Knowledge Base

Manually Reinstall your Windows XP Operating System


Table of Contents:

  1. Step 1: Backup important files & data.
  2. Step 2: Remove non-essential peripherals.
  3. Step 3: Prepare your computer for reinstallation.
  4. Step 4: Reinstall the operating system from the OS Setup Disk.
  5. Step 5: Install Dell drivers and utilities.
  6. Step 6: Connect your computer to the internet or network.
  7. Step 7: Install critical and recommended Windows Updates.
  8. Step 8: Install your applications.
  9. Step 9: Install your third-party hardware and software drivers.
  10. Step 10: Restore your personal files and data from backups.

By performing a Manual Reinstall, you will no longer be able to do a PC Restore or Restore to Factory Settings. Check to see if you can do a PC Restore before you do a Manual Reinstall it can save you time. Click here for PC Restore instructions.

Step 1: Backup important files and data

Use Windows XP Files & Settings Transfer Wizard To Backup Files & Data

The Files & Settings Transfer Wizard will automatically collect and save the files in your My Documents folder, including your Music, Pictures and Videos folders. Additionally, the wizard will collect and save the files on your desktop and in your Shared Documents and Shared Desktop folders (if more than one person share files on different user accounts on your computer).

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools and click Files & Settings Transfer Wizard.
     
  2. Select Old Computer and click Next.
    This selection will specify that this is the computer you want to back up your important files and settings from. The wizard may take a moment to prepare for the next step.
     
  3. Select your transfer method, from one of the following selections:
    • Floppy drive or other removable media (Recommended) - select this option if you have a USB memory key, USB hard drive, CD or DVD writable drive and blank discs.
    • Other - select this option if you are on a home network and can save your files to another computer or shared network drive.
       
  4. Once selected, click Next.
     
  5. Select Files Only and click Next.
    The wizard will begin collecting and saving your files to the specified location. If you specified a removable drive, the wizard may prompt you to enter an additional blank disc if more than one is necessary to hold all your files. Be sure to label your discs thoroughly (such as "My Files Disc 1" etc.) so you can quickly restore them later.
     
  6. Once completed, click Finish to close the wizard. You are now ready to proceed with the next step.

Back to Top

 


Step 2: Remove non-essential peripherals

Except for the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, remove all external peripherals, including:

An external peripheral is a device that connects to a port on the front, side or back of the computer, like a printer or memory key.
  • Scanner
  • Printer
  • Modem or Network cables
  • Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
  • USB flash drive or other external Hard Drive
  • Any other external devices (e.g., USB-attached devices)
  • Remove the computer from the docking station, if you are using one.

Back to Top


Step 3: Prepare your computer for reinstallation

Check to ensure that all your installation media is available. You will need the following:

  • The Dell Operating System Reinstallation CD/DVD,
  • The Dell Resource CD/DVD,
  • Any application install disks,
  • Any software and/or documentation for your Internet service connection,
  • Any install discs for any external devices (such as a printer) and internal devices added to the computer after it was shipped by Dell.
If your Dell System did not come with disks, Dell has designed two new backup and restore programs that do not come with their own disks, see below for the details:
Dell Inspirons, Studios, and XPS Systems use DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 as of April 22, 2009.
Dell OptiPlex, Latitude, Vostro, and Precisions use Dell Backup and Recovery Manager as of May 26, 2009.
Click here to find out more information about this software.

 

If you ordered your laptop computer without an optical drive, you may instead choose to mail-in your computer for repair, or you can purchase an external optical drive to continue your installation.
  • Click here and select from the available tech support contacts to arrange mail-in service.
  • Click here to purchase an external optical drive from Dell.

 

If your computer shipped with more than one hard drive and a RAID configuration installed, refer to your User's Guide for additional information about the type of RAID configuration your computer supports and how to configure it for reinstallation.

Back to Top


Step 4: Reinstall the operating system from the OS Setup Disk

  1. Insert the Windows XP CD into the CD drive, and then restart your computer. If the message Press any key to boot from the CD... appears, press a key to continue booting to the CD.

     

    If the computer does not boot to CD, follow these instructions. If it does boot to CD ignore this note.

    Configuring Your Computer To Boot To The CD Drive

    1. Power on the system and watch for the Dell logo to appear.
    2. When the Dell logo appears, press the key to load the Boot Menu. If the menu does not appear, restart the system and tap several times at the Dell logo screen.
    3. When the Boot Menu appears, highlight the CD/DVD drive (listed as "CDROM", "CD/DVD" or "CD/DVD/CD-RW") entry from the list and press .

     

  2. In the Windows XP Setup screen (Figure 1), press to set up Windows XP.
     
  3. In the Windows XP Licensing Agreement, read the license agreement, and then press to scroll through the agreement.
     
  4. Press to accept the terms and conditions specified in the license agreement. The partition screen is displayed. depending on your computer configuration, the partitions listed may include a PC Restore partition (2.7 to 4.75 GB) or a MediaDirect (1.2 GB) partition.
     
  5. Highlight the largest partition and press .

    If you are prompted to format the partition, use the up or down arrow keys to highlight Format the partition using the NTFS file system (Quick). Press or , if applicable, to format the partition. In cases where the drive must be checked for errors, select the Format the partition using the NTFS file system option.

    Setup will format the drive, if necessary, then copy the files needed for installation. This process can take several minutes. Once done, Windows will restart the computer to continue Setup from the hard drive.

    Do not press any keys if the message Press any key to boot from the CD appears. The amount of time it takes to complete the above process varies, depending on the speed and size of the computer.

     

  6. After the computer restarts, Setup continues with a graphical user interface (GUI) in the classic Windows theme. In this stage, you are asked to input information to personalize your installation. Your screen may blink several times during this process, which is normal. The information to input, and the order it is provided, is shown below:
    1. Click Next on the Regional and Language Options window.
       
    2. In the Personalize Your Software screen, type your name in the Name: field and your organization's name in the Organization: field, if applicable, and click Next.
       
    3. In the Computer Name screen, type the computer name in the Computer Name: field if you want to change it from the name provided. For Windows XP Professional Edition users, type a password in the Administrator Password: field and then type the same password in the Confirm Password: field.
       
    4. Click Next
      .
      If the Modem Dialing Information screen appears follow the instructions below, otherwise continue on:

       

      1. In the Modem Dialing Information screen, click to select the correct country/region for the What Country/Region are you in now? box.
      2. Type your area code in the What area code (or city code) are you in now? box and the number in the If you dial a number to reach an outside line, what is it? box, if applicable.
      3. Click to select one of the items below for The phone system at this location uses: box:
        • Tone dialing if your phone service uses tone dialing.
        • Pulse dialing if your phone service uses pulse dialing.
      4. Click Next.

    5. In the Date and Time Settings screen, verify that the correct Date, Time, and Time Zone appear, and click Next.
       
    6. In the Networking Settings screen, click to select Typical, and click Next. If available, click Skip to skip the networking setup section. For Windows XP Professional users, click to select No, this computer is not on a network..., and click Next.

    Setup will finalize the installation and should complete within 30 minutes of this point. Once complete, the computer will restart.

    If you see the message Press any key to boot from the CD when the computer restarts, do not press any keys on the keyboard.

     

  7. After the computer reboots, the newly installed operating system will attempt to configure itself for your detected devices, however many of your device drivers are not yet installed. Use the following to finish the configuration and prepare the computer for driver installation:
    1. If the Display Settings message appears, click OK.
       
    2. If a Monitor Settings message appears, click OK.
       
    3. In the Welcome to Microsoft Windows window, click Next.
       
    4. In the registration screen, click to select No, not at this time and click Next. You will be prompted to register your computer again later.
       
    5. In the Do you want to set up Internet access now? window, click to select No, not at this time and click Next.
       
    6. In the Who will use this computer? window, type the user name of your choice in the Your name: text box. Type the name of any additional Users that will be using the computer in the additional text boxes provided.
       
    7. Click Next to continue.
       
    8. Click Finish.

Windows XP now starts for the first time and is ready for driver installation.

Back to Top


Step 5: Install Dell drivers and utilities

The drivers for your Dell computer can be installed from the ResourceCD/DVD or from the Dell Drivers and Downloads page.
Actual system configurations may vary. The list below is an overview of the correct order to install drivers on Dell desktop and laptop systems. After reinstalling the operating system, follow the order listed when reinstalling drivers. It is recommended that you print this list for referral when installing drivers.

Some devices may not work if they are not installed in the proper order, please use the list below and install the drivers in the proper order.

 

To select the correct drivers, you need to know what components are installed on your computer. To find out what components are installed on your computer, refer to the Dell Knowledge Base Article: "How to Determine Which Components are in Your Computer" Article ID: 324898.

 

  1. Desktop System Software (DSS) or Notebook System Software (NSS) - A vital utility that provides critical updates and patches for the operating system. If you are reinstalling the operating system or updating all the computer?s drivers, it is imperative that this software be installed first. Currently, the DSS and NSS are not required for systems with Windows Vista installed. This is located under the System and Configuration Utilities Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
     
  2. Chipset - Helps Windows control system board components and controllers. This is located under the Chipset Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
     
  3. Video Adapter - Enhances video performance. This is located under the Video Adapter Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
     
  4. Network Interface Card (NIC) - Enhances the network controller for Internet or network access. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
     
  5. Audio Adapter - Enables and enhances the audio controller. This is located under the Audio Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
     
  6. Modem - Allows dialup capability. This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
     
  7. Wireless Network Card - Enables and enhances the wireless network controller. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
     
  8. Touchpad, Pointer, Trackstick, Mice, and Keyboards - Enhances the pointing device features. This is located under the Mouse & Keyboards Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
     
  9. Other Devices
    • Bluetooth® Module
      This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
    • Dell Wireless Mobile Broadband Cards
      This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
    • PCMCIA/Smartcard controller
      This is located under the Security Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

You can download the latest drivers for the list above from the Dell Drivers and Downloads page. It is recommended that you print this driver order list before starting the download process on the Dell Drivers and Downloads page.

Back to Top


Step 6: Connect your computer to the internet or network

  1. Plug in any network or modem cables you disconnected earlier. If your computer uses a wireless network card, refer to the Dell Knowledgebase Article: Connect To A Wireless Network.
     
  2. If your computer connects to the internet through a router, then your router should contain some or all of your internet connection information. After connecting your computer to the network, wait a couple of minutes for the computer to find and connect, then test your connection by launching your web browser on the computer.

    If you are able to load a web page, you are connected to the internet and can move on to Step 7. Otherwise proceed below.

  3. Install any connection software required by your Internet service provider (ISP). This software would have been provided to you by your ISP.
     
  4. Configure network settings as required by your ISP.
    For more information on configuring the Internet connection, see the documentation provided by your ISP or call your ISP directly.

Back to Top


Step 7: Install critical and recommended Windows Updates

  1. Once connected to the internet, browse to Windows Update. If a security window appears, click Yes to continue.
     
  2. Click Scan for Updates.
     
  3. Click Review and install updates.
     
  4. Click the Install Now button.
     
  5. Click the Accept button to accept and continue.
     
  6. Click OK.
    Repeat these steps until no new updates are found.

Back to Top


Step 8: Install your applications

To reinstall your applications, insert the disc for each program in your CD/DVD drive and follow the prompts that appear. (Dell will have provided you with installation discs for any programs you purchased with your computer.)

If more information is needed for installation, refer to the documentation that came with your installation discs.

Back to Top


Step 9: Install your third-party hardware and software drivers

For each device you have added to your computer since receiving it from Dell, refer to the documentation that came with that device for installation instructions.

Some devices, such as some printers or scanners, require you install the software before you attach the device and others do not.

Back to Top


Step 10: Restore your personal files and data from backups

Backup will restore the files to your computer. If you are restoring from a removable drive and used more than one blank disc, Backup will prompt you to enter the next disc in the set as necessary. Depending on the number of files and their sizes, this process may take several minutes.

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools and click Files & Settings Transfer Wizard.
     
  2. Select New Computer and click Next.

    This selection will specify that this is the computer you want to restore your files to.

  3. In the Do you have your Windows XP CD? window, select I don't need the Wizard disk... then click Next.
     
  4. Select the same location you previously used to save the backup files to. If you saved the backup to a CD or DVD, insert that disc in the drive now. If you used more than one disk, enter the first disk in the set. Then click Next.

    The wizard will begin to restore the saved files to the locations they were found originally before the backup. Depending on the number of files and their sizes, this could take several minutes. If you saved the backup to CDs or DVDs, the wizard will prompt you when to enter the next disc.

  5. Once completed, click Finish to close the wizard.
    Your files are now restored.

Back to Top





Article ID: SLN289658

Last Date Modified: 09/22/2014 11:52 PM


Rate this content

Accurate
Useful
Easy to understand
Did this article solve your problem?
Yes
No
Send us feedback
CAPTCHA
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 
Enter Captcha Code
There is an error with an entry. Please try again entering your CAPTCHA code.
Feedback shows invalid character, not accepted special characters are <> () \
Sorry, our feedback system is currently down. Please try again later.

Thank you. Your feedback has been sent.