What OS is on the CD/DVD? And what's on the hard drive? There have been issues about booting the V200 from a Vista disk if another OS had been installed on the hard drive.
Open the case and verify that the optical drive is connected to SATA1 connector on the motherboard, assuming you have only 1 hard drive and one optical drive. Then run BIOS setup and make sure SATA1 is set to enabled and the optical drive is first in the boot sequences. Save the changes, put the OS disk in the drive and close the drawer. Exit setup and it should boot from the optical disk.
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Forum Member since 2004
I am NOT a Dell employee
Here is the manual for installing drives in the V200. Verify that you've done it correctly and make sure the SATA port is turned on in BIOS.
If you format the hard drive, you'll delete the hidden Restore partition and the Utilities partition, so think twice about that...
I suppose it's possible you have a bad CD drive...