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I Can't Reinstall Windows XP From My Recovery CD

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#1 johnnycashish


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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:58 PM

I'm hoping you can help me! I have a Dell Dimension 8400 with XP. It was SP1 as purchased in 2004 and I subsequently upgraded with SP2 (but not SP3 -- long story). In any case, I got a nasty virus and after consulting with BleepingComputer I decided to replace my hard drive with a new (bigger) drive. I successfully installed the new drive -- I saw that it was recognized by BIOS/set-up and all that. My problem is that I can't seem to get the computer to launch the Dell XP recovery CD.

I put the recovery CD into the DVD-ROM drive, hit F12 and I get the all-to-familiar "Selected Boot Device Not Available" message. I go into set-up (F2) and change the boot order (between SATA drives and CD-ROM). I've tried every configuration and I can't get the recovery disk to launch. Online chat with Dell customer service doesn't help.

So I put back the old (original) hard drive, hoping I can either re-install the XP onto either my original or my new drive. I changed the set-up and all my drives are recognized and the system launches OK. I double-click the DVD-ROM drive and manually launched the recovery disk.

It starts to run and then I get a message that says something like, "You cannot reinstall Windows XP SP1 onto this hard drive because the version running now is newer than the one on the disk. If you decide to continue, all files would be erased". Those are my words... Well, I wouldn't mind erasing everything but here's the kicker: The "continue" button isn't able to be depressed -- so it's not even an option! All I can do is "cancel" or "see more details". When I hit "see more details" nothing happens. So, really, all I can do is cancel.

So I'm stuck. How do I get Windows XP (SP1) onto my new drive? How can I use the recovery disk? I don't care how it's done -- through my new drive, old drive, DVD-ROM -- whatever... If there was a way to roll back the system to the original factory settings (SP1) so the recovery disk would work I would gladly do that. My computer doesn't have that second partition for recovery, though. Does anyone know how I can get my hands on an updated Windows XP recovery CD (with SP2)? Of course, my warranty ran out years ago. I own my copy of XP and I have all my activation information. I would hope that either Microsoft or Dell would stand behind their products (even out of warranty) and help out with a new recovery disk.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!!

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