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  1. #1

    Not your regular CD-won't-boot story...

    Okay. Hello, all.

    I'm a first-timer, and I'm trying to install Debian 3.1. Whether or not you think this is a good idea, I can't.

    I downloaded (and checked) an ISO from a mirror, burned that (with lots of bootable ISO tweaking), and that wouldn't boot. I tried several different burning methods, and none of them would boot. Then I ran out of CD-Rs. So I bit down hard and bought a pre-burned Debian CD (and Knoppix).

    The Debian CD simply won't boot. Windows loads every time. And this isn't your regular CD-won't-boot story, because:

    1. My system boots from the Knoppix live cd just fine. It also boots from the Win XP recovery CD just fine. CD drive is the first boot device in BIOS (etc).

    2. The Debian CD I'm using is bootable on my friend's laptop (to a text prompt with a garbled logo picture above).

    3. If I switch off all other bootable devices in BIOS, forcing a CD boot, I get "OS not found."

    4. The Debian CD is browseable in Windows. It has multiple files and folders. It auto-runs.

    I'm running a two-year-old Sager 8890 laptop with a P4 desktop processor, a gig of ram, a fairly recent CD drive that does everything up to DVD burning, and (here's where I think the problem is) a fairly new HDD with Windows XP installed in the primary partition, and a small secondary partition, which is empty.

    Can partition layouts cause a CD to not boot? What else could it be? My cd drive being selective with what it boots?

    All I want is to have a multiple-boot system (Debian and XP) from the one HDD.

    Any ideas how to get there?

    Reformatting (via the XP cd) and repartitioning (however) are options.

    Appologies for the generic question; Yes I have Googled, Yes I have searched the forums here.

    Thanks for any help...

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Re: Not your regular CD-won't-boot story...

    Quote Originally Posted by zep_n
    Can partition layouts cause a CD to not boot?
    That should not be a problem. All of the distros I've used will boot to a Linux system of some variety before the hard drive is touched. And all of them have the tools for at least deleting, creating and (re)formatting existing partitions.
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  3. #3
    Well, you could try to redownload it. This has all of the charachtaristics of a corrupt file. If it is indeed corrupt then the BIOS may fail to recognize an operating system on the disk. I've had a situation where I had a bad download and yet been told through the checksum that I was okay.
    Redownloading the file is all your choice. If you have a high speed connection, then try it again. If not, then don't bother. Try ordering a cd from something like

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Engineer d38dm8nw81k1ng's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    he did order a disc, that's what's not working. plus it works on other machines. i think that there may be a problem with either your disc drive or your mobo. one of them is not letting you boot from the CD. it's more likely to be the disc drive which, for some reason, is not able to boot from the CD.
    Here's why Linux is easier than Windows:
    Package Managers! Apt-Get and Portage (among others) allow users to install programs MUCH easier than Windows can.
    Hardware Drivers. In SuSE, ALL the hardware is detected and installed automatically! How is this harder than Windows' constant disc changing and rebooting?

  6. #5
    Well then try getting a new drive. Before that though make sure the IDE cables are all intact just to be safe.

  7. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    New Jersey, USA

    some comments

    Why on earth , as a newbie ,are you installing Debian 3.1?
    Get your hands on Mepis 3.3.1 . It is Debian done right ,Debian done
    easy install, Debian done user friendly, all on one cd.
    Next, i think you have a bad cd-rom. I have run into this myself,some
    cd-roms aren't worth a crap for booting iso discs.

  8. #7

    Problem solved!

    Thanks for all the advice.

    ...I've switched to Ubuntu, by this point.

    The problem was the drive bay the dvd drive was in (I'm on a laptop). I switched it, and the ubuntu install cd booted first time. This took a week to figure out (I'd already tried it, but the disc I used that time must've been faulty).

    What's weird is that the XP cd always booted from the other bay without problems.

    Sigh. Anyway. I join the linux crowd, finally.

  9. #8

    Re: some comments

    Quote Originally Posted by MepisMagic
    Why on earth , as a newbie ,are you installing Debian 3.1?
    Get your hands on Mepis 3.3.1 . It is Debian done right ,Debian done
    easy install, Debian done user friendly, all on one cd.
    This is purely opinionated. MEPIS is the most bloated operating system I have ever used. It did an exceedingly poor job at detecting my rather common hardware that even FreeBSD could detect. People might love MEPIS or hate MEPIS. But this is why I don't like to recommend distros. Everybody's experiance will be different.

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