A dell dimension 3000 comes with a recovery partition. It also originally came with an oem dell branded xp home or xp pro or even some with mediacenter edition, but they came with a full version of xp that was tied to the Dell bios so it was pre activated. (did not require a cd-key)
If you post the service tag I could see which one it came with. However, if you don't have the disk it just means you have fewer choices.
Do you have your data backed up?
What kind of disk did you use to reinstall? What do you have that will boot from cd?
If you reinstalled from a non dell cd, you may have damaged the recovery partition. When you boot to setup, depending on the version, you should have seen at least two and sometimes three partitions. If you deleted the partitions and created a new partition, you may have not have the recovery partition anymore.
f-12 I think, will let you boot to the diagnostic partition where you can test your hardware. This also may be unavailable if you installed over it.
If you followed the instructions on this page you should have been ok.http://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...nt?docid=181316
In theory you can order reinstall disk sets here:https://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...n/backupcd_form
But in practice Dell is uninterested in supplying disks if your warranty has expired. But you can try it.
Worms cannot do actual physical damage to anything. Since you are getting the same message each time It is most likely not a memory issue either.
If you reinstalled from a non Dell xp cd you may have made the recovery partition and the diagnostic partition unusable along with your OS partition. This does not mean any hardware is damaged, it just means you will need either a Dell recovery cd (which should not ask for a cd key) or a retail xp cd with a cd key, (the one on the tag will not work in most cases)
This spec sheet for the 3000 shows your computer came with one ide 80g drive on the primary ide master position and a cd and dvd drives on the secondary ide chain in master and slave configuration. This is what your note shows.http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...s.htm#wp1075776
If you see the dell splash screen you can try to get into the recovery partition by hitting ctrl and f-11 when you see that screen. It may take several attempts to get it to work.
If you need more info, just search here for dell 3000. There have been dozens of posts.
More info on the dell recovery partition: http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/index.htm