Help with XP

Alright, long story short, I think my Windows XP program has become very degraded. Computer is acting up and final straw was when we spent all day uninstalling and reinstalling WoW to get the new patch. Doesn’t work, etc.

So, we have the Windows XP installation disk, but can’t install it because when we tell it to run, we get an error saying the operating system on the PC is newer than what is on the disk. We are further instructed to reboot from the disk (CD actually). So, here’s my stupid question:

How in the hell can we boot and run the CD? I’ve tried everything that I know (which is probably pretty limited), but I come up with same message every time.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

When you boot your PC you should see messages very early on, before Windows itself starts, on how to get into the bios (firmware). It’s usually hitting a key such as f2, f12, or Delete at that point.

In there will be a section about booting, you should be able to change boot priorities so the PC attempts to boot from the CD drive before the hard disk.

If we know what brand of computer you have, that would help. But the trick is to interrupt the normal boot-up by pressing some key (for my Dell it’s F2). Usually there’s a msg that tells you what to press. Once in the BIOS setup, just scroll around until you find the option to change the boot sequence to start with your CD drive. Leave the BIOS and reboot. It should now boot from the CD.

I did go into the BIOS to change the settings to allow boot up from disk. When I turn on the computer, though, I still don’t get any msg asking if I want to start from the CD.

As to brand, well the PC is not really a brand. We had this computer built and bought the components that make it up ourselves.

Hmmm, interesting. Normally if the BIOS setup has changed the bootup sequence to start with the CD drive, it doesn’t prompt you about booting from the CD drive. It just boots from the CD automatically. Do you have more than one optical drive? Maybe the PC is looking first at the wrong drive. If you have more than one optical drive, try putting the installation disc into the other drive. Since you have a home-built PC, it’s hard to give you specific instructions. Maybe you have a defective BIOS chip.

Yeah - make sure the boot order is CDROM->HD->Floppy (or just that CDROM is first)
When booting, you may get a quick message ‘Press F10 to boot from CD’ (could be F10 or F1 or any other key).

Incidentally, you say you get the ‘same message every time’ - what is that message? When booting from an XP CD your screen should stay in text mode and turn blue. If you see the XP splash screen with the windows picture and color-changing bar at the bottom, it’s booting from the HD already and you need to try again.

Really? I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know about XP, but I can tell you that in Win2K you do indeed get a screen that says “hit any key to boot from disc” (or something to that effect) after changing the boot order in the BIOS -and I just did this this morning.