Is the computer set so it CAN boot to CD first?

What do you mean by the disks are brand new.? Do they have a label on them? If not, how do you know they are the recovery CD's? Did they come with the computer with instructions on how to make your own Recovery disks? Did you do that?

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That explains it....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Clarification

If COMPAQ does things like they used to, the Recovery CD will be looking for the recovery partition. There are no OS files on the CD. So, since the original drive is gone, the Recovery CD won't run.

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That figures

by pjsnyder7082 In reply to That explains it....

I can't for the life of me understand what the point of the Recovery CD is for if the recovery partition is available. In the case of a hard drive gone bad, there is no longer a D partition, but I'm not questioning your reasoning.

I have advised my client to buy a new operating system and steer clear of buying any more Compaq computers.


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The reason for the CD

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to That figures

The CD was for the purpose of getting the computer booted separately from any OS (or virus for that matter) which might be on the drive and actually getting the drive up and running (drivers) so the recovery partition could be accessed. That way, the recovery installation could run all by itself. It operates much like the old Win98 Boot floppy disk... ya had to boot to the floppy and get the CD running with DOS drivers before you could install the OS from the CD. Same principal, different hardware involved.

Yes, I know, it's a stupid idea since the HDD could go out completely leaving the owner with nothing. When I first saw how this operated, I vowed never to buy a COMPAQ and I steer everyone who will listen to me away from them. As far as I'm concerned they're a POS.

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defining things

by pjsnyder7082 In reply to Define a few things pleas ...

The optical drive works because I have used it to install and O/S.

There are files on the CDs because I can see them using a different computer.

The CD group is set to boot first.

The recovery cd's just came from the manufacturer of the computer labeled as System Recovery Disk 1 of 2, 2 of 2, and Supplemental Recovery. I followed all the instructions that came with the disks.

I get an error stating something like error loading operating system (that was when there was no partition, no operating system on the hard drive) or Boot error. put in a bootable cd and press enter (that one after the hard drive was partitioned.)

So my question is: If I can look at the files on the disk, which I can in a different computer, is there a particular file or files that I should be able to see that would indicate that the disk is bootable?


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Sounds like....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to defining things

... it's still trying to boot from the HDD first and not the CD ROM. What happened when you pressed Enter after it asked to put in a bootable CD? Did it read it?

Have you tried using another CD ROM in the computer? It's entirely possible the one that's in there can't read.

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by seanferd In reply to defining things

Just to answer the "boot files" question, the CD would probably have a .BIN file like setuploader.bin, or there would be a BOOT folder with BIN or IMG files in it or a subdirectory.

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