Can't reinstall windows XP

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Thread Starter
Sep 13, 2004
Hi All,
I just got internet access to my computer (nice and gray Dell 8400) and I very quickly downloaded a worm/virus which has pretty much wrecked my computer. As my computer is new, I really don't have anything on it worth saving so I wanted to just reinstall my OS (windows XP home) and start again from scratch. Problem is, when I use my Windows restore CD, and I tell my computer to setup windows xp, it fails every time with a complaint that it can't find my hard drive. I have a perfectly fine hard drive, and diagnostics have told me that it is still perfectly functional. What could have happened and how can I get around this?
Eternally Grateful,

PS-I have run updated Norton, Ad-Aware, and Spybot S&D many, many times...i think this bug is laughing at me.
Jan 17, 2003
You will have to load the SATA drivers for that model . . you can find them at the Dell Suport website. Early in the installation you will see a prompt "press F6 to load RAID drivers" ( which is the SATA driver)

You can get a reinstallation guide specific to your Dell here

This is a good guide for reinstalling on a Dell: Procedures.htm

You will have to reload drivers and applications, After the installation, you will need to download and install the MicroSoft Critical Updates. Alternately, this would be a good time to install SP-2, while windows is clean. Prior to connecting to the internet be sure you enable the XP firewall.
Aug 5, 2004
Here is how to completely reformat your computer with Windows XP:

Firstly, Backup anything on your computer now that you want to keep because you should know that after reformatting your C drive you will LOSE everything!

OK, while your computer is on, you have to insert your Windows XP CD and then restart your computer.
If the CD doesn't boot then you have to go into BIOS and change the settings to make your CD Bootable.
Windows will ask you what you would like to do, choose that you want to install Windows XP.
You will be asked if you wish to create a new partition. Select the partition you have and press D to delete the existing partition, and then press L to confirm that you wish to do this. This will completely delete everything off your computer.
You will need to create a new partition. To do this press C. You will be asked which size you wish to create your partition, just press Enter to make your new partition the maximum size. Now, select the partition you have just created to install Windows XP on by pressing Enter.
Your computer will prompt you asking if you wish to do a quick installation or a regular installation. Either will work fine but I prefer to choose "quick" because it is much faster.
Now you will need to select: "Format the partition by using the NTFS file system."
Windows XP will now be installed. This may take some time and then your computer will reboot.
If your CD in your CDROM drive starts to boot just leave it, you will then be taken to a Windows XP Screen. Windows will continue to install and at about 33 minutes remaining it will ask you a few questions and you will need to enter your Product Key. You can find this Key on the back of your CD or on your computer's case.
It will now continue to install Windows XP. After several minutes it will ask you what kind of settings you would like to install. Make sure you choose "typical" network settings.

Windows will now complete the installation. When you startup your computer you will have to install the drivers for all of your hardware. If you have any other problems or you don't understand something of what I explained then please feel free to ask.
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