XP install problem

By cjccmc
Jul 20, 2007
  1. I'm trying to load XP on a used Dell computer with a "wiped clean" disk.

    First try goes well until I get to Welcome screen wiht the "press Enter to continue XP install". But the keyboard has no power. It worked before I put the XP disc in because I hit the F2 key and got a screen display with the PC stats on it. Anyway I end up unplugging the PC from the outlet to shut it down.

    Next I get another keyboard and make sure all the connections are good before powering on the PC. But now I just get the quick Dell screen and then the monitor only has a dark screen with a little blinking bar in the upper left corner. I try all kinds of amateur stuff to get it moving: hit Esc, Fx, all kinds of keys, try to reinsert the disk, CNTRL-ALT-DEL to restart numerous times, but nothing makes it get past the blinking bar display.

    Assuming there's not a conspiracy among all the PC's that I know hate me, is there any thing I can do to get XP installed?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. cjccmc

    cjccmc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm thinking that it may be due to the fact that I shut the PC down with a hard power disconnect.

    Some things I'm pretty sure of:

    The XP disk is good
    The PC does not respond to the F2 "setup" key press
    The keyboard does power up and the PC does respond to the CNTRL-Alt-Del restart.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Most helpful to us as a company who has repaired and upgraded Dells since 1992, would be the service tag number.
    Desktop or laptop?
    Was this a PS/2 keyboard, or a Dell USB keyboard, or one of the new fancy ones?
    Are you using the Maroon or Orangeish recovery disc? or a regular Windows XP disc?
    As a start, I would remove and replace the CMOS battery. Available at Wal-Mart, BestBuy, Circuit City, and CompUSA for under $4.00... take the old battery with you.
    Then upon install of the new CMOS battery, immediately see if you can reset the time and date.
    If not, clean the power supply, heat sink, and cpu fan with a can of difluoroethane gas such as Dust Off (Do NOT vacuum), and a handful of Q-Tips with a can of Denatured alcohol.
    If this does not fix it, you might want to attempt a boot to a floppy disk such as MS-DOS or Windows 98 System/boot.
    At this point, I would immediate try another optical drive known to be good.
    Now you should know where you are... or you might want to replace the optical drive, before you replace the CMOS battery.
    A failed optical drive can cause all kinds of havoc with a computer, and the lower quality ones used by Dell in some models are very high failure. When some components fail, they sometimes put out erratic amperages and surges that are damaging.

    Please let us know how it all turns out.
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