I'm trying to reinstall windows xp on my Dimensions E520 with the installation disk, but I get to the part where it's searching for a previous version of windows and it get stuck and doesn't go any further. Any thoughts on how to get around this? My daughter apparently shut it down when it was writing to the registry and now it's either missing or has some corrupt files and won't boot up.
See if you can do a Repair Reinstall
Welcome to the forums Cindy
It sounds like you were trying to reinstall XP after booting to the desktop - rather than after booting from the XP CD?
By booting from the CD, you completely eliminate any concerns about missing files on/problems booting from the hard drive
So you need to boot from the XP CD itself.
Insert the XP CD, then reboot the system. Watch the screen, for when it says "Press any key to boot from CD", and do so.
Then it's a simple case of following the prompts.
And as suggested above... you could do a 'Repair' install, which leaves everything form the previous installation intact (in a backup file called something like 'WindowsOld.bak'?).
But see if you can't boot into Safe Mode first (keep pressing F8 during the initial boot process, until you're presented with various options)?
If you can boot into Safe Mode, try doing a System Restore, to the last date before the problems started?
That would save a lot of time - and hassle
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