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Formatted HDD Can't boot XP from CD


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#1
MistyRo

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I hope someone can help me. I got myself a new computer and I'm giving my Dell Dimension 4550 to my grandson (he lives with me). I was having a problem with XP Home. I had a corrupted Windows Installer file and couldn't install or remove anything that used it. I figured I would format the hd and do a clean install and that would solve the problem. I tried downloading repairs and they didn't work.

I had 2 partitions, C&D each 40gb. I deleted both partitions. I couldn't get the computer to see C or D. I thought I shouldn't have deleted C, should have only formatted it and thought I killed my hard drive. A tech in Staples told me I was right and needed a new hd, so I bought a new one - WD 500gb. When I hooked that up I got the message "F1 Retry boot F2 Setup" after setting it to boot from CD and got 3 green lights and last one yellow in the back of the computer, which means a drive is loose, none were.

I took that drive out and reinstalled the old drive. I have a floppy boot disk with DOS and formatted the hdd then did Fdisk and decided to do only C partition. The computer showed C as 37gb instead of 80, but the BIOS shows 80gb. So I got it to see C: (so much for the tech's advice). It also shows both the DVD and CD drive by brand, so I know it sees them. I set it to boot from CD and even set it to only boot from CD. When I boot I get the message "F1 Retry boot F2 Setup". I booted it from A: with the DOS disk and the 4 lights in back of the computer turn all green. When it boots from A: it says Starting Windows 98...

The XP cd is the one that came with the computer, I have another XP from a previous computer I owned - neither one made a difference.

It shows the mscdex on boot and says 0 CD drive is assigned Drive X and 1 CD drive is assigned Drive Y

If while in A: I change to either letter X or Y with the XP CD in the drive it says CDR101 not ready reading drive X Abort, Retry, Fail

The CD drive is the original that came with the computer, the DVD is only a few years old. Both were working last time I used the computer. I tried disconnecting the CD and that didn't do anything.

I am at a point where I don't know what else to do. I have formatted drives and installed components and never had this problem. I would appreciate any help you can give me.

Computer specs: Dell Dimension 4550 2.66ghx. I installed 1gb memory ddr SDRAM
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#2
The Skeptic

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1: Reset the BIOS by disconnecting the power cord and taking the CMOS battery for 10 minutes. Reset time, date and desired boot priority.

2: Double check that all drives are jumpered properly. If that doesn't help set the jumpers to Cable Select.

If still no good, try another cd drive that you are sure that it's 100% working.
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#3
MistyRo

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Hi Skeptic,

I removed the battery, all drives were jumpered properly, set the DVD to Cable Select. When I booted to the CD it made a noise like the computer was accessing the DVD and then it stopped. So.....I did one thing I hadn't done before. I disconnected the DVD and connected only the CD drive. PROBLEM SOLVED! I finally got the screen to install xp. I never figured there was anything wrong with the DVD drive. It worked before. After I had everything going I tried hooking it up again and it still wouldn't work, so it really isn't good anymore.

Thanks so much for your help. I was so tired of opening the back of this computer you have no idea. Now maybe my backache will go away too.
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#4
The Skeptic

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Thanks for letting us know.
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