Boot from something other than the hard drive in Windows

Most PCs can boot from a variety of devices, including hard drives, floppy drives, USB drives, CD-ROM drives, and network media. You may find it useful to boot directly from a CD-ROM drive to install a new operating system or fix a problem with the PC.

Many PCs have a shortcut key upon startup that will open a one-time boot device selection menu. The shortcut key for most Dell computers is F12. Other possible shortcut keys include F9, F10, F11, Delete, and Esc.

Most computers examine each device for bootable media in the boot order specified in the system BIOS. Because computer manufacturers use different hardware, the setting will appear in different places on different computers. Once you enter your system BIOS, look for a setting called "Boot Order" or "Boot Device Order". The highest entry in the "Boot Order" is the one that the computer will attempt to boot from first. For specific information about your system, contact the computer's manufacturer.

If you do not see a setting for boot order in your system BIOS, you likely have an older computer that does not support this feature.

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Last modified on 2022-01-03 11:49:57.