Thank you in advance,
After trying several Linux distros on my old computer, which had Windows XP, none really worked.
I recently bought a new Dell Inspiron desktop 3000 series model 3646. It has Windows 8.1 pre-installed. My intention was to try Windows 8 and if I did not like it try a linux distro booting from a cr-rom or USB stick prior to a harddrive install.
I tried to change the BIOS setting on the new Dell computer to boot from a CR-ROM or USB stick without success. The settings are quite a bit different than on my old computer. Searches on the Internet, forums, and Dell's website were not very helpful.
Through the Windows 8 desktop I found an option to change the BIOS settings through something called the Action Center. I opened it and it seemed fairly straight forward, but when I switched it to boot from a USB stick it said this computer does not have an option to boot from USB. Setting it to boot from the CR-ROM drive produced the same answer.
Lastly, before I bought this computer I told the salesperson I would probably install Linux at some point and asked how to get a copy of the Windows 8 operating system, either on CD or flashdrive, if I wiped out the Windows OS installing Linux, or wiped out the Windows OS for any reason. He said most computers now have a Create Back-Up Disk feature for this purpose. I cannot seem to find it on this computer.
So, does anyone know how to change the BIOS or is this particular model truly not capable of booting from a CD or USB stick? If not I may return it.
I think I want Linux. Within a couple of hours of setting up the new computer, which was very easy, I downloaded Mozilla. It came pretty bare boned without Flash. Rather than going directly to the Adobe Flash website I foolishly downloaded an app thru Mozilla's add-on website that contained Flash, but also came with about ten other unwanted apps and add-ons. One of the apps took over both Mozilla and IE, and I could not get rid of it for anything. Technically, according to the Internet, it was not a virus but was not desirable. It breezed past both Windows firewall and the pre-installed anti virus software like it was not there. I finally did a reset to original setting just to get rid of it. Fortunately I had no files other than the Mozilla download. I realize I clicked the install, but I do not want to worry about stuff like this every time I download something.