I received a crappy eMachines laptop to do a full restore on. eMachines come with a 3-Disk restore setup that is to be booted from. Well it seems that the previous owner uses an external CD/DVD burner to run disks because the built in one is broken. How do I boot from this drive? The disk loads on boot up but then when it begins the restore, it tries to use the on board drive.
The BIOS has to be set to allow booting from an external drive, but since you said you booted from it, that's probably already done.
I'd suspect that the restore software is looking for the internal drive specifically, or else it's just looking for the first optical drive it finds. You might try unplugging/removing the built-in drive (most laptop optical drives are easily removed) to prevent it being detected. If the restore disc is coded to work only with the internal drive, then you'd have to replace it.