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Why can't I boot to DVD or Flash drive?

Sorry if this is the wrong thread to post in... wasn't sure where to go

Okay. Here it is... Yesterday, out of nowhere, Windows 8.1 got stuck in a "failure to update" loop and as of recently wont even boot at all now. All I get is a black screen with a cursor. Now, normally, this wouldn't even be a problem. I had planned on going back to windows 7 again, and I have a perfectly good installation DVD.

Now, here's the problem: No matter how I configure my bios, I cannot get anything to boot. I have tried setting both the DVD and the CD drive as first priority on start up, and have even tried booting to a flash drive with windows 7 on it, but I always end up back to that damn black screen.

Any ideas? All I can think is that my HDD has gone bad, but I'm not certain.
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  1. Best answer
    You should try to clear the CMOS by open the case, remove the battery. And try to reboot the PC. http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/tp/clearcmos.htm

    Because even the HDD is dead you can still boot the PC. I think it is something else. It maybe the RAM or GPU, or MB.
  2. If you do clear the cmos, the first thing you will need to do is boot into bios and set it all up starting with setting optimized defaults and then especially the memory speed and timings and voltage.
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