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When you first turn on your computer watch the screen it will prompt you at the bottom usually to press the F2 or sometimes DEL key. Look through your BIOS sometimes under BOOT OPTIONS, sometimes in the HDD configuration. Your system needs to be set to BOOT FROM CD as the first boot option or USB then CD then your HDD. If your HDD is set to boot in the number 1 spot this would be stopping you from boot from that drive. Other problems would be bad CD drive, or a bad damaged install CD. If it's on now or if you can boot to windows see if you can open the disk there now. If you can see the cd in the drive from windows or if when you put it in it starts the setup we know your drive and disk work. If not then you will have to figure out if it's the drive or if it's the CD. If you have a new CD/DVD from the store with music or a movie on it put it in see if it reads/plays it. If it will open play other disks then it's the install CD. If you can open read it from another computer you can make a copy and drive to boot from the CD you just burnt. Let me know if this helped you or if you have more questions.
Shut down the mac by holding in the power button for about 10 seconds.
Is the CD a system CD or something else?
If it's a system CD restart the mac and hold down the letter C on the keyboard. after about 30 seconds the mac should boot up into installation mode. If it does, click on the language then then at the next page go up to the menu bar and locate Utilities and disk utility. Run the disk repair then try and restart. (The flashing ? means that the computer cannot find a start-up drive with a valid system on it. The repair routine can sometimes fix that - it doesn't always though.)
If it's not a system CD and you obviously need to get it out before you can do anything else - restart the mac but this time instead of holding down the C key, hold down the click on the mouse. It takes 10 to 15 seconds (sometimes longer) but it will force the computer to eject t the CD.
If you can see the CD Drive icon in My computer, it shows that at least Windows recognises the drive. If you are unable to see the drive listed in explorer (not the cd name but the actual drive icon), then please post a reply.
Other than that, you are describing what I think may be a faulty drive. If you open the case, check to see if the drive cable is in good contact with the connector and motherboard.
In this case if your laptop runs occasionally sometimes not. The prom the is the faulty cable which is connected to the HDD and CD drive. Try to replace the connector cable with the other one. Check also the BIOS setting of the HDD and CD drive.
if you want to boot your computer with cd you have to set first boot device in bios as your cd rom or dvd rom, for that when you power up computer press F2 or "del" then you enter in bios then go to boot option then set first devcie as dvd or cd rom . then save all settings then exit.
Sounds like your CD Rom has karked it and is dead. This happens for many reasons. Take it into a computer technician to get a new one put in for you and your laptop will run perfect and you won't have to worry about the BIOS problem
you need diskmgmt.msc if its a slave drive unalocated.. create partition then format it OR .. if its to install windows on it. boot from xp cd . sometimes sata drives need F6 floppy motherboard driver for installation cd to see sata hd through chip of sata on motherboard.
If you mean you need to install windows, you need to set your cdrom drive as first boot device in advanced bios settings or it will try to boot into a non-existent windows.
Make sure your hdd is showing as the master drive, save settings and exit bios.
Re-boot pc with windows disc in cd drive and hit enter when prompted to boot from cd.