Need help booting to a CD

A friend gave me a ThinkPad last night. He is a corporate trainer, and got it on the job about 2 years ago. They never asked for it back, and when he finally asked if they wanted it back they told him they’ve switched systems since then and to just keep it. It’s a nice computer, but the only thing is it has their proprietary software all over it. I want to wipe it and install a fresh OS on it. Since I don’t own an OS right now, I downloaded Ubuntu and burned the image to a CD.

When I put it in and reboot, it reads the CD for a minute, and then boots into Windows. I thought I might have burned it wrong, so I did the same thing to this computer I’m using now and it loaded immediately.

So I went into the BIOS on the ThinkPad and made the CD drive the only boot device. It came to a screen saying it couldn’t boot because there was no valid OS on the disk.

Any ideas why it would boot on one computer and not another?

No chance at all you accidentally burned it to a DVD?

Try to burn it at a slower burn rate, I have seen that sometimes burning a CD at the higher speed can make it hard to read on older players.

Also, does the computer have a DVD player or just a plain CD player? I think you should mention the model number of the Thinkpad and the Player

Both computers are laptops that were built in 2008. Both are CD/DVD drives. I definitely burned it to a CD.

The ThinkPad is a T60, and I think it’s the 14" model.

Wow, that’s disappointing. Have you tried a different flavor of Ubuntu, just for kicks?

Did you possibly burn it as an ISO data file on a data disk instead of as a bootable disk image?

Nah, I just worked on this late last night and for a few minutes first thing this morning. Wanted to ask before I start trying different things in case there was an easy, obvious answer.

Try it then with a different CD at a slower burn rate. And check if the lens of the Laptop with the issue is clean.

No, it boots on my HP.

Do you know that the CD drive isn’t broken?

I concur with this line of troubleshooting, in this order:

To test yoyodyne’s theory, find another bootable CD image online. I suggest something like SystemRescueCD, which is intentionally pretty forgiving of difficult hardware. Or even a hard drive test CD (presuming you can ID the HD manufacturer), which IME boot to DOS instead of Linux.

“To test yoyodyne’s theory” , you just need to check if you’re able to access any files on the CD while in windows.

[del]No, all that confirms is that the CD is readable. That’s already been confirmed.[/del]

Oh, you mean on the laptop itself. That should work, but I’d still want to make sure that the CD drive is capable of booting from something.

[strikeout]For that you’ll need to pop in a bootable cd of some sort. You said you don’t own any other OS, as in you may not have licenses, but do you have any bootable CD’s lying around?[/strikeout]
oops you arent OP! gah.

PS: err how do you strikeout text here?

To create [del]strikeout[/del] text, use [ del ] (without the spaces).

Hmmm, it’s looking like it could be the drive.

I put in a DVD, and it read the name of it, but wouldn’t play it (I can’t remember if XP has native support for DVDs?)

Then I put in an audio CD and it wouldn’t read it at all.

Then I put in a data CD and it’s not reading it at all.

Since this was a corporate machine, could the drive be disabled or crippled somehow?

So, yeah, the drive is definitely not recognizing media. When I put a dvd in, it says drive not accessible. When I put a CD in, it says media not loaded.

Ouch. Not cheap to replace. Does the BIOS support booting from USB drives?

I wanted Ubuntu on my netbook, which doesn’t have an optical drive at all.

Instead, i installed it from a USB drive. Worked like a charm.

How do I make a bootable USB drive?