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3neighs 06-18-2009 11:24 AM

Reinstalling Windows XP???
About a month ago (maybe longer) our computer started going haywire. At first it slowed down slightly to which we didn't worry about as we have dial up anyway, but then, even though we use Firefox, Internet Explorer windows kept popping up out of nowhere which began getting more frequent. Then, when I would click on a link it would open a new tab and redirect to somewhere completely different.
We had a friend who knows computers come out to look at what was going on and he said we needed to reinstall Windows XP and then install virus protection (we let our previous protection expire :oops:). Well, I contacted Dell and got the appropriate cd to reinstall the XP (along with four other cds for various other things) and our friend told us to call him when they came and he would reinstall it for us. Well, we found out a week ago his mother had passed away and I haven't wanted to bother him so I thought I could do it myself. I got two seconds into it before getting confused. It gave me two options of either "updating" it or "installing" it. I chose 'updating' because it said recommended next to it. Then it asked me for the product key code on the COA label to which I cannot find anywhere on the computer where it states I should find it.
If anybody knows what I should be doing I'll take any advice I can get! I've tried to do a system restore and it gets stuck and won't follow through with it. Am I supposed to uninstall the XP somehow first? Someone help me please!

Jehanzeb 06-18-2009 05:09 PM

Hello 3neighs,

Right firstly we need to make sure we have backed up everything which is required as once you start the XP reinstallation process it will delete everything from your computer.

ok lets do it together.

1: Insert the OS Disc which has been sent by DELL into the DVD Drive
2: Restart your computer
3: It will come up with an option Press any key to run from CD/DVD
4: Press any key, I usually press the arrow key on keyboard
5: Now the XP Installation process will start
6: You will see a blue screen with some bits working on the status bar, let it finish it.
7: Once the reading bits finishes, the blue menu comes which says press Enter to start XP or Press R for repair
8: Press Enter
9: Now you'll see another screen with Windows XP partition, asking you to press D to delete the partition. Press D and then it will ask you to press L to delete it fully. Press L

10: Now it will come back to the partition page. Press enter key
11: Once you press enter, it will ask you to either use quick NTFS or full NTFS.
12: Press quick NTFS and let it install XP
13: After a while it will come up into a graphical interface, upon menu choose the language (if you are in America then you don't need to change anything)
14: Now it will ask you to enter 25 digit key. This key you can find under the laptop or side of your desktop (it is a sticker from Microsoft!).
15: Once entered you are done.

It will install the XP.

If you need any further assistance please do let us know and we'll do our best to help you :D. Perhaps I can come into the horse forum chat if you have two computers and will help you install it while telling you live. :D


3neighs 06-18-2009 10:15 PM

Thank you so much! I printed out your instructions and am going to give it a whirl tomorrow. Any idea how long the process will take?

Jehanzeb 06-19-2009 09:20 AM

The process depends on your computer speed. If the computer is quite fast then it will take around 1 hour however if you are a total beginner it might take about 2.5 hours providing everything goes well because generally beginners read everything what happens on the screen. :D

As I mentioned earlier if you have two machines, you can send me a message and I will try to come online to help you out however I am sure with the above instruction you should be able to reinstall windows perfectly :D.


Jehanzeb 06-19-2009 09:33 AM

Jehanzeb 06-19-2009 09:46 AM

3neighs 06-19-2009 02:25 PM

Jehanzeb, I could kiss you! Okay, I'm a little worried though. I never saw the screens 1-6 you posted. In fact, the only screens I saw were numbers 7 (the first one) and 9. Then, it shut down, restarted and there was just a black screen with a small white flashing mark. After I entered the product key number it estimated that the setup would be complete in approx. 51 minutes. I left 3 1/2 hours later to go to the library (where I am now) and it was the same screen. Now after seeing your posts I'm worried that it's not installing properly. :?

I wish I had another computer to be able to chat with you because I'm so afraid of messing it up. If I go home to find it hasn't worked, I won't be able to get back online until tomorrow. The screen shots were a super help, at least I know now what to be looking for. Thank you so much!!!

Jehanzeb 06-19-2009 02:41 PM

Right lets go back shall we and see what we have done so far.

1: You insert the disk and restarted the computer.
2: It asked to run it from CD/DVD? You pressed a key to run the setup from CD/DVD?

If the above did not happen then how did you run the setup? Did you run the CD/DVD directly from within Windows XP?

There is a difference in running the CD/DVD from within XP and from start up of PC.

If you ran directly from startup, how much time did it take to get to number 7? Plus did it tell you that it is going to delete everything on your computer? Did it ask "would you like to restore the whole machine?"

I need to understand what exactly you did so that we can sort it out together :D.


3neighs 06-20-2009 09:33 AM


Originally Posted by Jehanzeb (Post 330956)

1: You insert the disk and restarted the computer.
2: It asked to run it from CD/DVD? You pressed a key to run the setup from CD/DVD?

No, it didn't. When I restarted the computer it didn't even acknowledge the cd. I had to go start -> my computer -> cd drive to retrieve it. Then, the first screen that came up was your first number 7. I did this before I saw your screen shots so I didn't know what to expect and assumed that it was normal.


If the above did not happen then how did you run the setup? Did you run the CD/DVD directly from within Windows XP?
I'm guessing yes.


Plus did it tell you that it is going to delete everything on your computer?


Did it ask "would you like to restore the whole machine?"

Okay, here's where I stand now. When I got home yesterday, it was still the black screen with the flashing white mark. It obviously wasn't working so I turned off the computer. When my husband got home we tried again, but now when I turn it on it immediately goes to a screen similar to that of the screen when you're in safe mode - black screen with white letters. This is what it says:

Please select operating system to start.

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP setup

When Iselect the Home Edition option it takes me right to our welcome page with usernames. If I select the setup option it goes right to the black screen with the flashing white mark.No matter how we try to put in the cd/start up the computer, it doesn't seem to acknowledge the cd. The light flashes and we can hear the whirring noise, but a new screen does not show up.

Jehanzeb 06-22-2009 09:40 AM

Hello and really sorry for not coming back earlier. I was in Paris and just came back last night.

Right that means what you need to do is to get into your BIOS and make the Boot Order into CD/DVD Rom (first) - Hard Drive (Second)

To do this we need to get into a BIOS. When you start your computer does it show F2 OR F10 to go into setup or bios on the screen?

Could you please tell me the model of the DELL so that I can find a screen shot for you?

What we need to do is to get into BIOS -- Look for Boot up Option and make the settings so that computer picks up CD/DVD at start up before goes to Windows.

You don't need to start it from within Windows as it will not work.

Awaiting for your kind reply :D.


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