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Unable to boot from CDROM on Toshiba Laptop

I'm trying to reinstall windows xp on a Toshiba A20
Modelno.: PSA20A-08WR8P

I cannot get the laptop to boot from the CD.  I can enter the bios but it does not let me change the boot sequance.
The only things I can change in the bios is the time and date and the password.  I took the harddrive out and formatted it n my PC, but afterwards it only said "insert system drive and press any key to continiuo" The only time when I can start up from the cd rom is when I take the hard drive out.
I tried holding C, F12, F2 and F8 while starting up but nothing works.  Next I will reset the bios but though I would post this question while I take the laptop appart to go and look for it.  If anyone have any ideas on this please let me know. I think that I´missing something very stupid so I do not give many points.  It will increase depending on how this issue turns out.
Thanks
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BabalooInternet
Asked:
BabalooInternet
1 Solution
 
ChrisSchumannCommented:
Go to Toshiba's site and download the manual. It will tell you how to boot from CD.
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cwkhangCommented:
if you cannot boot YOUR winxp cd, try using toshiba recovery disc.
i've seen some laptop that wil only boot selected disc.
next, if you can only boot floppy drive, u can install winxp too!!
all you need is 6 pieces of floppies, winxp cd. and it's not difficult
check out http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q310994

you wil need to choose the appropriate one
Windows XP original release home/pro
Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) home/pro
Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) home/pro

good luck ;-D
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ridCommented:
"The only time when I can start up from the cd rom is when I take the hard drive out."

1) Are you sure the HD is OK?
2) How do you mean you can't change the boot order? You cannot get to that particular part of BIOS setup or you can't make the changes stick?
3) Is there a BIOS password on this machine?
/RID
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rindiCommented:
Run fdisk from a booting floppy and remove all partitions. Your CD may boot, then.
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BabalooInternetAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all that replied

I went to the Toshiba support site and still no luck.  It's all F2, F12, C at startup but nothing helps.  
I donot have a Tosiba recovery disk and also not a floppydrive. I tried with a Winows 98 Boot disk on CD that I use for laptops without floppydrives but still the same. It says "insert system drive and press any key to continiou"
I formatted the drive, deleted the partition and left it without drive letter but still no luck.  I also tried copying ntdlr, boot.ini files onto the hard drive. I also tried by copying the win98 boot files and the windows xp CD onto  the hard drive.
About the bios, I can navigate to two pages in the bios but like I said I can only change the time and the date and the password.  I can see the boot priority window but cannot navigate to it to change it.
Looks like it is as cwkhang said, it is possible that it would only boot from the toshiba recovery disk.  But is there no other way??? Like copying the right files onto the harddrive to make it startup???
One more thing. I know you cannot load a operating system in one computer then put the harddrive into another, it won't work.  But, will it be possible to stop the installation after the first reboot and then change the drive???
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rindiCommented:
Remove the disk and put it in another PC which can boot from CDs. Boot to DOS with your Win98 CD. Create 2 Partitions, one primary to hold the OS, the other extended logical for the installation files. Make the Primary Partition Active. Reboot and format both Partitions for Fat32. Copy your installation CD to the 2nd Partition. Enter SYS C: to copy the system to the Disk. Now Replace the Disk to your original PC and try to boot. If it boots, goto drive D: and enter the installation directory (i386 for winxp) and enter winnt to start the setup program. If it is Win98 the program to start would be setup.
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Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
It sounds like there are 2 levels of access on that bios, one as a user (who can't touch settings), and an administrator level (who can).

you may need to get the hard disk bootable by some other means, (as Rindi suggests), or get hold of some other bootable media (an external floppy drive and disk?  bootable memory key)

Also, some drives can be very fussy about their media - is this an original xp cd?  Older machines may not support bootable cd's at all from the bios, but this machine seems pretty new.

Before the disk was wiped, was the CD working properly? If it has a hardware fault, then that would explain the lack of bootingness....
hth,
Danny
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BabalooInternetAuthor Commented:
Thnks Rindi & Danny

Well Rindi, seems like your suggetion is working.  I made to partitions, one Primary and set to active, and the other Extended logic DOS partition.  Copied all the files and it booted FINALLY for the first time with the harddrive in it.  But I get the following messages:

After asking where the files are loacated it says:

Setup did not detect Smartdrive on your computer.  SmartDrive will greatly improve the performance of this phase of Windows Setup.

1.
You should exit now, start Smartdrive, and then restart Setup. See you DOS documentation for details about smartdrive.

==I then just continue==

2.
Windows XP requires a hard drive volume with at least 383 megabytes (402571264 bytes) of free disk space.  Setup will use part of this space for storing temporary files during installation. The drive must be on a permanetly attached lacal hard disk supported by Wndows XP, and must not be a compressed drive.
Setup was unable to locate such a drive with the required amount of free space.
Setup cannot continue. Press ENTER to exit

Did I do something wrong???
I loaded the drive as a primary slave on a computer with windows xp and everything looked right.  One primary partition(FAT32) with the dos system file and the extended partition with the Windows XP files.  How do I enable Smartdrive??

I also raised the stakes as this question did not turen out to be as easy as I thought. Sorry it´s no more but all I have left.

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rindiCommented:
1. The Smartdrive is a diskcache software which speeds up installation, but it isn't necessary. It would need memory manager drivers to load and that needs time to setup. You can continue there without problems.

2. You must make sure your primary partition is large enough. How large is the size of your disk? Probably 8GB should be OK, it depends on the Software you intend to install.
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BabalooInternetAuthor Commented:
primary partittion set to littlte less than 60 gb FAT32. Trying to install WinXP Pro
I'll do it all again to make sure all is good.
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BabalooInternetAuthor Commented:
To Danny:

You said that there might be two levels of acces to the bios.  How would you know you if that is the case? When I enter the bios, I´m not asked for any password, so how would the ADMINISTRATOR enter the bios different to the normal user? It might be the case cause I can't see why I´m not allowd any changes to the boot priority.  
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BabalooInternetAuthor Commented:
OK

I repartitioned the drive and coppied all the files again.  It's working so I must have done something wrong the first time.
After the smartdrive option, the setup starts to copy files, with a little box in the bottom right corner displaying the file thats been copied at that moment.  Then, everything stops and it still says: "Please wait while Setup copies files to your hard disk", but nothing happens.  I left it like this for about 10 minutes and the computer restarts when I press ctrl+alt+del twice.  then it start the XP setup as it would have been from the cd.  When I sdelect to setup windows xp, it says: " setup cannot found the EULA"
Now, that is located in D:\SUPPORT\TOOLS\SUPPORT.CAB, but why is it not been extracted or copied when the setup copies all the files to the hard drive.  THis happens with both XP Home and XP pro and both Origanal and Copied CDs.
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rindiCommented:
Where the system doesn't seem to do anything for some time, just leave it. It can take a long time, and often you don't see any activity.
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BabalooInternetAuthor Commented:
Thanks Rindi

You solved my problem.  You said it will take a long time, I did not know it was THAT long!! I left it for 4 hours, nothing happened, then left it overnight and it was ready this morning!!! Thanks again, sorry I could not give more points!
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rindiCommented:
No problem, I was glad to help.
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