Can't boot any Windows DVD setup disc but can boot other discs!?

#1
Hi,

Please don't get scared with such a long text, I like to explain my problems in detail so I can help you help me, please continue to read if you think you might have any idea how to help me...

I have an LG laptop which is almost 4 years old and since I can't afford a new one, I can only upgrade and keep using this one. Vista runs fine but it's time to upgrade to Windows 7 and I was so excited when Seven was officially released that I decided to buy a new HDD for my laptop cause the old one is kinda small now...

The problem is that I never thought that my old laptop would have problems with HDDs larger than 137Gb and it has been a pain to make it recognize the 250Gb HDD I bought. The obvious first step was to find a BIOS update and LG support sucks, fortunately, I found an official ISO disk with lots of BIOS updates to many LG laptops in a forum where people reported nothing but success.

The BIOS upgrade process worked fine, but the new HDD was still recognized as a 137Gb drive. Searching a bit more and I found out that some laptops, somehow, before the BIOS upgrade, "locked" the HDD to only recognize 137Gb and I had to "unlock" it. For that, I found something called MHDD but every instruction said I needed to do this on a different computer and I had no means to do that. I just decided to do it locally on my laptop but it didn't work, the process failed. The drive is still reported as 137Gb HDD.

That was when I noticed something different when turning the laptop ON. It usually just said to press F2 to launch the BIOS setup. This time, it also said to press F11 to launch LG recover system or something like that. I thought some screen would just pop up and allow me to do things, but the laptop just went black for a few seconds and restarted. This time, the drive was reported as 250Gb and I thought that now I could go and install Windows 7, was I mistaken...

Basically, this is the story of what I managed to do, today. But since that "F11 pressing" (I believe it was after this), that I can't boot any Windows setup disc. When I try to boot a Windows Vista or Windows 7 setup disc I get the error CDBOOT: CDBOOT: Couldn't find BOOTMGR. When I try to boot a Windows XP setup disc I get the error CDBOOT: Memory overflow error. Also, and because my optical DVD drive is kinda screwed (but that's not the problem, just today I booted the Windows Vista disc many times before doing all this things) I had a USB Flash disk prepared to boot Windows 7 setup and before all this, I was able to boot it many times, but not anymore. I always had to plug the USB key, go into the BIOS, select it and move it to appear before the HDD, save settings and exit. But now, the USB key doesn't appear anymore in the BIOS.

Well, this only seems to be happening to Windows setup discs, here's a few boot discs I also tried and they all worked just fine:

  • GParted Live CD
  • Bart's PE (weird because it uses many of Windows XP boot disc files)
  • LG BIOS Update DVD (I re flashed the BIOS just to make sure everything was ok)
Also, my current Windows Vista installation boots without any issues too...

So, what the hell is going on here... I can boot a few discs but I can't boot Windows setup discs? I read something on the web that may or may not be related but got me thinking that maybe the Windows setup discs are trying to write something on the HDD and are not able to, thus reporting the errors mentioned above. Where the discs I was able to boot, all (or so it seems) don't copy anything, they are just loaded into the memory. What to do you guys think? Anyway to fix this? What should I do?

Either way, Vista or Seven, I kinda need to do a clean install of Windows, this is running slow, but I can't find a way to do that unless I can boot any Windows setup disc. Is there a way I could boot some Live CD that loads itself to memory (if that's really the problem) and then allows me to replace the DVD disc on the optical drive and run "setup.exe"? Maybe with a process like this I succeed in installing Windows 7...

Thanks for reaching the end of my testament :smile:
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Sounds like the "software" that was supposed to "help" you has actually made things worse. That or somethings wrong with the laptop (whether its the BIOS or the disc drive).

The size you reported for the drive seems to be related to an orginal XP disc (when XP was first released it didnt support SATA and could only recognize a 130GB or so of space). LG's support site for software/drivers can be found here. You should never download a driver/BIOS update for your computer unless its from the OEM (in this case LG). At this point I'd recommend re-flashing the BIOS, and than booting from Windows 7 DVD. As for XP install CD you should slipstream SP1, SP2, SP3 into a new CD/DVD using nlite if its not at least an SP2 disc you have (SP2 discs shipped with computers in 2004).
 
#3
The size you reported for the drive seems to be related to an orginal XP disc (when XP was first released it didnt support SATA and could only recognize a 130GB or so of space). LG's support site for software/drivers can be found here. You should never download a driver/BIOS update for your computer unless its from the OEM (in this case LG). At this point I'd recommend re-flashing the BIOS, and than booting from Windows 7 DVD.
That's not it actually, the BIOS must support high capacity disks and mine didn't. It doesn't matter if XP or Vista supports them, the BIOS must also have proper support or things can go bad... And like I said, LG's support sucks and there's nothing for me to find in that support page. I'm not going to find any BIOS updates in there. I already re-flashed the BIOS with the same update and that's all I can do, I don't have a newer update nor a older one and I don't think I'll get any...

As for XP install CD you should slipstream SP1, SP2, SP3 into a new CD/DVD using nlite if its not at least an SP2 disc you have (SP2 discs shipped with computers in 2004).
This is irrelevant, I don't want to install XP it was just a test. I've used that same XP DVD to install XP countless times in the past and now it just doesn't work. But I don't want to install it again, like I said, it was just for testing.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
I think that having pressed F11, it's now looking for the LG recovery disk, not an OS disk, hence the lack of recognition, though why it should have got stuck there I can't imagine.
You could always try resetting the BIOS defaults, or failing that, remove the CMOS battery, clear the memory with the CMOS jumper, and start really clean.
 
#5
I think that having pressed F11, it's now looking for the LG recovery disk, not an OS disk, hence the lack of recognition, though why it should have got stuck there I can't imagine.
Never thought of that... But one thing I just tested that may (or not) throw that theory down. In the BIOS, where I can configure the Prmary Master and Primary Slave, I set the Primary Master = None (like there was no HDD installed) and Primary Slave is set as DVD-ROM as usual. Saved settings, rebooted and with this, the Windows 7 setup disc started to boot... Do you think there's a change your theory could still be the problem?

I just remembered, even if it was looking for the LG Recovery disk, why does some disks like GParted Live CD boot just fine?

I
You could always try resetting the BIOS defaults, or failing that, remove the CMOS battery, clear the memory with the CMOS jumper, and start really clean.
Resetting the bIOS to defaults I've already done that countless times, didn't help. Removing the batter and clearing the CMOS jumper, well, I don't know how to do that on my laptop, is not as easy as open a Desktop PC. I'm not sure I can find the battery and jumper without tearing the case apart... If only I had some schematics for the laptop case and board, that would help, but I don't have that...

Anyway, I'm currently finishin installing Windows 7 using this procedure and so far so good:
How to Install Windows 7 or Windows Vista on Physical Machine Without DVD Media My Digital Life
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
I think you'll get problems on an IDE cable if you have drives incorrectly jumpered or if you have a slave without a master.
The inability to detect your HDD may be the cause of all the weird symptoms as a direct consequence.
I think Windows installation disks interrogate the HDD, unlike GParted or Linux, hence their inability to boot sometimes when the HDD has a problem.
Give your HDD connections a good clean by unplugging and replacing both connectors a few times. (or ejecting and replacing it a few times in the case of a laptop)
 
#7
Give your HDD connections a good clean by unplugging and replacing both connectors a few times. (or ejecting and replacing it a few times in the case of a laptop)
I've been switching back and forth from the old and new disks and the same thing keeps happening.

Well, Windows 7 is now installed...
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
The easiest way of solving this would have been to copy the Windows 7 DVD to a flash drive and boot from that instead. Works like a charm.
 
#9
Also, and because my optical DVD drive is kinda screwed, I had a USB Flash disk prepared to boot Windows 7 setup and before all this, I was able to boot it many times, but not anymore. I always had to plug the USB key, go into the BIOS, select it and move it to appear before the HDD, save settings and exit. But now, the USB key doesn't appear anymore in the BIOS.
I had no choice but to use the guide above...