Get 20% off! arrow_drop_up
Skip to content

Use Code PACIFY20 for 20% Off On All Orders

Fast & Free Shipping On All Orders

    How to boot from a DVD disc or USB stick

    How to boot from a DVD disc or USB stick

    Some of the products we sell require you to boot into the computer through a DVD or USB. If you have ANY files you wish to keep on your computer you must make sure to back them up. This is vital as you could risk losing them.

    Occasionally, if you’re troubleshooting your PC or installing a new operating system, you’ll have to boot from a DVD disc or USB stick. Here’s what that means, and how to do it.

    When you press the power button on your computer, it boots up from its internal hard drive, where your operating system usually Windows, Mac OS, or Linux is stored. But sometimes, you need to boot into something different. Maybe you need to boot from your Windows installation disc to reinstall Windows, or perhaps you need to boot from a system rescue disc to solve a problem with your machine. When you’re told to boot from a a DVD disc or USB stick, here’s what you need to do.

    Common keys for accessing the Boot Menu are Esc, F2, F10 or F12

    On a Windows PC

    Every Windows PC is different, but once you get into your systems boot menu you should be able to find what you’re looking for. To boot from a DVD or USB stick restart your computer and wait for the first screen to pop up. Often, it will say something like “Press F12 to Choose Boot Device” somewhere on the screen.

    Continuously start pressing that key

    Give it a moment to continue booting, and you should see a menu pop up with a list of choices on it.

    Highlight the DVD drive or USB stick and press Enter.

    Alternatively, you can set your computer to always check for a bootable CD or USB drive. That way, when you have one inserted, it’ll boot from it automatically, and when you don’t, it’ll head into your regular operating system.

    To do this go into your BIOS. To do this continuously tap the bios access key when the computer is turning on.

    Common keys to access BIOS are:

    • Acer F12
    • Asus Esc
    • Compaq F9
    • Dell F12
    • eMachines F12
    • Fujitsu F12
    • HP F9 / Esc
    • Intel F10
    • Lenovo F12
    • NEC F5
    • Packard Bell F8
    • Samsung Esc
    • Sony F11
    • Toshiba F12

    The bios is where you set a lot of low-level settings for your computer. Look through the options (being careful not to change anything) for a setting called boot device, boot order or something similar and select that option.


    Bios screen


    From the menu that pops up, choose your computers disc drive and press enter. If you’re trying to boot from a USB stick, choose USB-HDD instead and press enter.

    Exit out of your BIOS, saving your changes. Usually, this option is under exit on the main menu, or available via a keyboard shortcut listed somewhere on your screen.

    Your computer should reboot. Make sure your DVD disc or USB stick is in your computer. If you’re prompted to “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD” do so. Your computer should boot into the DVD disc or USB stick instead of your normal operating system.

    From there, you can follow the instructions on-screen to install Windows, troubleshoot issues, or do whatever else it is you need to do.

    On a Mac

    Booting from CD or USB is very easy on a Mac. All you need to do is:

    Reboot your computer. When the white screen first shows up and you hear the start up chime, press and hold the option key.

    You should see a list of drives show up. On the right, you’ll find your DVD disk or USB stick listed with its name under it. Use your arrow keys or your mouse to highlight that drive, then press enter or click on the arrow below it.

    From there, your computer will boot into the DVD Drive or USB stick instead of Mac OS and you can do whatever it is you need to do following the instructions on screen.

    It’s a pretty simple process once you get used to it, and it can be immensely useful if you’re taking the maintenance of your computer into your own hands.

    comment 1 comment

    John calendar_today

    Helpful guide

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published