I'm an old guy with chronic heath problems that make it difficult for me to sit up for very long.
I received a and old hand-me-down Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop from FreeCycle Seattle and I have a Dell XP re-installation CD that a guy from a BBS mailed to me.
The laptop currently has the previous owner's XP installation along with a ton of her software and files.
I'd like to delete everything and do a completely clean re-installation of XP so as to avoid inheriting any problems in her registry (as well as any malware or other issues that may be tagging along for the ride).
I tried booting from the Dell re-installation CD, but got stopped cold by the screen that says:
"You chose to install Windows XP on a partition that contains another operating system. Installing Windows XP on this partition might cause the other operating system to function improperly"
But, I don't want to leave any trace of the existing operating system.
So do I need to first repartition and reformat the hard drive, and then boot from the Dell CD?
Somehow I got the idea that the Dell CD would do the partitioning and reformatting automatically.
I'd be grateful for some coaching on this project,
Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless""You chose to install Windows XP on a partition that contains another
Solved! Go to Solution.
1. Boot the first one, then right-click My Computer, Properties, Advanced tab, Startup/Recovery, Edit the boot options, delete only the second entry in the boot list, then Save ... it should now be gone.
2. Personal/business preference. Putting the hard drive first makes it so that if you want to boot to some other device, you must change it in the BIOS ... for example, setting Hard Drive first, it will never boot to CD if a bootable CD is in the drive.
3. Yes. Drivers can be found at support.dell.com. First install the System Software (probably under "utilities"), then chipset, then other devices (such as the video driver).
Boy, the contributors to these forums are way too fast for this old guy!
TheFlash1932 has already answered this question for me over in Software & Operating Systems!
These Dell forum have got to be among the most helpful on the web.
Many thanks for helping me out!
Will Anderson in Seattle
Hi Clueless in Seattle,
Hope you get well soon. My prayers are with you.
You may find the link below for the video on how to format the HDD and install the fresh copy of Windows XP Operating system:
Revert for further queries.
Follow Windows Reinstallation Guide/A Clean Install of Windows XP:
To completely remove all traces of the old XP follow the optional Step 7a it will wipe the drive completely. Step 7b doesn't apply to this system and so can be ignored.
Many thanks, Sujatha K! I followed the steps in that video and now have a clean installation of Windows XP on my "new" (to me) Inspiron 1100 laptop.
I have one more question, though:
In "Computer Management" I see two partitions: 39 MB FAT and 27.90 GB NTFS
I'm wondering if I should go back to square one and delete that FAT partition and then redo the XP installation.
Do you know what the 39 MB FAT partition is for? Could it be something left over from the previous owner's XP installation? Or could it have been created by the reinstall I just completed?
I want to make sure I've deleted every remnant of the previous owner's operating system and software, so I can make a clean start with this computer.
Will in Seattle
P.S. Once I get this installation of XP the way I want it, then I'm going to need coaching on how to add this computer to my home network. Can you recommend a forum where I can get help with that?
The FAT partition is a diagnostics partition. You don't need it, but it probably isn't worth the time and effort to delete either. It has NOTHING on it specific to the previous owner.
To join your home network:
Do you have a wireless router at home, and do you know the SSID (network name) and password to join it? If so, then simply joining it should be enough in most cases (assuming your other computers are also connected to that same router). If you need further help, tell us more about your home network.
Thanks for taking the time to help me out on this. I'm grateful for the kindness and generosity (and patience!) of the contributors to this forum. I could never keep my rusty old computers and software up and running were it not for the help I'm getting here from you folks.
As for my home network: Right now I have three computers on the network:
1. A really old Micron Millennia PC (with just 284 MB RAM!) running Win 2K Pro (This is my main computer. I seem to be losing my eyesight so I can't make out the model number on the plate on the back.)
2. A second-hand generic Pentium 4 PC with the previous owner's XP already installed (This one suffers from a shut-down stall that I need to fix. Then I want to retire the Micron and use this one as my main computer).
3. A hand-me down Inspiron 1150 with a dead screen hooked up to an external monitor. I use this laptop in bed (where a Ispend the better part of my time these days, with the monitor on a rolling TV cart next to the bed).
They are all hooked together with cables to a Xyxel PK5000X DSL modem that I got from the phone company. The modem rental was free for the first year, but now they are charging me five bucks a month for it, so I need to find a replacement).
It's been a while since I set-up the network, (and my memory gets wiped out from time to time by little brainstorms called temporal epileptic seizures) so I can't even remember where to look for the settings. I do vaguely remember that I have to install something like TCPIP or NETBUI but can't for the life of me recall where to find those settings or what to do once I find them.
I'm guessing that I'll need to download a bunch of drivers to my main computer (this klunky old underpowered Micron running Win 2K) and then copy them over to the laptop. Does that make sense?
I'd like to to get the Inspiron 1100 laptop (the "new" Inspiron with the working screen) on line, so I can download all the XP updates. Does that seem like the logical next step.
Thanks again for offering to help me with this. I have trouble getting out these days, so my computers are my primary links with the outside world,
Will in Seattle
As long as you have Service Pack 3 installed on your XP, TCP should be installed and functioning, although you may need to set an IP address if your modem does not assign IP addresses. You would do this by clicking on TCP/IP, then Properties ... you would need to make a note of other IP settings from another PC (Command Prompt, IPCONFIG /ALL).
I don't remember if NETBUI is required for 2000 or not - I haven't used that since Windows 98.
"I'm guessing that I'll need to download a bunch of drivers to my main computer (this klunky old underpowered Micron running Win 2K) and then copy them over to the laptop. Does that make sense?"
If you did not install the System Software, chipset, and other drivers as part of the process of reinstalling XP on your 1100, then, yes, you need to do that before it will function correctly. Downloading them on another PC then copying them over is just fine.
Hi again, TheFlash1932!
You wrote that "The FAT partition is a diagnostics partition. You don't need it, but it probably isn't worth the time and effort to delete either."
My longtime Windows coach on a Seattle BBS, who can be overly fussy, insists that I absolutely must delete that FAT partition.
I don't mind going to the extra trouble of reinstalling XP from the CD a second time and deleting that partition the second time around if it will keep my finger wagging coach happy.
So, in your opinion, is there any reason why I should consider keeping that FAT partition? I mean, can you conceive of some scenario further down the pike when I might end up needing to access that FAT partition to bail myself out of a troublesome situation?
Will in Seattle
"My longtime Windows coach on a Seattle BBS, who can be overly fussy, insists that I absolutely must delete that FAT partition."
Sure, there are reasons to ... if you need an extra partition (MBR disks support only 4 primary partitions), and some backup software freaks out with it, but there are very few legitimate reasons. Did you buddy say why, or does he just expect obedience?
The ONLY thing that partition is used for is diagnostics. If you need to run diagnostics, you can always download the latest version and create a bootable USB or CD to run them. You don't need it, but like I said, UNLESS you have a good reason to delete it (and simply "wanting to" is usually good enough), then it's not worth the trouble to delete.
Hi again, theflash1932,
I went ahead and reinstalled XP Home a second time.
Now I've got some more questions. Should I start a new thread for each question? Or can we just continue in this thread?
Here are the questions:
1. Now when I start the computer, I get a dual-boot screen saying:
Please select the operating system to start:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
The first option boots normally, but the second option gives me an error message:
Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.
Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware
2. I've set the Boot Order to:
USB Storage Device
Is there a preferred order?
3. The display is inside a small rectangle in the center of the laptop screen, using only about a third of the total screen size. Do I need to download a display driver for this machine in order to enlarge the image so that it fills the entire screen?
Will in Seattle