2008 PC from HP(old compaq name)
RECOVERY this PC ,per the book. (Ive done it)
this PC has a working F11 key if the HDD not bad, not changed out or the F11 partitions not damaged,
Power on hit F11 per the service manual. page 141
CD boot fails
to boot to CD you must hit a key, called hit any key
to boot CD (aka. offically El Torito spec, wiki that and learn this)
If you dont hit (I use the huge space bar so easy to reach)
then no CD boots ever. by DESIGN. on new PCs that is true
and now you have to turn off SAFE BOOT too.
so those rules are first.
some PC, even make me hit (HP) the space bar to boot USB sticks this too is a fact. so do that.
my guess F11 is dead so you used discs, unstated disks , no HP disks (RIGHT>?)
XP the dead OS, this means adding things, , to the PC.
will fail. XP plug and play is dead, for vast things now for 3 long years, since MS ended this support. why not upgrade XP
Old PCs do not like to boot , to external drives, its modern IDEA that (2008 is not too old,but IDK , if yours has it)
If you did boot to CD , inside or outside
XP (from MS ,not HP) will ask you to find drivers, and tell you to hit F6 and insert a floppy, tell me how you can get past here?
you cant, using NON HP install medial
XP is 2001 disks, 16 years old laying about. from MS
and guess what it cant see your HDD. due to no SATA drivers.
so the path you are on is full of pitfalls. see?
a modern feature in BIOS,its 100% a features of BIOS to boot any USB or External drive, (but eSATA might boot , not you no esata)
you posted with no mention of what external drive you have.
USB , esata, or what? Im guessing USB cable external drives.
the External drive needs a power pack to run right i most cases.
in bios, go to ALL screens, power on hammer F10
Setup bios is F10, go to all screens and turn on all USB features.
then change boot order to.
CD (hit space bar to boot CDs or DVD)
USB (hit space bar to boot USB devices (any key = space bar)
then if all that above shows up F9 can be used to override above.
F9 only works if and only if.
1: bios supports it,! (IDK)
2: bios, has all USB features turned on, in other pages in BIOS.
including USB boot , turned on, if seen there. it must be on.
3: F9 only changes boot order this time, it does not enable features, that do not exist. ever.
why in the world not get a good CD/DRIVE. its like $10 used on ebay, pocket change, no?
or install with USB sticks?
there is legacy USB setting in BIOS, turn that on.
I can not teach you BIOS. (ive seen them all, so know this.)
but not yours, HP chances them like the weather, like the changing of the wind, directions. makers of BIOS changed 4 times!
and upgrades on BIOS changed on some HP PC, 10 times. or more. so I know NOTHING here, nor will most others due to that FACT. (unless theirs, is same as yours exactly)
only you can can explore BIOS, page by page and see what is there.
Test 1. (all techs have this in there KIT)
boot from USB stick, NOT external DVD drive)
if this fails doing DVD external boots is not possible.
find say any ISO for Unbuntu 17 linux, and burn the USB stick
using rufus. the boot the stick (fail now)?????????
that is the test for USB boot if that fails the PC is too old
and only fixing your bad DVD drive is the only cure.
Do not run XP with out SP3, once you have it running
XP has 700 exploits, and is a virus magnet.
never use XP is the best answer, but you you are not there yet.
so only BIOS matters now, that and only that NOW>
if the USB test 1 above works, I would.
id buy W7 from microsoft.com
the burn a stick
then load w7 , now it has future.
this PC is supported by HP in W7
here is the proof here
never run XP or VISTA today, 2017, they are now officially dead.
Learn that booting is a function of BIOS not windows.
windows is a goal and is only startup files to load windows.
booting happens at the lowest levels ,in BIOS.
BIOS has code in my newer PC to boot to any USB device.
but not external drives.
tricks for compaq old
the CD is called,
'Notebook Upgrade Bay'
(odd name that)
but I have a SDD in mine so not so odd !
trick 2, is some compaq change sata to IDE or the CD will not boot. (sad no?)_
BTW my HP laptop can boot to both bays, HDD and upgrade bay
both bays in mine are SDD. one is w10 other is Ununtu 17.
booting to external drives are the most difficult tasks of all
some do , some dont.
but I always start with a stick first. test that , for booting
then go wild with external drives. (booting )
this is all for now, we can peel the onion as deep as you want, ask.