I have a Dell Dimension 4500 with Windows XP on it. I wanted to boot Ubuntu from a CD/DVD or my flash drive, but I can't boot it from the CD/DVD I created or the flash drive. The CD/DVD will not boot from the DVD drive (you can only view DVDs with this drive) or the CD drive (because it is a DVD). The computer does not recognize my flash drive as a removable drive. What other options do I have? Can I install directly over Windows XP, or try to request an installation CD from Ubuntu?

  • What version of ubuntu did you download, is it some 64bit Ubuntu? Do you run WinXP 32bit? I am asking because I know you cannot install 64bit Ubuntu on your machine or 64bit WINXP for that matter. I have a Dell Optiplex machine, not very different from yours, and i'am doing ok as long as I keep using Ubuntu 32bit, any version of it. – Taz D. Apr 16 '14 at 22:29
  • Try the install on a different computer if you have one. If that doesn't work request or buy a installation cd from Ubuntu. When I installed Ubuntu all I did was boot up the computer and delete the ubuntu rom and it brought me to the installer. You can't install over Windows. – gb26 Apr 16 '14 at 23:10

you need to enter the bios and select the deviceto boot. you can enter the bios on most computers by pressing f2 at the post screen.

The post screen is the screen displayed when you turn the computer on, it displays the manufaturer name, computer model, and in most cases the key used to enter the bios...

for my asus k55a the process for booting a cd is as follows

  • press f2 at post to enter the bios
  • navigate to the boot menu
  • set the cd/dvd drive as the first boot option (at least before the internal hard drive)
  • navigate to the menu that includes the option "save changes"
  • reboot

if all worked out, then the pc should automatically boot the device you put at the top of the list. if no device is found to be bootable there, it will move to the next in the list. keep in mind that to boot from the hard drive, you must change this setting once you no longer need it configured as such, or you must remove any bootable media that is placed in the list before your hard drive

you may also press f12 on most PCs to get a menu of available devices and select what to boot from. this will override the settings in the bios and boot from the selected device.

Here is a youtube video demonstrating how to do so...


keep in mind that your PC may have a different key that must be pressed to enter the boot menu / BIOS... This is USUALLY displayed at post but you can try the following keys if f2 and f12 dont work (f1, f2, f11, f12, del)

if it still doesnt work find a manual for your model of PC... the manual will tell you which key to press

if it STILL doesnt work, you most likley have not prepared your bootable media properly. please follow the steps provided by the ubuntu website exactly:



Ubuntu IS NOT WINDOWS... windows programs such as Word, Photoshop, and internet explorer will not work with ubuntu. Alternatives are provided and some programs such as firefox are compatible, but bear in mind that you WILL need to re-learn nearly everything you think you know about computers before Ubuntu can be an effective alternative to windows

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