Repair Lenovo Desktop that won't boot / won't repair.

We have a Lenovo desktop that's had 2 new hard drives installed because it appears, to Lenovo, that this is what's needed.
Now on the 3rd hard drive and unable to boot, we want to reinstall Windows 8.1 from an OS DVD.
(We now doubt that there's anything really wrong with the hard drive).
But, the computer won't boot from the DVD.

If we power down completely then F1 and F12 work.
Using F1 to get into the UEFI:
The Secure Boot option is disabled.
The boot order starts with the DVD.

With a cold reboot:
F12 doesn't give us the option to choose the DVD.
Selecting the Windows Boot Manager goes to the hard drive and a never-ending "repair" - which is where we're trying to move past.
If we don't use F12, then the computer goes to the hard drive as well and the same issue is presented.

We really just want to boot from the OS DVD so we can do a clean install of Windows!!  How??
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAsked:
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
go into the bios ant durn off secure boot
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Original post sez:
The Secure Boot option is disabled.
I guess you can try two things:
- remove temporary sata cables from all HDDs to establish is optical device in good condition (if there is no boot from DVD - swap optical device)
- create USB drive with windows installation from current DVD and boot from usb drive
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since it boots from dvd with complete power off - i would suggest testing the dvd on another system -  it may be bad or not bootable
you can also test with a known bootable cd
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
nobus:  No it does not boot from DVD with complete power off.  If it did then everything would be fine.
It allows F1 and F12 to work but that's all.  So, F1 gets to the UEFI and F12 gets a boot menu.  But the boot menu doesn't allow selection of the DVD.  And putting the DVD first in the boot sequence in the UEFI doesn't seem to do anything.
i thought it did boo; you posted :
If we power down completely then F1 and F12 work.
 Using F1 to get into the UEFI:
 The Secure Boot option is disabled.
 The boot order starts with the DVD.
if ity does not booti suggest removing devices to test the boot eg:
-put a bootable cd in the cd drive - and disconnect the disk drive (ALL of them)
-connect a good drive with an OS on it -  and disconnect the cd drives (all also)

can you explain why you need it to have 2 drives?  maybe it's in raid?  if unsure, post the PC model
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
can you explain why you need it to have 2 drives?
There aren't two hard drives.  There is one hard drive and one DVD drive.  That's all.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
I've thought about it a bit and don't see the benefit of disconnecting the hard drive.
Oh, I understand that it might "work".  But, after all, with the OS DVD in the DVD drive, it would be the hard drive that's going to be the target of a new OS install.  Without a hard drive attached, booting to the DVD is useless it seems to me.  What am I missing?
then i don't understand your original post :
"We have a Lenovo desktop that's had 2 new hard drives installed because it appears, to Lenovo, that this is what's needed."

you are missing everything

first - before installing, you need to do troubleshooting, and define, what's bad, and what works
that's the idea of the procedure
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
nobus:  Thank you for your concern.  
The computer has had 2 new hard drives installed - one after the other as part of Lenovo's response to problems with the computer not booting.  So, it remains with the original number of hard drives: "1".

What though, exactly, is the "everything missing"? and, what "procedure" are you referring to?

The original question was:
We really just want to boot from the OS DVD so we can do a clean install of Windows!!  How??
Perhaps I should have said in addition "onto the hard drive"....

To editorialize a bit:
It seems to me that this step could often be a needed and very typical step.  e.g. What if the hard drive crashes and is replaced as in this case?  Either the computer won't boot from the DVD because there's a physical problem with the computer or, in my naiveté, I am thinking that this is a fundamental design "catch 22" because secure boot is already disabled.

There is plenty written about secure boot and this was something I was leery of.  Perhaps David Johnson's response suggests that it *should* work in its present configuration but I'm just learning about what odd things to expect.
Do you see the DVD drive becoming physically active when the system powers on?

Have you tried any of the various Linux Live DVD"s? Not to install Linux, but to see what conditions might show up. There can be differences in stuff on the DVDs to assist in boots. If anything boots at all, a "Live DVD" can sometimes provide tools to help troubleshooting. (Hence, usefulness when HDDs are completely disconnected.)

If any DVD can ever boot, you might connect the troubled HDD with a USB adapter in order to look for clues.
if your system does not boot corrrect - it has a reason, and you need to find it
possible reasons are multiple, eg, bios settings (but you've had a lot of suggestions on this already)

so i'm thinking that adevice is blocking the boot; that's why i suggest to disconnect ALL devices, except the one to boot from - in order to see if that is the case

**the 2 drives were not installed together then, but one after another?   sorry if i misread it
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Perhaps David Johnson's response suggests that it *should* work in its present configuration but I'm just learning about what odd things to expect.
Might someone just confirm my suspicion here re: booting from the DVD in the present configuration?
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
if you flip the DVDROM power and sata connectors with the ones used by the hard drive what is the result.

If you boot the system and go into the bios you should see both devices the hard drive and the dvdrom. if you don't see the dvdrom and you've already exchanged the connectors. The next thing to do is temporarily attach the dvdrom into another system and test that it works correctly.
The end of this exercise is to rule out (a) defective cabling and (b) defective drive you can only determine this if the problem follows the change around..

If we eliminate the dvdrom and the cables then the problem is narrowed down to the motherboard. Another way of testing is a known working good dvdrom, and cables.  What you do is follow a processes of elimination.  "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth", Sherlock Holmes.

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apparently it does not boot in the present config, so other things have to be tried
my suggestion tries to eliminate as much as possible

try booting from DVD with only the dvd drive connected, if that works, add one device, and test again if it boots, till you find the bad one
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
I'm sorry folks but I don't have control over the computer in question.  I'm an advisor in this case and messing with the innards would be an inconvenience for the owner (as I am also remote).  So, I can't try all the things suggested (and can't even "see" the BIOS pages).
That said, the suggestions are very useful and I got my questions answered!

To summarize:
If the Secure Boot option is disabled.
If the DVD is set to be the first boot device.
Then there is no other "settings" reason that the system would not boot from a DVD.
That is, lacking hardware problems with SATA cables, DVD drive, etc.

David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
you got it.
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