I forgot to add that I have been working on this PC for 2 days. A process that should have only taken 2 hours has taken 2 days because of the lack of Dell providing a simple system restore image.
I have tried making the CD ROM first in boot sequence.
I have downloaded and tried the boot disks, and making A:\ first in boot sequence.
I have spent about 2 hours on the phone with various tech people from Dell, none of which could answer my question.
1 simple question - How do I get this PC to boot to DOS so that I can run fdisk, delete C:\, create a new partition, format and install the OS on the newly created partition. 1 simple task that is used by myself daily on a multitude of PCs. Why does it not work on Dell the way it works on every other PC that I've ever worked on?
If anyone can please assist me, I would GREATLY appreciate it.
You do not require an F'disk to partition and format the hard drive, this part of reinstalling the XP operating system.
Bev, I have tried all of this. I have the CD Rom as first in boot sequence, I have the OS installation CD, but it will not reload from the CD. It will not load from the CD using a boot disk in A. I ran the device diagnostice, and everything was working fine. The CD rom works fine, the DVD rom works fine, the A drive works fine. Everything works fine, it just will NOT boot from the CD and allow me to reformat the C:\ partition. I have tried going into setup and resetting the BIOS to factory default, but there is no option to do so. Someone at MS forum told me to try f9 to see if that would restore factory default BIOS, and it did nothing. I have tried almost everything. I am so disgusted with Dell after being on the phone with them, that I will never recommend anyone purchase one, and I get a lot of people who ask me my opinion about stuff before they purchase. This is TOTALLY absurd that one must go through this type of treatment and torment to have a piece of machinery that you purchased from them operate correctly. When you pay $$$ for something, you expect that it would be quality, and that it and whatever goes with it should operate correctly. I have had it with this computer and with DELL's lack of concern for their customers. I get all of these people coming to me asking for help, because DELL won't help them.
I understand your frustration, but getting mad at Dell won't reload the OS in that system. Sounds like at least a couple problems may be attributed to the "user end of the keyboard".
You mentioned that you have a CD-ROM and a DVD-ROM. The XP disc must be loaded from the master device. This is almost always the top drive. So set the system to boot from the IDE CD-ROM device, then put the XP disc in the top drive, save and exit.
If that doesn't work, post back.