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Occasional Contributor
richard10
Posts: 12

Can't boot from an external dvd drive - Netbook

My computer is a Toshiba NB305-410BL netbook with Windows 7 Home Edition. An external Toshiba dvd writer/player drive is attached to the computer via a USB connection.

 

I am using a backup program called Casper 6.0. There is a startup disk for this program on a cd that can boot from an external USB dvd drive. I am trying to boot the disc but my question really is a more general one of how to boot from any bootable cd that is in an attached dvd drive.

 

I was unable to do boot from a dvd drive by using a bootable Casper startup disk. First I checked in Explorer to see if the dvd drive appeared with the startup cd in it and it did appear as drive D. Then I shut down my computer with the cd still in the dvd drive. 

 

At that point, I turned on my computer and tried to boot from the dvd drive but I couldn't do it. According to the manual on page 63, to get the computer to boot from an attached DVD drive I should hit the F12 key when the first screen appears after turning on the computer. I hit F12 when the following (first screen) appeared which showed the following at  the bottom of that screen in a horizontal line: "Hit F2 for setup; hit F12 for dvd or flash."  After hitting the F12 key, a boot window appeared with the following choices.

HDD/SDD Fjujitsu .....

LAN

(Enter Setup)

 

So, there were no choices at that screen for booting from a dvd drive.

So, on subsequent tries (turning the computer off and then on), I tried hitting the F12 key later in the boot process, but that just brought me to a regular boot of Windows 7 - my desktop appeared.

 

I also booted to the setup screen and there were no choices there under the boot tab to boot from a dvd.

 

1) So, my main question is: How do I boot the computer from a cd that is in the DVD drive?

 

2) How do I get a choice to boot from a dvd or flash when I turn on the computer by  hitting the F12 key as indicated in the manual.

Thanks.

Richard 

Regular Contributor
esosm1987
Posts: 66

Re: Can't boot from an external dvd drive - Netbook

[ Edited ]

My immediate thought here is a pretty obvious one, but worth asking nonetheless.  Are you sure the drive is properly powered?  Are you seeing drive activity via the LED light on the front of the DVD drive when you first turn on the computer?

 

Figure that this would be a good starting point.  I use an external caddy with a Pioneer DVR-K16a drive pulled from my old Satellite A105 when I need to use an optical drive with my NB205.  When using the F12 prompt for boot priority, it is listed as denoted above as a third option.

 

EDIT: Is your BIOS up to date?  May as well ask that too.

Occasional Contributor
richard10
Posts: 12

Re: Can't boot from an external dvd drive - Netbook

 

>>Are you sure the drive is properly powered?  Are you seeing drive activity via the LED light on the front of the DVD drive when you first turn on the computer?<<

 

Thaks for your response. I believe the dvd drive is properly powered. With the bootable cd in the dvd drive, the dvd light keeps blinking for awhile even after the computer is off. When I reboot the computer and hit F12 so that the boot screen appears with the boot choices being, "HDD/SDD Fjujitsu ....., LAN, (Enter Setup),' I can still make the dvd drive's light go on with that screen visible by pushing the eject button on the dvd drive - the dvd tray opens. Also, once my desktop loads and is visible on my screen, the dvd drive shows up in Windows Explorer as drive D:

 

Additional information to my first post: According to the computer manual on page 63, the boot choices on the boot screen (after hitting F12 on bootup) should be DVD or USB Flash. Here is what happens when I have a USB Flash connected to the computer in addition to the DVD drive. After I hit F12 on bootup, the USB Flash is added to the boot choices in the boot window. However, the dvd drive is not added to the boot choices in the boot window even though the dvd drive seems to be properly powered up. Why I can't get the dvd drive added to that boot list is a mystery to me.

 

Any further help woudl be appreciated.

Regular Contributor
esosm1987
Posts: 66

Re: Can't boot from an external dvd drive - Netbook

Not that it SHOULD matter, but you may want to try the F12 method without a disc in the drive to check if perhaps polling is causing a timeout of sorts.  I will emphasize that this shouldn't be a problem regardless, but worth checking as a control of sorts.

 

Also, as I noted in the first post, make sure your BIOS is up to date.

Occasional Contributor
richard10
Posts: 12

Re: Can't boot from an external dvd drive - Netbook

[ Edited ]

Thanks so much for sticking with the problem. Your first post about dvd power led me to the solution.

 

The USB connector cord for my USB drive has two connectors for two USB ports on the computer. As I understand it, the second USB connector to the computer is used only if the dvd drive can't get enough power to operate through only one connector to the computer. I never used that second USB connector because my dvd drive always has been visible in Windows Explorer. Also, with using only one connector, I have been able to play dvds and record dvds and cds with the drive. So, I assumed the dvd drive had enough power with just one connector.

 

Just for the heck of it, I used both USB connectors and connected them to two USB ports on the computer. Then, when I booted the computer and hit F12, the dvd drive showed up on the boot list and I was able to boot from the dvd drive. At least for my dvd drive, it is necessary to use two USB connectors to the computer to boot from the dvd drive, but only one USB connector is necessary to use the dvd drive for all other purposes. 

 

I hope this information might be useful to others.

 

Some additional information that might be useful. When I connected both a USB flash drive and a dvd drive to the computer, then booted the computer and then hit F12, only the dvd drive showed up on the boot list. The only way to get the USB flash drive to show up on the boot list was to connect the USB flash drive, disconnect the dvd drive, boot the computer and hit F12. In contrast to the impression given in the manual that both a USB flash drive and a dvd drive can show up on the boot list together, from my quasi-experiment, it seems only one of the two can show up on the boot list at any one time and the other one should be disconnected from the computer before trying it.

 

Thanks again for your help.

Richard

Regular Contributor
esosm1987
Posts: 66

Re: Can't boot from an external dvd drive - Netbook

Good to see you resolved the issue.  :smileyhappy:

Member
ChrisZZZ
Posts: 2

Re: Can't boot from an external dvd drive - Netbook

Thanks for the info. I'm replacing my T130's hard drive with a SSD, and I was pretty surprised to see that my external dvd drive didn't show up as a boot option in the BIOS. Plugging in the second usb cable made it appear!

Member
Al68
Posts: 1

Re: Can't boot from an external dvd drive - Netbook

Thanks for the info!  I had the exact same problem, but while this didn't exactly work for me, it did lead me in the right direction.  Here is what I did

first, i loaded the recovery DVD in the external DVD drive (has to be plugged into the left side port, which is power +Data)

Second, I started the computer while holding down the zero key until the drive spun up and the indicator light went off again (gave it time to read)

third, I quickly released the zero key and pressed F12, and viola! the DVD was in the boot select menu.

Hope this helps someone

 

Al