stuck in xp setup, cant reformat

May 25, 2010 at 23:25:27
Specs: Windows XP
Please keep in mind I'm no expert, and I am also not sure of the the exact model laptop but that seems right. About a year back I decided to reinstall Windows XP on an old discarded laptop. I'm not sure what CD I used but 3/4 of the way through it asked me for a disc 2. I had no idea where disc 2 was or even what disc I was using in the first place, so i gave up. So now I'm trying to start over after a year and it goes straight to the set up asking me for disc 2. I tried getting into the recovery console to reformat and start from scratch, but all it lets me do is press f2 for setup or f 12 for boot menu after either of which it immediately boots the start up. is there a way to reformat the drive from here?

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May 26, 2010 at 04:12:36
- shut down the pc
- remove the battery for 30 seconds
- replace the battery
- insert the CD
- restart Windows pressing the F8 key
- when you at the boot choice list, choose boot from CD-ROM
once it's able to boot from the CD through these steps you are on your way to start up.

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May 26, 2010 at 08:17:01
You need the correct WinXP disc. If you have the full retail version, that would be best.

Boot the system, press F2 to enter setup, then check the boot order. Make sure the CD drive is listed before the HDD. Save the settings & exit.

Boot off the XP disc & make sure to "press any key" when prompted. If you don't press a key, the system will bypass the disc & attempt to boot from the HDD.

Once XP setup starts, delete the current partitioning, then recreate new partitions. Format the partitions as NTFS using the full method (not quick), then continue with the installation.

Hopefully you have all the necessary device drivers...chipset, video, sound, network, touchpad, etc. If not, you'll have to go to the Dell site & download them all.

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May 26, 2010 at 11:57:36
If you do have a Dell, you can try a recovery from the hidden partition on the hard drive. When you start your computer, hold down the CTRL key and press F11 to access the system recovery wizard.

If that doesn't work, go to the Dell web site and check the recovery procedure for your model.

The three most important things in computing:
1. Backups, 2. Backups and 3. Backups.

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May 26, 2010 at 21:03:14
unfortunately the setup is all the way to finalization. so whether i boot from the hard drive or from the cd it still takes me directly to the finalization step of set up without allowing me to press anything except for f2 or f12 beforehand. it skips over all the parts i need because it's already installed on the hd. i also tried the system recovery wizard but nothing happened.

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May 26, 2010 at 21:10:19
I would get a CD of Linux and install it using it to reformat the entire hard drive. After it is installed install XP.

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May 26, 2010 at 21:33:48
Also you can accomplish this with the hard drive manufacturer's disk utilities (depending on the hard drive manufacturer). You download the ISO image and burn it to CDr, then boot to that and delete the partition and recreate new partition(s) and format to NTFS. Then go back and install XP.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.
If all else fails, read instructions.

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