Windows XP Computer Reinstalling Problem!

By HHof08
Mar 28, 2008
  1. I'm having trouble reinstalling my Windows XP Home Edition. I have an old Dell Computer that's only 2-3 years old. My brother crashed it a few times (he also did that with our older Compact computer and now with his Toshiba laptop . . .) so he's actually forbidden to touch the computers. But thanks to the crashes (he crashed them 3 times), our Dell computer is a pain to use because it won't repair itself with the Reinstallation CD or even reinstall it. Everytime I try to, some of the files that are needed won't install properly so now I can't even fix my computer. My parents refuse to buy another so I'm stuck with the Dell. Can anyone help me?
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,150   +92

    If you have the reinstallation disk, and it won't reinstall, I doubt it has anything to do with what your brother has done to the PC, unless, he physically beats on the machine :).

    Are you given any errors or messages at all when you try to reinstall? How far along do you make it, and what happens when it stops?

    You can try testing the HDD with one of the utilities here.
  3. HHof08

    HHof08 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, after the blue screen where it reintalls the files, it sends me to another screen but then I get an error message saying that it cannot be completed before booting me out. >.< But the thing was, as my uncle tells me, when we got the computer, apparently we were suppose to install the other CDs we were given but we didn't so the Dell wasn't truly installed. Or something along the lines.
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,150   +92

    Have the exact message it gives you?

    Mmm, the only sense that I can make out of the last part of your post is that you bought the PC used, and it had another license of XP on it, so you weren't using the license that came with the Dell. If that's the case, it shouldn't make a difference.

    However, it is questionable as to why there was another copy of XP being used on the system when it was shipped with a license. Perhaps they went to reinstall at one point and the disks wouldn't work for them?

    How about trying that XP CD on another PC if you can? You won't be able to leave the installation on there, as the OEM key is for the use of your Dell only and you probably won't be able to activate it, but just see if you can make it past the spot that it hangs on the other PC.

    :) You leave a lot of gaps in your information for me to fill in, try to convey your thoughts in entirety.
  5. HHof08

    HHof08 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry! It's just hard for me to explain this considering I'm not exactly computer savvy. But I can't exactly give you the message it gave me until I go home tonight.

    But my computer wasn't bought used and the funny thing is, I actually had Dell send me a new copy of the WinXP CD that orignally came with the Dell (since the orignal one was broken). This is so frustrating; I should just send my Dell to my brother's place and make him pay for the repairs.

    Maybe I should just delete/reboot my computer entirely? It's not like there is anything important on that computer. I've learned not to save anything important on it since it the second crash.
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,150   +92

    I thought that's what you were attempting to do here, reinstall Windows XP over your existing partition?
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,846   +105

    Are those DELL XP CDs? If so you can only install XP on DELLs. Also you just can't install or repair on that HDD now you'll have to:

    delete partition
    format to NTFS full no quick here okay (you'll loose any data on you had stored on the HDD.
    This is the only way to do it now..
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,150   +92

    ...Deleting the partition and formatting the drive with NTFS is a part of the installation process with an XP CD. He would not of made it to the formatting and installing stages if he hadn't deleted his old partition (as it's unlikely he partitioned the drive outside of the XP CD).

    Technically, you can install XP just fine on any PC with a Dell reinstallaton disk (at least I have), you just can't activate the key and it expires.
  9. HHof08

    HHof08 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Zenosincks, I have no idea what an existing partition is. >.< But if you mean over my current XP, then yeah. But if it doesn't work then I might as well start from scratch but I have no idea. Hell, I even called Dell a few times but they couldn't help me with my problems.

    Myabe I should do what tipstir said. . . it looks familiar because I think thats how my uncle showed me how to do it. It's a real shame he's not reachable right now. >.<
  10. HHof08

    HHof08 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh wait! I think I was suppose to reformat my drives before starting out with any reinstallation . . . .
  11. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,846   +105

    The only way to do it correctly...
  12. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,150   +92

    Tipstir, what the hell are you talking about? It's the only way to do it period. XP isn't going to start the installation process without a freshly formatted partition to install on. Get lost, please, you're only confusing the guy more.

    HHof08, you seem to be really lost. You would not of made it to the stages of installation if XP didn't have a freshly formatted partition.

    Here is a guide for you to look at, perhaps it will clear something up for you:
  13. HHof08

    HHof08 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Zenosincks, I'm a girl btw but thats ok, and right now I will insert a very girlish saying: OMG!

    This is it. I would bow down to you if I could.

    The thing is, when I begin the reinstallation process, I only get the option "C:\WINDOWS "Microsoft Windows XP Home" instead of a list of existing partitions. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
  14. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,846   +105

    I wasn't talking to you... Cool it! As we're l all can help him out... I've done this many times I am no newbee at this... If you feel you have another way better than mine then go right ahead. We're all here to help.. Don't attacked other members okay!
  15. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,150   +92

    If you're referring to this image, you want to press "D" on that partition to delete it (you'll have to confirm it with Enter and then "L" or something on the next screen, just read the options you have at the bottom of the screen, they're common sense). Then, after you've deleted the partition, you'll create a new partition there, with the option "C". It will ask how large you want the partition to be, just use the entire disk. After you've created the partition, it should put you back to the initial screen, you want to "Install" now.
  16. HHof08

    HHof08 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks!! I'll definitely try it out when I get home.
  17. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,150   +92

    I don't care if you've done it a billion times, it doesn't matter. You were arguing the method by which an XP installation is to be completed (still suggesting that "your" method is different), when there is only really one method if you've got an existing partition and you're trying to use the XP CD to install over it. Your posts were irrelevant.
  18. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,846   +105


    D is the command, but you have provided the user with a screen shot. Pretty much what I was try to say.. But Zen let you continue on don't want to step on your typing..
  19. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,150   +92

    You're welcome, hopefully you have better luck this time around :).
  20. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,846   +105

    No I am not... See prior post with your image... Take a break.. Don't get so excited..
  21. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,150   +92

    You aren't stepping on my typing, believe me, you are more than welcome here. It's just counter productive to confuse a woman (got it right this time ;):D) by suggesting that your method is different or "right". There is only one way to delete an existing partition, create a new partition, and install Windows XP with the OS disk.

    Hopefully you can see where I am coming from :confused:.


    :D I'm not excited, just type that way. Believe me, I am more than calm and cool.

    *Shakes Tipstir's hand* :)
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