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gateway solo 5300 wont boot from cdrom

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 26, 2008 2:02:35 AM

i have a Gateway solo 5300, i can not get it to boot from CD. The cd rom is new and i can hear it spin up and when the operating system was functional it was detected. When i go into bios i can not disable any of the boot options to force it to boot from cd. When i start up the computer it bypasses all the bios settings and simply tries to boot from HDD and will not attempt anything else. If i remove the hard drive it will attempt to boot from network of course with no luck. Anyone have any solutions?
a b D Laptop
October 26, 2008 3:29:40 AM

There might be a function key to press to bring up a boot menu. Generally, it's F12.
October 26, 2008 4:43:23 AM

Generally that means a problem with the drive, the controller, or the media.-- probably a combination of the media and the drive if you are not using "pressed" media, rather you are using CD-R.

Some tips to getting older optical drives to read CD-R: 1) use name brand, high quality media, 2) burn at the slowest speed possible, and 3) always use "disk at once"-- not "track at once"-- making sure to finalize the disk.

However, some laptops also have a separate boot menu option (F12, for example) where one can select the boot device in lieu of changing it in the BIOS.
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October 26, 2008 1:54:26 PM

Yeah i have attempted the F12 as several of my other laptops have that, but to no avail. I have several genuine windows disks that are in perfect shape and also a volume license on CD-R media which works on an IBM thinkpad that came with DOS and an upgrade to win 95, and thats REALLY old. I would love to get this thing up and running for my kids to play around on but its seeming to turn out to be more work than its worth. On this specific computer the CDROM seems to be a "warm swappable" drive according to the gateway site, and the bay is used for floppy, cdrom, extra HDD and even a second battery. Is there a chance that the main board or IDE controller has just given up? As an absolute last resort i might end up going through the pain in the bum of a network install but only if hell freezes over and there is no other option.... LOL any other ideas you guys might have would be great. Thanks for the responses and keep em coming!
October 27, 2008 11:58:43 AM

I've had similar meltdowns with Compag 1700 and EVO N160 series but the optical drive interface just totally quits. . . and the drive itself is flaky from then on too (power problem?)

What OS are you trying to install?

If you have a floppy drive for that unit, you can download a floppy set from microsoft for Windows 2000 or Windows XP that will install the Windows Executive from floppy and the rest of the OS from CD-ROM
October 28, 2008 12:37:34 PM

I am attempting to install Windwos XP Pro, and I have no floppy drive, but it would hook up in to the same location that the CD ROM interfaces with. Most likely wouldn't work if that part of the mother board has been damaged or stopped working. I'm thinking it would be best to cut my losses and scam it for parts and use the rest for target practice.
October 28, 2008 2:36:50 PM

You know my motto: not a ThinkPad, not worth it.

Ok, I just made that up, but I've only had luck with resurrecting TPs.
April 15, 2009 2:04:25 AM

I am having this same problem. If I put the old cdrom back in it works fine but the new one(a dvd/cd-rw) wont allow me to install an operating system or run a live CD. This is quite annoying because the old cdrom is really slow, doesn't open properly anymore, and is very loud(painfully so). Anyone have any ideas?(Just updated to the newest BIOS too and still nothing) It does work in the OS, which is currently Ubuntu(8.10).
May 12, 2009 6:32:11 PM

F2 to setup

make sure primary master is set to hd and you can try auto or user on secondary master
unless there is an update to the bios to use cd-r or dvd you are probably out of luck
boot menu> boot device pri should read:
1. Atapi cd-rom drive
2. Removable devices
3. Hard drive
4. Network boot
5. Intel UNDI, PXE-2.0 (build ????)

And of course there is always F9 for defaults and starting over :whistle: 
!