Old laptop can't read Windows 7 DVD

I recently tried installing Windows 7 Professional  (x86) on an old MSI Megabook S250. The laptop is an older 2GHz Centrino with 2GB RAM and an internal slim DVD burner.

My preferred method of installing Windows 7 is by using the official Microsoft Windows 7 DVD/USB Download Tool which lets you make a bootable USB Flash stick from an ISO image. I've used this method countless times and it has never failed me before, until I tried it on the S250. I enabled booting from USB in the BIOS and moved it up to first priority, but whenever I'd insert the Flash stick and restart, it would say "A disk read error occurred."

I then tried burning the Win7 ISO on a DVD and enabled booting from DVD in the BIOS. The laptop would try to read the DVD but fail and continue loading Ubuntu (which is what I had installed at the time). Once Ubuntu was loaded, it would continuously try to read the DVD but was unable to mount it or access any of the files. I though the DVD drive was broken and was about to order a replacement. A little bit of research showed that this is a fairly common problem though. For some reason, some older machines simply can't read Windows 7 DVD discs.

I then used an old Win XP SP3 install CD to get rid of Ubuntu and install Windows. This proved there was nothing wrong with the DVD drive itself. Once Windows XP was installed, I tested the Windows 7 DVD by trying to navigate to it in Windows Explorer and again the drive would be unable to read it (although it would keep trying continuously).

What I ended up doing was inserting the USB Flash drive which had my Windows 7 image on it and double-clicking setup.exe from within Windows XP. This starts up the Windows 7 installer and allows you to copy all installation files to HDD, then proceed with the Windows 7 install as normal but without needing a DVD. It's a long way to go about it, but it worked. I now have Windows 7 on my MSI S250, even though it still can't read Windows 7 DVD disks...


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