How to Build a Computer – Setting the Boot Order for Drives

Setting the boot order is one of the final steps in preparing your computer for the software installation and configuration. It’s here that you need to configure the way hard disks, USB drives and DVD drives are loaded so that when you install Windows, it installs properly.

Today, computers are able to be booted using a myriad of different components. In the old days, it used to be just floppy disks, hard disks and CD rom drives that were available to be booted from, but today – it’s even possible to boot your computer using a USB drive or the network! Thankfully, this has made the process of installing your computer’s primary operating system a great deal easier.

Setting up the Boot Order

To configure the system boot order, the first and most important thing to do is to check the current settings for drive priorities as one needs ot ensure that their main hard disk is in SATA port 0, or as the IDE / PATA master device.

If you have a SATA hard disk and a IDE DVD, then the SATA device should be port 0 and the DVD drive should be installed as the master IDE device.

If you have two hard disks and a DVD, then make sure the hard disks are numbered in order of priority from 0 for the most important and upwards, and the DVD should be installed in the next available slot after your hard disks. i.e. hard disks 0 to 3, DVD – 4

Next, take a look at the Advanced BIOS features menu in your BIOS (names may vary, but you’re looking for the following:First Boot Device – Set to CDROMSecond Boot Device – Set to Hard Disk

After making these changes, make sure to save changes and exit.

With the boot order configured correctly, it’ll now be pretty straightforward to boot the computer using a DVD to install Windows. If you perhaps have installation media on a USB stick, then the easiest way to boot it is to use the boot device selection menu that appears when you press a certain key.

The key varies from mainboard manufacturer to manufacturer, but generally – you just need to look at the power up screen to find out what button you need to press to access the boot menu. For some boards, it’s escape, and others it can be F12, F11 or something similar.

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