Configuring a physical server to boot from CD/DVD-ROM
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Configuring a physical server to boot from CD/DVD-ROM


Article ID: 304409


Updated On:


VMware VMware vSphere ESXi


  • Unable to start or boot a CD/DVD-ROM on a physical server
  • Cannot boot off the Converter Cold Clone CD
  • Cannot start an ESX/ESXI host installation using a CD/DVD-ROM
  • You receive one or more of these errors:
    • Non-system disk or disk error
    • Operating system not found
    • No bootable media found. Insert a bootable device.
    • NTLDR missing

boot-cd cannot-boot-cd physical-server vcenter-converter


Depending on server make and model, booting of a CD/DVD-ROM can usually be accomplished by modifying a couple of settings, and ensuring that the CD/DVD-ROM meets certan standards that require booting to the device.
To ensure that your server is capable of booting from a CD/DVD-ROM:
  1. Access the BIOS or CMOS settings program of the server on startup.

    To access the BIOS setup program, use one of these keys within seconds of starting or rebooting the server:

    Note: The key to press depends on the hardware manufacturer and model. Each manuafacture will vary.

    • Dell, Intel, HP, Compaq, VMware, Phoenix BIOS, SONY - Press the F2 key.
    • AMIBIOS, Award BIOS, most generic systems - Press the Delete key.
    • Compaq (prior to HP acquisition in 2002) - Press the F10 key.
    • Toshiba: Press CTRL+ESC, ESC, or F1 on newer models.
    • IBM, AMD BIOS - Press the F1 key.
    • For other models, see the startup screen for the BIOS setup key.

  2. Ensure that the settings are set up to boot the server from the CD/DVD-ROM drive before booting from the hard drive or network by changing the Boot Order setting.

    Also, some systems allow you to temporarily set the boot device with a menu for only this boot attempt without changing the BIOS settings.

    For details on changing the Boot Order setting, contact your system hardware vendor's documentation.

  3. Verify that the BIOS and the CD/DVD-ROM you created supports El Torito specification as specified by ISO 9660 standard.
    In general, most computers manufactured after 1997 support El Torito without any updates. If your system is older than that date, contact the manufacturer or vendor of the server for a BIOS flash firmware update and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

    For more information, see

Additional Information