How To Select Your Boot Drive
You may need to select your boot drive if you're reformatting your machine or for a variety of other reasons, we're also commonly asked for info on how to boot up from a CD drive.
The process is relatively straightforward, we're dealing with a Toshiba machine below but the procedure is very similar for most laptops and desktop machines.
You'll commonly hear about a boot order or boot priority, what this refers to is the sequence that your bios looks for from your bootable devices ie. CD ROMs, floppy drives, USB drives, hard drives and even SD cards.
If you want to boot from some of these devices you will need to ensure first of all they are installed with a bootable area and you'll need to create a boot disc.
Creating an MS-DOS start up disc from within Windows
The MS-DOS startup disk you create will allow you to disk into MS-DOS.
- Insert a floppy disk into your computer's floppy drive.
- Open My Computer, and then click the floppy disk drive to select it.
- On the File menu, point to the name of the floppy drive, and then click Format.
- Under Format options, click Create an MS-DOS startup disk.
- Click Start.
Note: Creating an MS-Dos start up disc will erase any information on the disc and will only allow the system to boot into an MS-DOS prompt. The disc won't contain any additional
In order to select your boot drive you will need a basic knowledge of DOS commands, the information below is from the Windows Help system. Type 'DOS commands' into the search
window in Windows Help and you'll get all the information you need to operate within the command prompt or DOS environment.
Changing the default drive
To change the default drive, simply type the letter of the your choice. The new default will be listed in subsequent DOS prompts.
- C> A: [enter]
- Changes the default drive from C to A
- A> C: [enter]
- Changes the default drive from A to C
[enter] means that you must press the Enter Key before the format command will execute. [Enter] is required after any DOS command, it is assumed in all commands found below.
CHDIR (CD) Change Directory Command
Once you have located the directory you want, you may move from directory to directory using the CD command (change directory).
(we've written the word 'backslash' here because the character doesn't always display properly in web browsers, use the actual symbol in your commands)
- C> cd furniture
- Moves you to the directory called 'FURNITURE'
- C> cd backslashfurniturebackslashchairs
- Moves you to the directory called 'CHAIRS' under the directory called 'FURNITURE'
- C> cd ..
- Moves you up one level in the path
- C> cd backslash
- Takes you back to the root directory (c: in this case)
Many laptops have boot device hotkeys (refer to your user's manual), for example holding down the "c" key on a Toshiba when you switch it on will force the system try and boot from the CD ROM.
The current crop of laptops commonly have a utility (normally found in your windows control panel) which should enable you to change the boot priority or boot order. This will allow you to configure the bios boot order to what ever device you want the laptop to boot from first through to last.
(see screenshot below)
You can also select your boot drive from within the BIOS, this screenshot is from a Toshiba bios.
Boot Menu’s And Boot Menu Icons (Toshiba)
We refer here to menu’s that pop up on boot up which enable you to boot from various devices, this in particular applies to Toshiba but 90% of notebooks have this function. To select your boot drive is simple, in most cases it's as easy as choosing 1,2 or 3.
See the screenshots and points below for Toshiba boot order utilities.
- F12 key on boot to select boot device
- Appears on:
- Satellite 1130, 2430, P20, A30, A70, P30, A80, M50, M60, M70, L10, L20
- Satellite Pro L20
- Tecra A3/S2
- F12 key on boot to select the boot device
- Satellite M30 only
- Mouse is active at this point
- F12 key on boot to select the boot device
- The following Icons will appear
- Use the left & right arrow keys to move through the icons
- Once you have selected the correct Icon, press the Enter key to select
- Selected models support SD Boot: Tecra M2/M3/M4/S3, Portege M200/M300/S200, Libretto U100
- Bootable USB is supported on the Portege R200, Libretto U100 & Tecra M4/S3/A3X
The procedure to select your boot drive is fairly painless, however you may need a basic knowledge of MS-DOS commands, we've covered it above but if you're unsure the Windows Help section is a great resource.
Now that you know how to select your boot drive, click here to return to our home page