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Can't Register reloaded windows on Dell Inspiron Mini


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#1
tman157

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My wife has a Dell Inspiron Mini running Windows XP. All was well until we visited a news site where I believe something infected it with a virus or malware. Since then it ran slow, or Internet Explorer wouldn't start up (we were able to use Firefox) and we could just tell something was wrong. Ran Malware.org, but showed no problems.

Finally tried reloading the operating system for a fresh start. Went thru the process and all went well. The computer rebooted and said the version of Windows needed to be confirmed or re-registered. No problem...put in the product key. Now it just won't go anywhere. I rebooted and again it asked "do you want to register this version now" and I choose "yes", but it just goes to a background screen with no icons and just sits there.

It doesn't even give an option or place to enter the product key now.

Any help is appreciated.
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#2
Macboatmaster

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Have you installed XP from a CD or have you recovered using a recovery partition to restore to factory condition.

If you have installed from a CD is it the same system ie: XP Home or XP Professional as was originally installed.

If it was from a CD which product key have you used the one on the base of the laptop or the one from the CD case - if it was a Microsoft CD

To validate the installation with Microsoft, if that applies, you require an internet connection.
Do you have a connection on the laptop now you have reinstalled.

That all said

but it just goes to a background screen with no icons and just sits there.

this sounds very like a failing harddrive or other hardware fault.
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#3
tman157

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I tried to reinstall with the original cd that came with the unit. It has no disc drive so I was using a seperate one hooked up via usb.

The product code was from the envelope the cd came in.

Actually now that you mention it, I did not have the ethernet cable hooked up to it. We always used it on our wireless system, but when I was doing this maybe the wireless did not connect.

I can easily hook it an ethernet cable and I will try that and see if it makes any difference.
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#4
Ztruker

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See here: Force Windows Activation Dialog
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#5
tman157

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The product code on the disc and on the computer are the same.

I was able to get into safe mode this evening. It will not connect to the Internet though with the ethernet cable connected, although that cable does drive the other laptop I am on now.

Tried "system restore", but it says there are no restore points available.

On the original attempt at reinstalling the operating system all seemed to go well, but I'm not sure it worked 100%.
The computer was not set back to original factory specs. In safe mode I can still see user accounts specific to my wife and myself, and programs on the desktop that we installed after we purchased the unit.

Still asks me to register the windows product code, but I can't seem to get an online connection to do so.
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#6
Macboatmaster

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If you inserted that CD and reinstalled windows from it, then either you have installed windows on a separate folder to the original and that is why you still have all your documentation.
eg. if the original windows was on C:\Windows and you then directed an install on C:\Windows1. for example that is called a parallel installation.

If you did not receive a warning that the hard drive would be formatted and all data lost then you have not created a completely new installation.

I am beginning to doubt if this CD was a Windows install CD.
What does it say on the CD label
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#7
tman157

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I haven't been able to work with it today because of other business.

It says: Reinstallation CD - recovery media for Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition product - Service Pack 3
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#8
Macboatmaster

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See if you have an internet connection with it wired and then try again for the option of validation, activation or whatever you say the message was.
Some Dell computers were provided with a recovery partition available by Ctrl and F11 key.
See if yours was so equipped if you have the manual it will tell you.

If that does not rpoduce a recovery option I suggest at this stage that you run the CD again, this time watching the whole procedure, to see if any error messages are produced.
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