Dell Inspiron 8200 - configuration setup disabled

By BKHaak
Jun 18, 2010
  1. I am desperate, any help will be truly appreciated!

    I have read through MANY discussions that get close to what I am experiencing, but nothing that seems to be exactly my issue.

    I am the original owner with ALL original info and CD's that came with the machine, but the extremely rude individual at our local Dell store laughed at me and told me to "just buy a new one" He maintained that I would save money as compared to the charges I would incur if I had them fix it.

    Here is the issue:

    I have NEVER had any passwords whatsoever on any portion of the system, and have formatted and started from scratch several times in the past with no issues whatsoever. In attempting my most recent reinstall of Windows XP Pro, it came to my attention that somehow my boot order had changed and was no longer booting from the CD Rom drive first. Perplexing, but no biggie, knew just how to remedy that issue....or so I thought. Upon entering setup to update the boot order I learned that my "Configuration setup - Disabled" It is showing that there is now, for the very first time ever, an administrator password on the machine that I have never set, and I am not even allowed access to try to crack it.
    After getting the proverbial F-You from Dell I took matters into my own hands and started asking around. I was given a file to burn to a CD, told to remove my hard drive, and hit F12 when starting up to enter the Boot Menu to choose the CD Rom Drive and run the program that would assuredly be the end of my headaches. No. such. luck!! Hitting F12 does NOTHING at all, and furthermore I get the error "Fixed Optical Drive Not Found - No Bootable Devices"

    To make matters worse, when I decided to abort that plan; put my hard drive back in place and started the machine, IT WON"T BOOT AT ALL NOW! I don't even so much as get an error to work with...just a black screen with a white "working" bar that NEVER progresses. I have verified that there was no damage done to the hard drive by installing it into another machine with no issue at all.

    I have to believe there is a way to fix this, without investing in a new computer. I have several others, many newer, but this is my favorite laptop! Any help will be appreciated, Thank you!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Since you are unable to boot, it will be difficult to help you.
    Wait until you are rested, and relaxed, then take a look at your BIOS and setup, using F2 and F12.
    There you will find ways to change the setup.
    You may have damaged a ribbon cable to the hard drive, or it may not be properly connected, or the drive is worn out.
    The reason the store laughed at your computer is the memory is expensive and inadequate when maxed out... But the 8200 itself is a decent computer for everyday work.
    Take some time with a strong light to clean out the dust and dirt, then trace down all your computer cables so you can get the right cable to the correct spot.
    Disconnect everything but the memory, the hard drive, and the power supply as a start so you don't have so many things to figger out... Then once it is working, we can help with the improvements.
  3. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    get the dell dst-cd or usb, remove the hdd and see if you can boot either the dst cd or usb. if so, change or remove the service tag and the configuration password will be gone...
    if the hdd is the only thing that boots you may install ms dos to a spare hdd and put the service tag utility on it. then procede as mentioned above.
    good luck
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    How would you go about changing or removing the service tag, and if you did remove it, how would it change the problem.
    The hard drive is likely gone and unrecoverable, as indicated from the message, "Fixed Optical Drive Not Found - No Bootable Devices"
    Replace the hard drive as the first repair, then use your Dell Windows XP to format and install it. If you don't have the disk, be sure you are the registered owner, and then call Dell for a copy of the Dell Windows XP disk. They will usually send it free.
    If you are not the registered owner, Dell has a place on their web site under Help and Support, where you can register, but you will then have to wait 15 business days for them to verify the computer has not been reported stolen.
  5. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    sorry for me attempting to help... how could I do that?
    as for the configuration password, this would be erased as a side effect of changing or removing the service tag. I also mentionded to use a spare hdd in case there really is no other way of bootinig the device.
    funny you telling me there is no fixed optical drive and one line below that you recommend a fresh install from a cd.... yes, very smart....

    guess I found the reason why it is getting quiet around techspot.
    and whatever you reply is entertainment for all other readers. I wont read it anyway
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Of course I would expect you to try another optical drive as a trial. I didn't think every step was needed.

    If you ever figger out how to remove the Service Tag, and if it then affects the password, we will be haning on your every word.
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