how to create boot disk to force boot with cd

I was gifted an old PC tower that doesn't want to boot from CD.  Since I want to reformat the drives and get a clean version of Win XP on there (it currently has an "updated" version of XP with the previous owners info still on the drives), this is a problem.

Finding a new bios to install has proven difficult, so I'm taking a different tack... can I create a boot disk floppy that will allow me to insert a CD and boot from my Win XP Pro cd?

If so, how do I go about doing that?

Thanks, all!

PS.  In case you're sitting on a bunch of ancient updated BIOS files, I've got a ABIT-BP6 mother board signified as i440BX-W83977, BIOS version "Award Software International, Inc. 4.51 PG 04/20/00"
yellownessAsked:
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SICMASOCommented:
Did you try to press F8 or F10. its different on systems. But usually it gives you options of what divece you want to boot. Also you can make win98 boot floopy with cd rom drives and using dos you can navigate to cdrom and starting install proccess.

I'm suprised that you can not change boot priority in the bios menu.
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keithslaterCommented:
Depending on your CD ROM, you should be able to boot off a CD.  Go into your BIOS and look for the boot order.  Check and make sure CD ROM is listed before Hard Disk/Drive.  If it's not listed first, make it first and then try to boot off the CD.
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ded9Commented:
Hi,

check this link to download boot disks

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310994

Create bootable windows xp cd

http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=297




Ded9
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yellownessAuthor Commented:
I've set the BIOS to boot from CD (and every other option I thought might work), but it's not doing it... ergo, trying to reset / reinstall the BIOS.  It does seem to be booting from floppy, but I need the *right* floppy...  I need the correct boot sequence.

Hitting F8 got me to a screen allowing me to choose how I wanted to boot the system up, but unfortunately picking a drive was not an option.  It asked if I wanted to boot in safe mode, safe mode with command prompt, etc.  I tried booting in safe mode with command prompt and navigating to the CD, but running set up from there simply ran setup as if I'd loaded the CD in normal mode.... no option to reformat.

Since I can't find a new BIOS, and can't force boot by "normal" means by CD, the only thing I can think of is that mythical, magic boot disk...  something that will side-track the normal boot process and let me boot from my XP CD before it loads the version of XP currently on the drive.

I'm absolutely open to other ideas though!

So far, this has been a frustrating - and fascinating - project.  
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SICMASOCommented:
If you trying to reformat harddrive with XP boot CD you need to go in the setup as if you installing fresh version. than when it gives you options of choosing drive letter where you want to install windows you can delete partion which will force windows to reformat the whole drive. I'm not sure if that what you trying to do or not?
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scrathcyboyCommented:
"can I create a boot disk floppy that will allow me to insert a CD and boot from my Win XP Pro cd?"

NO, if the BIOS does not have an option to boot from CD, you cannot boot from a floppy and then boot to the CD.  YOu can ACCESS the CD at D:, but you can't boot from it once booted from floppy.  If there is NO setting in the BIOS, or if pressing F8 does not bring up a boot menu when the system first boots, then the only way you can boot from CD, is to remove the hard drive and put the CD as drive C.  But then you have no hard disk to install to.  If the system is that old, you do not want to be installing XP on it anyway, you are just wasting your time.
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yellownessAuthor Commented:
keithslater almost has it...  The disks get me 98% of the way, but as it's starting to install to disk it says there's no hard drive to install to.  The mother board had some feature that allowed multiple drives to be installed - which seems to have been a big deal back in the day - and that may be interfering with the process.

The BIOS does have an option to boot from CD, but it's not working.  It's set to boot from CD but on start, skips the drive.  I'm confused.

At this point, I'm wondering how to turn my XP CD into a floppy install...  This computer has all the power, bits, and pieces it needs, but they're not talking to each other.  Perhaps I should go back to updating the BIOS?

Thanks for trying!
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ded9Commented:
Hi,

Check this link

http://www.computerhope.com/help/bios.htm

there is three kind of bios which one you have click on the correct one and it would tell you where you have the options to select boot .


Ded9
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nobusCommented:
i would test the cd drive first on another pc - it can simply be bad, or test with another drive
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MarkCommented:
The Abit BP6 is a great motherboard, have one myself. There is a  forum that covers everything you need to know about it and BIOS files as well. People have been stretching the limits of this board for quite awhile with much success.
If your looking for BIOS files, this is where to look.
http://www.bp6.com/board/dload.php?action=category&cat_id=1

As far as your problem with the booting from CD, you may want to stay away from using the High Point IDE controller(White hard drive connectors). It had alot of inherent problems, best to use the black ide controller connectors which are controlled by the motherboard chipset.
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yellownessAuthor Commented:
The Win XP boot disks let me start the install with the floppy drive, but the system wasn't recognizing the hard drive until I switched the IDE controller.  The combination of both seems to be doing the trick!  Thanks for all the help and ideas!
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