Ok so i think i did this all wrong. i used dban and erased everything on my harddrive...ugh. i got all the cds to restore it but they arent reading any of them. all that comes up is a black screen.???help please
Please follow these instructions for reinstalling the operating system on your computer. Follow the "manual reinstallation" instructions.
If you need more help, be sure to tell us what model Dell you have and your operating system.
Am I correct in assuming you have a Dimension 3000? If so, your computer uses parallel ATA/IDE for the hard drive(s) and the DVD/CD ROM drive(s). The only device that the computer will automatically search for boot code is the master drive on each of the two channels used for the optical and hard disk drives. If you have two optical drives, such as a CD and a DVD/CD drive, the Windows XP set up disk must be in the master optical drive; the master drive on the channel is that drive at the end of the ribbon cable. If you have had no success with the disk in one of the drives, try the other.
If you still have trouble booting from the master drive, try going to system setup (F2 during the self test after you start or restart the computer) and turning secondary drive 0 (the master on the second IDE channel) off. This should allow you to use the slave drive to boot from the disk.