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How to Access PC’s BIOS Setup and then Set BIOS Boot from CD/DVD or USB?

Elva Chrys

Apr 07,2012 07:16 / Posted by to Windows Tips
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There are many reasons to change a computer to boot from CD/DVD or USB device(like an external hard drive or a flash drive). Follow these easy steps to boot your PC from a CD/DVD, a flash drive, an external hard drive or some other bootable USB device.

1. Access BIOS Setup

The method for accessing the BIOS is going to be dependent upon the manufacturer of the motherboard and the BIOS vender they have selected. Here is a list of the most common access key used to enter BIOS.

BIOS Suppliers Keyboard Commands
ALR ALR Advanced Logic Research, Inc. ® PC / PCI F2
ADM AMD® (Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.) BIOS F1
AMI AMI (American Megatrends, Inc.) BIOS DEL
DTK DTK® (Datatech Enterprises Co.) ESC
Phoenix Phoenix™ BIOS CTRL+ALT+ESC
Computer Vendor Keyboard Commands
Acer Acer® F1, F2, CTRL+ALT+ESC
Compaq Compaq® 8700  F10
Cybermax Cybermax®  ESC
Dell Dell® 400 F3, F1
Dell 4400 F12
Dell Dimension® F2 or DEL
Dell Inspiron®  F2
Dell Latitude Fn+F1 (while booted)
Dell Latitude F2 (on boot)
Dell Optiplex DEL
Dell Optiplex F2
Dell Precision™ F2
Dell Precision™ F2
eMachine eMachine® DEL
Gateway Gateway® 2000 1440 F1
Gateway 2000 Solo™ F2
HP HP® (Hewlett-Packard) F1, F2 (Laptop, ESC)
IBM IBM E-pro Laptop F2
IBM Thinkpad F1
Intel® Tangent Intel® Tangent DEL
Micron® Micron® F1, F2, or DEL
Packard Bell®  Packard Bell®  F1, F2, Del
Seanix Seanix DEL
Sony Sony® VAIO F2
Sony VAIO F3
Tiger Tiger DEL
Toshiba Toshiba® 335 CDS ESC
Toshiba Protege ESC
Toshiba Satellite 205 CDS F1
Toshiba Tecra F1 or ESC

Depending on your computer motherboard and computer model, the way you will access your BIOS set up menu will differ. Here are examples how to setup Award BIOS, AMI BIOS, Phoenix BIOS, Dell BIOS, HP BIOS, IBM BIOS.

Example 1: Set up Award BIOS
1. Turn on your computer, you will see following or similar screen on Award BIOS. Press the key required to enter BIOS setup. Here you can press DEL immediately when you see the message.

2. Select Advanced Bios Features on the coming up screen.

3. Set First Boot Device to CDROM and Second or third to HDD-0 and Press F10 to save and exit it.

Example 2: Set up AMI BIOS
1.When you start your computer, check the boot-screen for setup key. AMI BIOS usually requires you to press DEL key to enter setup.

2. Use arrow keys to select the Boot menu and set Boot Device Priority option: set first boot device to CDROM, and then press F10 to save settings and exit.

Example 3. Set up Phoenix BIOS
1. Turn on or restart your computer, watch for a message "Press … to Enter Setup" before Windows starts. Immediately press the key to enter BIOS when you see this message.

Phoenix BIOS

2. Select BIOS Features Setup.
Phoenix BIOS

3. Set Boot Sequence to A,CDROM,C, then press Esc and F10 to save it.
Phoenix BIOS

Example 4. Set up Dell BIOS
1. When you start your computer, check the boot-screen for setup key. For most new PCs, it will be DELETE key to enter BIOS, so make sure to check it. On some Dell Systems, you can use F2 to enter BIOS when the Dell logo screen appears.

2. Now select Boot Sequence and move CD-ROM to the top of the list by using "- "or "+" keys, and press SPACE to enable it.
Press ESC and choose save settings and exit.

Example 5: Set up HP BIOS
1. Select Boot Device Priority Item and Press Enter to select 1st boot Device.

2. Use the arrow key to select ATAPICD-ROM.

3. Press F10 to save and exit Setup.

Example 6. Set BIOS in IBM notebook/PC:
1. Select Devices and I/O Ports.

2. Select Legacy Diskette A:

3. Change the Legacy Diskette A: setting from Auto to Disable.

4. Select Startup Option.

5. Select Startup Sequence Options.

6. Change First Startup Device under Primary Startup Sequence to CD-ROM.

7. Save and exit the Configuration/Setup utility program

2. Set PC's BIOS Boot from CD/DVD

1. Insert the bootable CD/DVD into your target computer.

2. Start computer and press F2, Delete or F10 immediately to enter your BIOS Setup while booting. Otherwise, you will see Windows logon screen and cannot get into BIOS.


F2 or Delete is the common key able to enter BIOS. The key to access into BIOS depends on the manufacturer of the motherboard and BIOS venders. You can watch for a message during the POST about a particular key, usually Del or F2 that you'll need to press to ...enter SETUP. Press this key as soon as you see the message.

3. Use the arrow keys to choose the Boot tab, and then select Boot Device Priority and press Enter.


4. Make the computer boot from CD ROM firstly according to the prompts on the right.
Set BIOS boot from CDROM

5. Press F10 to save settings. Your computer will restart from the bootable disc automatically.

3. Set PC's BIOS Boot from USB Flash Drive

1. Reboot your computer, during the booting, press F2 or Delete or F10 to enter your BIOS Setup. The following BISO SETUP UTILITY interface pops up. See the operation keys on the bottom right. Highlight each item to select it.

2. On the Advanced or Boot Tab, set the boot priority.

3. Select the Hard Disk Drives, hit Enter.

4. Highlight the USB: your USB brand. In the following window it says USB: Netac OnlyDisk.

5. Choose 1st boot device to USB by using "- "or "+" keys, then press F10 to save and reboot the computer. This time you will see the computer boots from the USB flash drive.

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