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Re-installing operating system

By joe53081
Oct 7, 2009
  1. I have a Dell optiplex GX260 that I recently aquired for $50.00.
    The labels on the computer says it has intel pentium 4 and windows xp. However someone previously removed xp and installed windows 2000. I have not been able to use the computer because I do not know any of the windows passwords. I tried several password recovery/ cracks to no avail.
    I would like to reformat the hard drive and install windows xp. I have a copy of a Dell operating system disc with XP Pro, still in a sealed envelope.
    I know that this operating system should load onto any Dell computer. My question is do I use the product key that is on the computer I am installing the operating system on, or do I use the product key from the machine that the Dell operating system disc came with?

    Also, what is the easiest way to reformat the hard drive prior to installing the new xp operating system?
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    "or do I use the product key from the machine that the Dell operating system disc came with?"...
    Yes

    "Also, what is the easiest way to reformat the hard drive prior to installing the new xp operating system?...

    When you get to the partition screen starting the XP install, delete the existing partition and follow the on-screen prompts. Format NTFS quick
     
  3. joe53081

    joe53081 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the response.
    Do I need to remove windows 2000 first, or can I install over it?
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    When you delete the existing partition you will be deleting the Windows 2000 installation. Create a new partition and format NTFS quick... Windows XP will continue to install
     
  5. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    The key that came with the disk or the key on the computer that came with the disk.. If that OS was already installed and activated on another machine you will have to re-activate and maybe possibly have to call MS. If it is new than nothing to worry about
     
  6. joe53081

    joe53081 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for the help.

    Yes the disc came installed on another Dell computer, so do I tell MS that I had to reformat the computer to get a new activation?

    Will I need to have a disc to reinstall my drivers(for optical drives, etc) or can I download them from the net after I install XP?
     
  7. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    If it was activated on another machine and you have to call MS then just tell them you replaced the motherboard. Same PC just another motherboard and you reinstalled XP. You should try online activation first and if that does not work then call them. As for the drivers download them from support.dell.com. Just click on drivers and downloads then type in your service tag.
     
  8. joe53081

    joe53081 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks so much for everyones help.
    I will let you know how it goes. Not sure how soon I will get to it but hopefullly soon.

    Thanks again.
    joe
     
  9. joe53081

    joe53081 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I loaded the xp operating system last night. Went very smooth. It never even asked for a product key. I was surprised.
    Now the only issue I have is finding the right ethernet controller driver. I went to the Dell support site and down loaded the driver listed but it did not work.
    Is there possibly more than one driver for this?
    The ethernet port is part of the motherboard, not a removable card.

    Any one have any ideas?
     
  10. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    Yes
     
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Is it an Intel based motherboard? Realteck or gigabit NIC? You can always go with a PCI NIC (network interface card) temporarily as XP has many Windows Updates, including Service Pack 3 available. I hope you are at least up to Service Pack 2. These updates might bring your on-board NIC back to life. Then you can ditch the PCI NIC
     
  12. joe53081

    joe53081 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the advice.

    I have found another driver for this and will try it tonight when I get home.

    Just so you understand though. Because I cannot yet connect this machine to the internet, I cannot download the service pack updates.
     
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    "Just so you understand though. Because I cannot yet connect this machine to the internet, I cannot download the service pack updates"...

    Of course I understand this, that is why I mentioned adding a PCI NIC card. Good luck with the next on-board NIC driver. Then please spend a couple of hours installing all the Windows Updates for XP
     
  14. joe53081

    joe53081 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks

    Thanks to all who helped me out with this.

    Everything is working excellent.
    I installed the windows updates, loaded my AVG anti-virus, and all is well.
    I also loaded the same Dell xp disk onto another dell computer, a dimension 2400. That also went smoothly. What I found very surprising is that I used the same Dell XP operating system disc on both of these computers. Downloaded the MS updates on both, and both went through the MS genuine verification process and I was never asked to provide a product key for either install. Amazing.

    Thanks again.
     
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