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Upgrading 2nd hand computer

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I've been wanting to put together a decent PC for my little boy since he enjoys playing games online. Yesterday I was handed an old Dell XPS T450 desktop for free. I am interested in upgrading it as much as possible, but seem to be having problems from the start and am getting frustrated. That's why I'm turning to you all for your guidance.

First things first, the PC has Windows 98 and I am trying to format the hard-drive and install a fresh version of Windows XP Home to start with a clean slate and see what I'm working with. However, what I have done in the past doesn't seem to be working on this PC.

I've tried C:>Format C: it asks me if I'm sure, I type Y, but disk does not format for some reason.

I also tried using a "copy" of a Dell Windows XP Home Cd that I had copied from my other dell (I no longer have original), but I don't think that it was copied correctly.

The have set of 6 boot disks that I can use, but as soon as it says "insert Win Xp SP2 CD-ROM", it doesn't continue with the CD.

The HD only has one Partition so it doesn't let me delete it because it contains setup files needed.

I'm apologize for the trouble, just frustrated, confused, and need someone who can think straight to tell me what to do. Thanks.

Once I get the specs for this PC I will need any and all suggestions about parts and upgrades.
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    motto - Just get-er-done

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If this is what i have seen on the net i would not attempt to install XP on the computer. Is it a P3-450 processor, 64 mb ram and a 6.4 Gig HD? That is way too slow to run XP. XP needs around 1.5 gigs for a minimum install. It really needs 512 Mb of memory as it uses the swap file a lot with only 256 installed. I would even install XP on a partition smaller than 10 gigs and even at 10 gigs i have run oput of room for program installs.

You are using a Win 98 boot disk to fdisk and format the drive? right? I would use nothing else. If you must install XP you can set the boot order in the bios to boot from the cdrom drive first and use a regular XP cd to install on a drive that was fdisked and formatted with a win 98 boot disk. That is if that old of a computer will boot from the cdrom drive.

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