XP install on a Dell Dimension 2400

Dell / DIMENSION 2400
January 16, 2009 at 18:37:55
Specs: Windows XP Home, 2.6 ghz / 768 mb
Hi guys,

Just had this Dell Dimension 2400 given to
me, with no Dell recovery disk or anything.
There is a MS Key label on the side, that
must be okay, because i tried doing an XP
repair on it, and it accepted those MS

My question is this... What would it take to
wipe the hard drive completely clean (
including the Dell volume ), so that i could
then reformat it into one volume, and then
put a new installation of XP on it. What program would be need to take the multiple partitions off?

What bothers me, is knowing what drivers i
might need, to make the thing run at a
presentable speed again.

I tried looking around to see if a Dell
driver CD might be available, but alas, no

See More: XP install on a Dell Dimension 2400

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January 16, 2009 at 18:58:28
They just might have a recovery cd for you.


Why do you want to wipe the Dell volume?

All the drivers you need are available from Dell.


Drivers and Downloads > Enter Service Tag Number

If you get lost, give us your Service Tag Number (usually a 5 digit alpha numeric number) and we'll do it for you. It should be on a label on the side of the machine. It's also displayed on the BIOS (setup) main screen.


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January 16, 2009 at 19:10:33
Why would you want to remove the Recovery Partition? If you install from that, all the drivers you need will already be there.

If you haven't completed the ownership transfer papers, Dell won't send you a CD for that system. You can, however, if you absolutely MUST do it your way, setup XP from scratch, removing all partitions and formatting during the install.

All drivers are available from Dell's Support site, just by entering the ST number, which is six or seven digits for the newer models like the one you have. Hint: It's on the back of the tower.

"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 16, 2009 at 19:15:05
Thanks everyone. I am well aware that i
could keep it the way it is now, but i would
rather have just one volume, with the OS, and
the Dell drivers on that one volume.

The reason being, that then i can use a
program like casperXP, to make a mirror image
copy of that drive, for a backup.

In doing it that way, there is none of the
messing around that has to be done when you
have multiple partitions on the C drive.

Call me old fashion, i don't care, but i DONT
like the way that Dell, HP, etc set up their

Bring on the flames :)

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Related Solutions

January 16, 2009 at 19:22:07
"multiple partitions on the C drive". A C drive is one partition. You can't have multiple partitions using the same drive letter.

The Dell Recovery Partition is very small and contains only what is needed to restore to Factory settings. Why would you want to cause yourself all that extra work (and waste time) by starting from scratch?

"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 16, 2009 at 19:39:51
I answered it, you just didn't comprehend it.

More than one partition, can be a problem,
when you use software to make a mirror image
of that drive.

But never mind, don't answer that.

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January 16, 2009 at 19:47:42
Sorry John, but you are the one that is not comprehending. You already have a mirror image on that second partition, and you can get the system up and running with all the drivers by doing a restore from that second partition.

Try taping the F11 key while the PC is booting up.

For what it's worth to XP users: When you click on the 'Command Prompt' you are just causing the 'Command prompt' to be displayed. This prompt gives you access to the 'NT Virtual DOS Manager'.

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January 16, 2009 at 19:52:49
I can see this will go on, all night.

The mirror image i want, is of ONE volume.
That volume is to consist of the OS, and the
drivers for that motherboard.

If i'm coming across as curt, i appologize,
but i have built 5 computers from scratch,
installing all the software, etc.

The ONLY reason i came here to ask what i
thought was a simple question, was because i
had never reformatted a Dell or HP machine.

I answered my own questions, after i posted
the initial question here.

Thank you all for your help.

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January 17, 2009 at 10:09:07
John, just went through same thing with a Dell laptop. I wound up just reinstalling with the hidden Dell partition, starting in safe mode and getting rid of all the factory installed stuff I didnt want or need.Worst thing to get rid of was McAfee virus.Would have been as quick to start from scratch,install what I wanted,and clone to another hard drive,or make an image, without having the hidden diagnostic partition or the Dell image partition. Seems Ghost didnt like them in my case.
Also on the laptop I was given there was a Driver folder at C:Drivers. Dont know if all Dells have that or somebody else put it there.


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January 18, 2009 at 07:51:27
If you are going to clean install XP, make sure to follow the required order listed below.

Note: Some devices may not function properly if the drivers are installed out of order.

Install your version of Windows.

Install the following software and drivers in the order listed below.

***** 1.***** Desktop System Software (DSS) or Notebook System Software (NSS) - A vital utility that provides critical updates and patches for the operating system. If you are reinstalling the operating system or updating all the computer’s drivers, it is imperative that this software be installed first.
This is located under the System and Configuration Utilities Category on the Drivers and Downloads page. The DSS or NSS may not be required for some systems that shipped with Windows Vista installed, or older systems that don't offer DSS or NSS files. But if your download page has a DSS or NSS file, "It is required".
2. Chipset - Helps Windows control system board components and controllers. This is located under the Chipset Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
3. Video Adapter - Enhances video performance. This is located under the Video Adapter Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
4. Network Interface Card (NIC) - Enhances the network controller for Internet or network access. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
5. Audio Adapter - Enables and enhances the audio controller. This is located under the Audio Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
6. Modem - Allows dialup capability. This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
7. Wireless Network Card - Enables and enhances the wireless network controller. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
8. Touchpad, Pointer, Trackstick, Mice, and Keyboards - Enhances the pointing device features. This is located under the Mouse & Keyboards Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
9. Other Devices
* Bluetooth Module
This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
* Dell Wireless Mobile Broadband Cards
This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
* PCMCIA/Smartcard controller
This is located under the Security Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

Dell drivers and downloads page http://support.dell.com/support/dow... Input your service tag number to get the required drivers for your system, 'as shipped'.

NOTE: If your system download page offers a DSS or NSS file in the 'System and Configuration Utilities' Category. And you have already tried to install some drivers, you will need to reboot in Safe Mode to install the DSS or NSS file, and the chipset. Then reboot the system and install the rest of the drivers in the correct order.

Mis Dos Centavos,

http://home.pacbell.net/dbk4297 Darrell's computer help and information web site

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January 21, 2009 at 07:36:37
On many Dell PCs, both laptops and desktops, they've include a "Dell System Restore" partition that is hidden on your hard drive. This is the case for most XP and Vista based systems, and some 98 OSes, possibly others.

I do know the Dimension 2400 in question includes that partition, provided you haven't unknowingly gummed up access to the resore partition [more about that later].

On most Dells, when you see the Dell logo appear you merely hold down CTRL and start tapping F11 [gently but repeatedly] until the RESTORE COMPUTER screen shows up. Note that this is a fully-destructive restore that sets the system back to the way it was when it was first unboxed. Any unsaved data will be lost. If you need to recover data first, I suggest try booting in Safe Mode With Networking [in the event you might need internet or network access once booted] by tapping F8 at the Dell logo screen.

LASTLY, if you still cannot access your DSR partition then likely the access to the app that runs it has been damaged. All is not lost, however :) A nice gentleman in California has created his own DSRFix repair tool that I've used on several customer's PCs with great success. It analyzes the easily-damaged CTRL-F11 feature and can attempt to repair it.
Click this link and then choose DSRFIX

For Vista machines, you access the DSR by pressing F8 during the Dell boot screen.

Dell's instructions on accessing and using their DSR partitions is located here:
Dell's DSR Partition Instructions

Good luck!


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