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Bios Boot Order

Changing the BIOS Boot Order

To change the order of the boot up devices in your PC's BIOS you will need to enter this motherboard component and make a few changes.

So the first thing to do is turn on your PC, or restart it if it is already on.

Watch for an "entering setup" message in the first few seconds after turning on your computer.

This message varies greatly from computer to computer and also includes the key or keys you need to press to enter the BIOS.

Here are some common ways you might see this BIOS access message:

1. Press [key] to enter setup
2. Setup: [key]
3. Enter BIOS by pressing [key]
4. Press [key] to enter BIOS setup
5. Press [key] to access BIOS
6. Press [key] to access system configuration

Note: The F2 key is common for Intel motherboards and the Del button is common for most other motherboards.

Quickly press the keys or button instructed by the previous message to get into BIOS setup program.

You may need to press the BIOS access key several times to enter BIOS. Don't hold the key down or press it too many times or your system may error or lock up. If that happens, just restart and try again.

Entering the BIOS Utility

After pressing the correct keyboard command from the previous step, you will enter the BIOS Setup pages.

BIOS main menue

All BIOS utilities are a little different so yours may look like this or it may look completely different. No matter how your BIOS setup utility appears, they are all basically a set of menus containing many different settings for your computer's hardware.

In this particular BIOS, the menu options are listed horizontally at the top of the screen, the hardware options are listed in the middle of the screen (grey area), and the instructions for how to move around the BIOS and make changes are listed at the bottom of the screen.

Using the instructions given for navigating around your BIOS utility, locate the option for changing the boot order.

Note: Since every BIOS setup utility is different, the specifics on where the boot order options are located varies from computer to computer.

The menu option or configuration item might be called Boot Options, Boot, Boot Order, etc. The boot order option may even be located within a general menu option like Advanced Options, Advanced BIOS Features, or Other Options.

BIOS Boot Order

In the example BIOS above, the boot order changes are made under the Boot menu.

The boot order options in most BIOS setup utilities will look something like the screenshot above.

Any hardware connected to your motherboard that is able to be booted from - like your hard drive and optical drive - will be listed here. Most modern computers even let you boot from devices like flash drives, network resources and other sources.

The Boot Order

The order in which the devices are listed is the order in which your computer will look for operating system information - in other words, the "boot order."

To change which device to boot from first, follow the directions on the BIOS setup utility screen to change the boot order. In this example BIOS, the boot order can be changed using the + and - keys.

Note: Remember, your BIOS may have different instructions.

As you can see above, I have changed the boot order from Removable Devices shown in the previous step to the CD-ROM Drive as an example.

BIOS will now look for a bootable DVD in the optical disc drive first, before trying to boot to any removable media and also before trying to boot to the hard drive or a network resource.

Make whatever boot order changes you need and then proceed to the next step to save your settings.

Don't Forget to Save the Boot Order Changes

Before your boot order changes take effect, you will need to save the BIOS changes you made.

BIOS save and exit

To save your changes, follow the instructions given to you in your BIOS utility to navigate to the Exit or Save and Exit menu.

Locate and choose the Exit Saving Changes (or similarly worded) option to save the changes you made to the boot order.

Choose Yes when prompted to save your BIOS configuration changes and exit.


When your computer restarts, BIOS will attempt to boot to the first device in the boot order you specified. If the first device is not bootable, your computer will try to boot from the second device in the boot order, and so on.

Press any key

If you set the first boot device in the BIOS to the CD Drive you may see the screenshot above, which shows that the PC is attempting to boot to the CD but is asking for a confirmation first. This screen only appears for some bootable CD's and will not normally show up when booting to Windows or other Operating Systems on a hard drive.

Configuring the boot order to boot to a disc like a CD or DVD is the most common reason for making boot order changes.

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