How to Boot a DVD or CD in Windows 8.1

How to reboot with a CD/DVD in a Windows 8.1 / 8 Secure Boot Environment

How to Boot a CD or DVD in Windows 8.1

If you have a computer system that comes with Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 preinstalled, you may find that you cannot boot a DVD or CDROM disk even if you have configured your BIOS to boot from your CD/DVD drive. This article shows you how you can do this.

Things to Note Before Starting

Unlike earlier versions, Windows 8.1 comes preinstalled on systems that have something known as Secure Boot enabled. This means that before your computer will boot from a disk, even if you follow the steps below, your disk must have bootable files that are digitally signed with a certificate that is stored on your computer. (For those who didn't understand the previous sentence, it loosely means that the bootable portion of your disk must have a special new format that is recognized by your computer.)

If you attempt the procedure below, and find that your computer refuses to recognize your disk for booting purposes, it is possible that the disk is not digitally signed with the correct certificate. If so, and you still need to boot from it, you may have to change your UEFI / BIOS settings to disable Secure Boot. (Note though that this is not the only possible reason why your disk will not boot. For example, it's also possible that it is damaged or corrupted.)

Just to be clear, in case you have stumbled onto this article because you're trying to play/load a disk in Windows 8.1. This article is NOT about how to play a movie, music or game/software CD/DVD on your computer. It is about booting to a special DVD/CD with a system other than your default preinstalled Windows 8.1. It is relevant only for people trying to back up their computer or doing things like repair their system from a virus infection using a rescue disk.

How to Restart to a Bootable Disk

  1. Click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen. (This is the button that has the Windows logo.)

  2. The Start screen should appear. Type "settings" (without the quotes).

  3. "PC Settings" should appear in the search results in the right column. Click it.

  4. Click "Update and recovery" in the left column of the screen that appears.

  5. The screen should change to one with the title "Update and recovery". Click "Recovery" in the left column.

  6. The right side of the screen should change. Click the "Restart now" button in the section labelled "Advanced startup".

  7. You will be greeted with a message that says "Please wait". Eventually, you will get a screen with the title "Advanced options". Click the option that says "Use a device".

  8. Another screen will appear giving you the choice of booting from either the "Internal Hard Disk or Solid State Disk", an "EFI DVD/CDROM" drive, or another "EFI USB Device". Make sure that you have put your CD or DVD into your drive, and click "EFI DVD/CDROM".

When you do this, your system's UEFI (what was formerly called the BIOS) will take over and attempt to start the system from the DVD/CD drive. As mentioned earlier, whether this is successful depends on whether your DVD or CD media has the necessary digital signature and whether it is bootable in the first place.

Copyright © 2015 by Christopher Heng. All rights reserved. Get more "How To" guides and tutorials from

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