How to boot your Toshiba PC from CD-ROM, LAN, or diskette

Document ID: 98080545


Posted Date: 2004-09-16


Last Updated: 2006-07-21


Distribution: View Public Website


Applicable Models
Satellite All
Portege All
Tecra All
Satellite Pro All



Many Toshiba PCs can boot (start Windows, or another operating system) from devices other than the built-in hard disk (HDD) or built-in diskette drive (FDD). These devices include USB diskette drives, CD-ROM discs, a local area network (LAN), and PC Card (PCMCIA) hard disk drives.

Toshiba PCs that offer alternate boot devices allow you to specify which device to boot from (the 'boot priority') by three methods:

  • From BIOS Setup (semi-permanent setting)

    Boot priority specifies the order in which the computer searches for a bootable operating system. For example, if you set your system to boot from devices in this order: CD-ROM > HDD > LAN, the computer first checks for a bootable CD, then for a bootable HDD, then for a bootable LAN, and loads the operating system from the first one it finds.

    Different models offer different options for setting boot priority. For information about how to access the BIOS/CMOS settings on your Toshiba PC, please see the Support Bulletin entitled "How to access the BIOS Settings on your Toshiba Portable PC" that is applicable to your model. By setting the boot priority in this manner, the boot selected priority setting will be retained for all future restarts, until it is changed again.

  • From the Boot Device Menu (temporary setting)

    When the TOSHIBA splash screen is displayed when you first turn on your computer, a boot menu prompt may be displayed for a few seconds near the bottom of the screen, indicating that a key (F2 or F12, for example) can be pressed to display a menu of boot options. The time allowed for detecting the keypress is very brief, so you'll need to be both prepared and quick.

    On some models this prompt reads Press F12 for boot menu. On others, it may say Press C to boot from CD-ROM. On still others, there may be a row of colored icons representing the various boot devices (HDD, FDD, CD, LAN, PCMCIA, etc.) Press F12 while these icons are displayed, and then use the arrow keys to move the cursor from one to another. As new models are released, the wording of these prompts may change.

    On models that offer a text boot device menu, simply press the key corresponding to the desired boot device from the list of available devices.

    The selection of a boot device from any of these boot device menus affects only the current startup operation; the next time the computer is started it will follow the boot priority setting established in BIOS Setup (see the BIOS Setup method, above).

  • From the Boot Device Hotkeys (temporary setting)

    Immediately after pressing the power-on button, press the hotkey for the device from which you wish to boot:

    HotkeyBoots from device
    Ninternal LAN adapter4

    The computer will boot from the selected device if it finds a bootable operating system, otherwise it will search for a bootable device, following the boot priority set in BIOS Setup.

    1. "IDE CD-ROM" refers to the computer's internal CD-ROM drive (built-in, SelectBay, or built-in to a Toshiba docking device).

    2. "ISA FDD" refers to an internal or SelectBay diskette drive, or an external diskette drive that connects to the PC through a special Toshiba-proprietary connector.

    3. Not all models support booting from a USB-connected diskette drive.

    4. Not all models support the hotkey for the internal LAN adapter, even though they may support booting from LAN.

The selection of a boot device from Boot Device Hotkeys affects only the current startup operation; the next time the computer is started it will follow the boot priority setting established in BIOS Setup (see the BIOS Setup method, above).


  • Booting from a CD in a CD-ROM drive requires that the CD be made bootable when it is created ('burned'). Simply copying files to a CD does not make it bootable.

  • If a "PXE..." error is displayed when you start the computer, it indicates that the computer is attempting to boot from a network (LAN), but is not able to find a remote boot server. If this happens repeatedly, and you are not deliberately trying to boot from a network server, change the boot priority in BIOS Setup to make 'LAN' the last entry in the list of boot devices.

- cc/wa

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