Author Options:

How can I install Windows on a machine that is currently running Linux? None of my Windows CDs will boot! Answered

I had decided some time ago to re-install Windows on one of my computers, so I went ahead and blanked the entire disk. When i went to install Windows with an old XP disk that has never not worked, the computer just did nothing past the BIOS start-up screen.

Frustrated, I put in an Ubuntu CD, and it installed just fine. So I just left it using that for a few months.

Now I want to play with the Windows8 Developer Preview and the machine refuse to boot from it too! It will just sit for a moment and then boot into Linux.

That same CD installed Windows 8 on my laptop just a few days before.

I even went back and tried a Windows98 CD and still nothing.

Is there something here that I'm missing? The boot order in the BIOS is set to DVD first, but it just keeps skipping over it. Thanks for any help!


Here's what I think... is it possible that you are using repair discs or upgrade discs? When you wipe your drive, you need to have a system install disc, not a upgrade or repair disc. I think that Win. 8 is like a upgrade disc. I tried to install it as a virtual machine, but since I don't have a windows OS currently on the virtual disk, it doesn't want to install. I haven't had a chance to fool around with it... but that's the impression I get. If anyone happens to know if Hal_Initialization_Failed error is something else... let me know. I'm not familiar with it off the top of my head.

If you are using system install discs and not repair or upgrade discs, then I would have to agree that it's probably your drive.

Hope this helps!

Something similar happened to me last month. Eventually, absolute minimum hardware, with a different install disk worked, installed straight over ubuntu.

Disabling all the drives except the CD with the installer in it sometimes works, even if it just makes the BIOS look at it twice and recognise the drive.

Also, swapping master/slave on IDE drives, using a different CD drive if two are installed, and starting the autorun on the install disk from inside linux are worth a try.

On another thing, where did you get win8 from? I'd like to have a look at it.

Hope some of that helped.

There's an ible on it... just look under recent.


6 years ago

I have had this happen in a machine I was fixing and at first it was very perplexing. What the problem turned out to be was the DVD drive. The lasers in these drives start to get dim over time and when that happens they can't read some disks. Or the will read only portions of the disks but not be able to copy all the files. The drive will work just fine for some CD/DVD but not others. Some of the burned disks appear to have brighter reflections so those are read more easily.
What I did was to burn a copy of the OS disk on a good drive and then us the burned copy to install. That is a sort of temp fix. The best thing to do is change out the DVD drive to a fresh one that has a full power laser in it.
Now there could be something else going on but this is where I would start.

+1 If a valid DVD/CD is inserted into the drive, and if the drive is set as the default boot location in the bios, then unless the motherboard or disk drive is defective (or the connections to the disk drive have been "futzed" - I'd checked those just to make sure), then it's very probable that the drive is beginning to fail and it's time to swap it out...

According to what you've said so far, I am in complete agreement with Vyger. I've had several CD/DVD drives fail over the years and they most often exhibited similar symptoms as they degraded or failed altogether...

In fact, CD/DVD disk drives are the single most likely "computer peripheral" to fail in my experience and effectively (not counting batteries or other "disposables") they have the shortest meantime between failure, or MTBF of all computer products.