Windows XP Disc won't boot

Dell / Inspiron 8500
January 19, 2009 at 06:52:07
Specs: Windows XP, ??
Hi, I have just recently gotten a new computer which came with Vista. Previously what I have done with any new operating system I got was installed it into my old computer. However, I came to find out you can only have one computer assigned to each cd, unless I wanna buy another one, which is unecessary.

I wanted to get rid of Vista and return to XP but the XP disc would not install because of multiple errors, such as missing ntldr.

So I decided to use deriks boot and nuke to clear the hard drive, and that went smoothly.

Now, here is my problem... When I insert the XP cd it spins for a while and eventually comes to an error screen with:

"no boot sector on hard disk"
"CARDBUS NIC boot failed"

30 seconds or so later I also get this message

"No bootable devices"

Also, when I just start the computer normally, it does go to a screen that says no operating system found, which makes sense.

The weird thing is that the Windows Vista CD still starts up and goes to the installation area when I boot from CD drive, So I know my CD drive is working properly.

I have tried the XP CD in another computer and it works fine.

The computer with the problems is a Dell Inspiron 8500.

Sorry if this has been answered somewhere but I grew tired of reading through threads only to come to a very general solution of booting from the XP disc, which wont work.

Since I used deriks boot and nuke, I have not formatted and repartitioned the drive ( I don't know if that is the problem or not )

Any help would be appreciated.


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January 19, 2009 at 07:15:15
Keep a few things in mind: Unless you purchased this version of XP specifically for this computer, you can't legally install it. 2: There may not be XP drivers available for this hardware. You should check that before doing anything else. 3: If you wanted XP, why didn't you purchase one of the Dell's that have that OS installed?

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown

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January 19, 2009 at 08:19:42
What you should have done was left Vista intact, repartitioned the HDD & installed XP on the 2nd partition. If you wiped out the Dell recovery partition when you nuked the HDD, you probably won't even be able to reinstall it.

As Jennifer pointed out, "There may not be XP drivers available for this hardware. You should check that before doing anything else." Sound & network drivers are especially difficult to find & in many cases, there are none available for XP. If that's the case, you'd have no choice but to go back to Vista...IF you can.

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January 19, 2009 at 11:23:17
"no boot sector on hard disk"
"CARDBUS NIC boot failed"

the above is key. the (laptop i am assuming because of the mention of CardBus) tried to boot to hard drive first (which does not work, cuz you wiped it) and failing that, tried to netboot.

your problem is that the PC isnt configured to boot from CD. make and model would help here, but basically you need to access the bios setup program and set it so it boots from CD before hard drive.

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Related Solutions

January 19, 2009 at 11:28:02
re-reading your original post, you got other issues. if it boots the Vista disc, then it just may be that your XP cd just doesnt like the Dell.

this will make no sense, but it is true. i have had issues with certain versions of the XP install disc booting up in various Pentium III-based Dell boxes. I think the CD was an SP1 version. Started using an SP2 CD and havnt had problems since. maybe your issue is similar. i'd get my paws on a different XP CD.

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January 19, 2009 at 13:30:24
Dell says that computer didnot come with vista...only XP...there are no vista drivers available for the Inspiron this must not be a New Computer just new to you!

download manual...PDF file requires a PDF reader installed.

read the manual on how to access the set-up features and adjust the boot order!

The 8500 originally came with XP installed so all the driver files for your computer can be found here:


I also think that your boot order is not set properly to boot from the CD but at the same time the wiping of the harddrive removed the setting and will need to be made active again before it can be seen or formatted by the installation CD.

In reference to 11/05/2008

"So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause."
- George Lucas

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January 19, 2009 at 15:17:43
i was thinking the same thing ?? i thought he gave a wrong model ## but yah... must be a pain in the ass to carry... Pentium 4 and 512MB ram now i know why you wanted Vista off... someone definetly installed that before you got it.

keep playing with it; if it will not boot your XP disc at all then try downloading and burning a Knoppix linux distro or something. that will tell you if its actually booting from CD or not...

and if it boots knoppix, you gotta find yourself another XP disc. if not, check your BIOS and also see if there is a key such as F12 or something to let you temporarily change boot order.

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January 20, 2009 at 08:05:07
Sorry, I should have specified better, I was in a hurry.

My new computer is a Dell Studio laptop.
My old computer is the Inspiron which I have had for 6 years or so.

I have tried tons of things, but the XP cd just wouldn't boot. I even downloaded a copy of the XP setup disc from the microsoft website, and burned the ISO file to a disc.

So since yesterday I have re-installed Vista, and am currently creating a second partition to install XP onto, well at least see if I can.

Considering everything goes ok, how can I remove just the Vista partition, leaving me with just the XP partiton?

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