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New hard drive/OS Dell Dimension T600

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Greetings - I recently swapped out the original hard drive on my 600MHz Dell T600 with a new 80Mb drive. The drive was damaged and I wasn't able to recover anything from it. I got the new hard drive installed correctly but it will not boot - I get the 'NTLDR is missing' error. I changed the boot order in the BIOS to start with the CD drive to boot off an XP disk but I get the same error.

The original OS is Windows 98 and I have lost the original installation floppy disks.

Any ideas on how to get past this error? Any ideas on whether XP will even work on this system? RAM was upgraded from 128 to 364.
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If this is a new drive it probably means you have no OS (XP) installed on it and the message you get tells you the BIOS could not find any boot sector on your drive.

If you had XP installed on your new drive then the problem is elsewhere.

Computer is booting from a non-bootable source.
Computer hard disk drive is not properly setup in BIOS.
Corrupt NTLDR and/or NTDETECT.COM file.
Misconfiguration with the boot.ini file.
Corrupt boot sector / master boot record.
Seriously corrupted version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
Loose or Faulty IDE/EIDE hard disk drive cable.
Failing to enable USB keyboard support in the BIOS.

When you put the CD-Rom as first boot did you see a message saying PRESS ANY KEY TO BOOT FROM CD if that message appeared and you did not press any key on your keyboard then your BIOS goes to the next hardware to boot from (your hard drive) and you get the same message.

If you did not see the message then its either your boot order was not save in your BIOS and it is still your hard drive as first boot or that your XP cd is not botable (is it an original CD or a copy).

As for if XP will work on your system, yes it will and at first will work good but the more programs you install (Anti-Virus ect) the more it will slow down (512mo of RAM should be the minimum to make it work decently).
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Another point is that if the computer will not boot off the CD, you will need to download and make boot floppies for it...

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