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  1. #1
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    General boot order question

    In another thread, we discussed boot order and this brings up a more general concern.

    It seems most PCs have a boot order that starts with the HD. But if there is a disaster, and the user is aware enough to have done some image backups and have rescue media (DVDs), what good is it if the boot order does not start with the CD/DVD drive? Why don't PC's automatically start with the DVD drive?

    What am I missing?

    Also, if I change my boot order to start with the DVD drive, am I greatly increasing the starting boot time?

    Mel

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by compiler View Post
    In another thread, we discussed boot order and this brings up a more general concern.

    It seems most PCs have a boot order that starts with the HD. But if there is a disaster, and the user is aware enough to have done some image backups and have rescue media (DVDs), what good is it if the boot order does not start with the CD/DVD drive? Why don't PC's automatically start with the DVD drive?

    What am I missing?

    Also, if I change my boot order to start with the DVD drive, am I greatly increasing the starting boot time?

    Mel
    You can change the boot order when you need to. Starting with the DVD drive is slower, the total time being dependent on the specific drive and BIOS, but it's definitely slower than booting from the hard drive.
    For anyone wanting that, it's really easy to change the BIOS to do it.
    Rui
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  4. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Whenever you find the need to boot to something other than your hard drive, all you need to do is boot into BIOS
    and arrange the boot order to reflect the CD/DVD, or USB, as a first order to boot from. It can then be set back
    to boot to the primary drive for normal computer operation.

    Why don't PC's automatically start with the DVD drive?
    Faster boot times.

    Also, if I change my boot order to start with the DVD drive, am I greatly increasing the starting boot time?
    Yes, probably, in a small measure depending. But it's irrelevant because your going to change it back.
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    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  5. #4
    3 Star Lounger bassfisher6522's Avatar
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    Another way to access the boot order and this is dependent on the mobo age, is to use the F12 key as a quick launch to the boot order. Thus bypassing the BIOS all together. Especially if one is dual booting with multiple drives.

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Many BIOS's allow you to boot from the DVD drive by hitting a special key (usually F12) even if the BIOS is set to boot from the hard drive first. Look for a splash screen message that says something like ".F12 = Boot Menu" or read your documentation.

    Jerry

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    I understand. But if you have a major computer issue requiring a restore image, would you still be able to do the change boot order?
    (My guess if yes because the F12 preceeds everything else?)

    Mel

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Yes. F12 gets you a boot menu that allows you to select your boot device on a one time basis without changing the default boot order. In many systems, it allows you to boot from the DVD even though Safe boot is enabled on the current UEFI BIOS systems. Otherwise, if Safe Boot is enabled, you can't boot from the DVD even if you change boot order to place the DVD ahead of the disk drive. Otherwise you have to disable Safe Boot and place the DVD ahead of the disk drive to boot from a DVD.

    Jerry

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  10. #8
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    I think boot order has the question: Why?
    I believe the answer(s) is one of reliability or choice/preference.
    It is like going on a long trip, car trip (for those not accustomed to USA), bringing with you tire inflator, 60-lb tool box with all kinds of wrench, a timing gun even. Your wife would look amazed. [OK OK, I'm exaggerating a little.]
    If the car/PC is reliable, day in and day out, why boot from DVD. Why slow down boot time?
    If you're the tech kind or tinker kind, you'd boot from DVD first; ready any time, to do tune-up, fine adjustment, make repairs.
    You always pop the the hood of your car and listen to the purring engine noise. How many times would a non-tinker pop the hoot for nothing (or go to BIOS for nothing)?
    Presently my choice is for fast boot up. In older days, I 'popped the hood' (or went to BIOS of PC) for no reason at all. (To tinker, to learn, that was.)

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  12. #9
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Hey Y'all,

    Let's get up to date here. who boots from CD when you can do it much faster from a USB key or HD!

    Also, know thy machine...know what key brings up the Boot Device Menu and when/how often you have to hit it.
    On my dells you need to start tapping the F12 key repeatedly right after the Dell logo show up on the newest one and when the F2 = Setup F12=Boot shows up in the bottom right corner of the screen on my older desktop and laptop machines. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  13. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Some things I like to keep simple. BIOS boot device order is one of those. Mine is set as 1. CD/DVD, 2. USB, 3. HDD. I don't change it, because there's simply no need. And, I hardly ever shut my desktop PC down, and only reboot when an update or software installation requires it.

    If I want to boot a DVD or CD, I put a bootable CD or DVD in the drive and reboot. If there's no CD/DVD in the drive, the BIOS completely ignores option 1. It doesn't slow down the BIOS, because it's going to check the hardware first, anyway. The check it does of the optical drive is just a sort of "are you there?" check; takes tiny fractions of a second. If there is a disc in the drive, that hardware check (that's gonna happen anyway) will read that there is a disc loaded, and then it will check the drive to see if it's bootable. If it's not bootable, it ignores it and continues. I don't leave discs in the drive, so that's just not an issue.

    If I want to boot USB, I just plug in a bootable USB drive and reboot. Same scenario as the CD/DVD drive. The hardware check done by the BIOS is going to see if USB capability is there, and won't go beyond that initial check unless the USB port sends a signal that a device is plugged in. Then the BIOS will check to see if the device is bootable, and ignore it if it isn't.

    For further simplicity, I have multiple options on my boot menu to speed things up. I have my Windows 7 installation DVD archival copy on a small bootable partition on one of my hard drives; same with Windows 8, on another small bootable partition. It runs much faster from there than it does from the actual DVD. Those are two options on my boot menu. I also have my Rescue Environment (same contents as the Rescue USB) bootable from the HDD, and it's also on the boot menu. And then there's the Dell Diagnostics, which are also on the boot menu.

    You can see my boot menu on this youtube video. You may need to use the pause in order to read it all. You may also notice that I'm using the Windows 7 bootmgr instead of the Windows 8 bootmgr.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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  14. #11
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    bbearen:

    Thanks for the response. I changed the order on my Toshiba so that it first looks for a DVD. I have not noticed any slowing down at all, so if it is slower then it's minor.

    I'm having some problems changing the boot order in my HP Notebook. If I can't figure it out, I'll post a screen shot. I am confused by the choices.

    Mel

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