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Discussion Starter #1
Boot Device Priority
The BIOS needs to find a boot drive, and uses the "boot device priority" list to do that. Suggested to have your optical drive first, and hard drive second, everything else disabled. You can also have just your primary hard drive enabled, to prevent accidentally booting to a CD/DVD left in a drive.

If optical is first on the list, and there is no CD/DVD in the drive, you will see:
"CD-ROM Boot Priority .. No Medium."

If there is a CD or DVD in the drive, you will see either:
"CD-ROM Boot Priority .. Boot Ready"
or perhaps
"CD-ROM Boot Priority .. Press any key to boot from CD-ROM"
(Some BIOS's will do this to prevent accidentally booting from an optical disk left in a drive)

If there is no bootable medium in the optical drive, and it is the only device selected in the Boot Priority List, you will see a message similar to:
"Reboot and Select proper Boot device
or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key_"

If a hard drive is enabled on the list, it will look next for to see if that drive is bootable (has an MBR). If not, you will see the same message:
"Reboot and Select proper Boot device
or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key_"

In summary: in order to boot, you need either a bootable CD/DVD in your optical drive *or* a hard drive with an MBR. From there, the BIOS can identify which partition to boot from.

Note that some BIOS's will let you choose a boot device no matter what is set in the Boot Priority List, so leaving only HD enabled is good, you can just hit the key to bring up the list of *currently attached bootable devices.* Note - this is different to the Boot Priority List - there, you can select which order you'd like to boot from regardless of whether the devices exist on the system. The "BBS Popup" (as my P6T calls it) brings up a list of what is connected *right now*.

The role of the MBR:

If you have an OS on a drive but are unable to boot to that drive, it means the MBR is missing. Easy fix - simply boot to an optical drive with the OS installation disk inserted, and select the "Repair" option. That will search all hard drives for OS partitions, and build a new MBR on the disk which points at the OS installation partition. That disk will now boot!
..a

(work in progress - feel free to post feedback!)
 

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You were platform independent with your guide until the end. Restoring the MBR in linux distros for example doesn't always work that way. And if you used a windows disk to restore the MBR you loose the access to a linux distro.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Never thought of that. Will research when I get a chance. I know old RedHat distros can restore the GRUB boot loader that works with Windows even if there is no Linux installed on the drive.
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So I overclock my Q8400(2.66GHZ) to 2.9 but when I raise the fsb up by two and reboots I get this error: "Reboot and Select proper Boot device
or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key_"

I go back into the bios and it now does not show any hard drives.
 
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