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UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME, and I have no cd rom drive....

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Computer-Dell l400 small form computer-no cd-rom drive- one usb port--------So I was going to wipe and reinstall xp on my dell l400. I have a usb cd rom hooked up to it, and was trying to figure out how to boot from cd. I started the computer went to bios, and had 4 options avalible to me. 1. atapi cd-rom drive(dont know why cause there is no cd-drive) 2. removable devices 3. internal hd 4. network boot.

So I though I'd set it to removable devices to try to boot off the cd to install xp. Then I got the UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME screen. I tried resetting everything in bios how I found it, rebooting in safe mode, taking out and plugging back in the hd, but nothing works.

So....is my harddrive dead??? And if it is dead and I buy a new one how would I install a os seing as my computer has no cd-rom drive? I was going to try to sell this computer at college to make some money, but it's not looking good........Any help appreciated, thanks....
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    Kraków my love :)

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UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error, usually means bad hard drive.
You can hook the drive to another laptop, using USB laptop hard drive enclosure, and test the drive.

Install Windows without a CD-ROM or floppy drive: http://www.defective...-cd-rom-or.html
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