1 Copper

reinstalling windows xp without DELL install disks

i am trying to help out a family member who has had a catastrophic corruption on my dell dimension 3100

i am tryint o reinstall windows media centre...

the hard disk is split into 2 portions, one for data one for windows (i beleive it should have had a third....but it isnt there now!)

i dont have any original disks as they werent supplied with the pc.

so i am trying to use my copy of windows xp pro and the original licence attached to the dell box.

the install goes fine until it reaches 34 minutes and 'installing devices'

then it just hangs, i have removed all non standard hardware as i thought it might have been that causing it

i have also tried windows xp home, windows xp with sp1, windows xp with sp2, windows media centre

all hang at or around the same point......... there doesnt appear to be anything happening, in fact the cd spins down...

where am i going wrong. ive tried to locate/borrow a dell resource cd but wasnt sure whether the disks are only relevant to the machines they are supplied with (assuming you opt for that when buying)

my next option is to copy data from hard drive to another machine and then start from scratch

any ideas or help would be much appreciated


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3 Replies
7 Plutonium

Re: reinstalling windows xp without DELL install disks

So you have a bad hard drive and or bad ram and you want it to somehow get fixed by reinstalling.

Not really likely.

You need to start with known good components starting with the hard drive.

Use a Drive wire to recover data after installing XP on a new drive from scratch if thats even possible now.


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1 Copper

Re: reinstalling windows xp without DELL install disks

i never said the hard drive was broken, the hard drive is fine,

windows registry was majorly corrupted due to virus/trojan etc,

i spent 2 days and various attempts to fix, then opted for reinstall

the hard disk is partition, all data is one part, windows on another, so the data is safe.

i am trying to install windows XP, but it seems to be hanging when 'installing devices'

i have just come across another message in this forum with the exact same problem, so i will try that resolution

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4 Germanium

Re: reinstalling windows xp without DELL install disks



Sounds like you already know that the 34 minute hang is usually as a result of the XP CD media being used versus computer system hardware, causing a driver compatibility issue


If COA sticker on computer indicates XP Media Center, then that’s original preinstalled Windows

So you would need to use Dell OEM XP Media Center Windows CD media, preferably with SP2


See MS KB article 828267 for possible fix (multiple boots to HDD, not from the CD)


Remember one member even discovered it was a USB mouse or port causing the problem?


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