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I recently dumped my old laptop with Centos 6 installed,for a shiney new Toshiba Laptop. Of course, I had no option but to buy it with Windows 7 installed.
My first course of action was to attempt to install Ubuntu 12.04 as the only operating system, not to dual boot. However, the laptop flatly refuses to boot from DVD drive, and simply boots into Windows 7. I've tried all the DVDs with various versions of Linux, but it just boots to Windows each time. it's pointless taking it back to the dealer, as it is working as it should be, but not for me. How can I get it to boot from the internal DVD drive? I never had any trouble insalling Linux to previous laptops.
Distribution: OpenSUSE 13.2 64bit-Gnome on ASUS U52F
I am assuming you got a user manual when you bough the computer or you can download its documentation in a PDF format from their web site. I am sure that will give you the steps on how to boot it from a CD or DVD.
I don't have a toshiba laptop but I've googled a bit and it seems that it is not possible to enter BIOS when starting up the laptop. You are supposed to use a windows control panel tool to access settings usualy found in BIOS .
Other people suggest to press C when starting up the laptop 
Usually when laptop starts, it shows on the screen briefly the key to press to get the boot menu. F12 or something, depends on the system. This will let you pick the boot device only this time and does not change anything in the BIOS / UEFI (which newer systems might include already)
Any owners manual with that or online? I agree that some are pretty bad. Never heard of any system that can't access the bios from a key at boot. I too have a toshiba that can use windows to control bios with an app.
You might have to press that key kind of quickly. Don't use an external keyboard either.
Just to be sure, might test this drive under a virtual machine. Install virtualbox or vmplayer and boot a newly made appliance from the real cd/dvd drive with that ubuntu disk in it. Could be the drive is bad or disk is bad.