Inspiron 2500 won't boot from CD rom -- BIOS put ! mark by cd rom

By jon2710 ·
I find this site and hope you will help -- I am definitely not an IT pro.

My son's Inspiron 2500 had some kind of problem (he is a complete technophobe so I have no details), and he reformatted his hard drive. It is now blank (partitioned and formatted successfully) -- so NO Op sys installed.

He tried to install a brand new Win XP and could not boot the new CD.

At power up, no matter what the BOOT order, the inspiron will NOT boot from the CD drive.

I am tried several known working bootable CDS.

Here is what I have done:
I looked at BIOS setup and saw that the Removable Media (diskette drive) is listed okay with a Plus (+) sign, as is the hard drive, but the CD-Rom drive is listed, but has an Exclamation Point (!) by it when you select it.

I change the Boot order to CD Rom first and nothing.

I booted up with a Win 98 startup diskette, selected CD-Rom support and I CAN GO TO THE CD ROM (DRIVE E:) AND DO A 'DIR' AND SEE THE CONTENTS OKAY. BUT IT WILL NOT BOOT UP FROM THE CD DRIVE.

Dell Notebook support would not help me due to my son's reseller having voided the warranty.

Can somebody help me??
I will be forever grateful.

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All Answers

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BIOS setting

by cardenar00 In reply to Inspiron 2500 won't boot ...

Try removing the battery and the power supply cable from the unit. Then hold down the power button for 10 seconds. Put the power cable back in ( not the battery) and start unit, then hit F2 for the BIOS screen. Scroll down to the CD ROM and push enter. That should tell you if the CD ROM is enabled in BIOS. If it is enabled then your problem is with the CD ROM and needs to be replaced. This is not unusual for Dell Inspirons as I have had to replace almost all in our company within their warranty period. If it is not enabled, enable it with the arrow keys on your keyboard and hit the Esc button to exit the BIOS WITH changes. This will reboot the system and at the splash screen, most Dells have the option of hitting the F12 key to boot from any device that it finds. Scroll down to the CD ROM and press enter. XP CD should now start to boot but look closely as it asks to push any key to BOOT from the CD. You have only a few seconds to do this. Push any key on your keyboard and it should boot.

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by jamesatmaisonverre In reply to Inspiron 2500 won't boot ...

If you set the bios to optimal settings and test then.Also try to auto detect the drives in your bios.If this does not work then there is a good chance that your cd rom is faulty.

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Had same problem, was a simple solution.

by mados123 In reply to Inspiron 2500 won't boot ...

Hi there. First put the cd drive at the top of the order (I think the - key or + key). Then hit (shift+1) (shift key and the number one key at the same time) on the cd drive. This should remove the exclamation mark from the cd. Then save the changes with the xp disk in the drive. When rebooting next time it should say "hit any key to boot to cd". Do so and you should be in - unless it is a more complicated solution but for me booting to cd required this step after analyzing why it wouldn't work. Good luck.

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Invoke boot menu on Inspiron 2500

by MarcSmith In reply to Had same problem, was a s ...

To invoke a boot menu on this platform press the "esc" key during post.

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