Trying To Reinstall Windows XP On Dell Inspiron Mini 10

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GillBates54

David
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I wonder if someone can help me with this problem...

Several months ago I bought a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 through an online auction site because the seller had listed it as having Windows XP Home Edition, which was one of the main reasons I'd bidded on it in the first place. However, when I received the netbook I found it had actually been upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium (and apparently an illegal copy at that). Incidentally, the only reason I didn't return it to the seller and ask for a refund is because I got the netbook for a fraction of what I'd expected to pay for it and to be fair, even though it doesn't have the OS I want, it's still in immaculate condition.


The thing is, I'd like to, if possible, reinstall Windows XP Home Edition, which clearly was the original OS on this machine. Obviously, with it being a netbook (i.e. no CD/DVD Drive) there are no software discs with it. It does, however, still have the 25 digit Product Code on the sticker on the base of the netbook. I was hoping it would be a simple case of me going to the Dell Support website and using the Service Tag to download and install Windows XP Home edition, but it seems it isn't as straightforward as that.


Just to give you a list of the things I've tried so far. I do have a genuine copy of Windows XP Home Edition on CD, which I've tried copying to a USB drive (using a ISOtoUSB program) and attempted to install it on the Dell Inspiron Mini by changing the settings to boot from USB but unfortunately it got as far as the blue installation screen and stopped dead in its tracks!

I've also tried hooking up the netbook to my main computer using a USB-to-USB so I could network the CD/DVD Drive from my desktop PC to my netbook and install the Windows XP software that way. A screen with 4 options comes up but the first one "Install Windows XP Home Edition" is greyed out and not accessible.


It has now got me wondering if I need to completely wipe Windows 7 from the netbook's hard drive before it will allow me to install Windows XP. I was hoping it would just overwrite it during the installation process but I'm clearly having no joy in that department.



One last point I'd like to make is that when I start the netbook I get the following screen:-

Windows Boot Manager

Choose an operating system to start, or press TAB to select a tool:
(Use the arrow keys to highlight your choice, then press ENTER.)

Earlier Version of Windows
Windows 7


To specify an advanced option for this choice, press F8.

Tools:
Windows Memory Diagnostic



If I select Earlier Version of Windows, the following message comes up:-

Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware
configuration problem.
Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path
and disk hardware.
Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk
configuration and your hardware reference manuals for
additional information.


Incidentally, in Local Disk (C) there is a folder called Windows.old which presumably contains all the original Windows XP files but I have no clue how to use this folder to revert the OS back to Windows XP.

I hope I've given sufficient information here and hopefully one of you guys will be able to point out anything I'm doing wrong and perhaps lead me in the right direction. I'd appreciate any help with this.
 

dmccoy

Darrin
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
4,489
Create a Win XP USB using the following method

Download latest version of rufus
https://rufus.akeo.ie/
  • Plug in your USB Flash drive
  • to make a Windows bootdisk (Windows XP/7) select NTFS as file system
  • then click on the buttons that looks like a DVD drive, that one near to the checkbox that says "Create bootable disk using:"
  • Choose the XP ISO
  • Click Start
 

GillBates54

David
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
12
Cheers for your quick responses guys. I will try the methods you've suggested and let you know how things go.

Just want to ask this question again:- Do I need to delete Windows 7 from the netbook before I attempt to install Windows XP or will it just overwrite it anyway?

Thanks again.
 

737Simpilot

Temporarily Banned
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
317
No, you don't have to delete Win 7 prior to installing XP. XP will give you the format option while installing. Chose that. I would not chose the quick format. The longer format checks for drive errors. Since this netbook is old, it might be in your best interest to use the longer format.

You don't have to use Rufus and a USB stick, they do sell USB CD drives. You just go into BIOS and boot from that drive. You can buy a USB CD drive on ebay or Amazon I suppose. I bought mine on ebay. Although Rufus may suffice. Just in case it doesn't work you have the external CD drive option.

I have a Dell Mini 910 and I periodically clone the netbook to a 16 GB USB stick with AOMEI Backupper. I have AOMEI Backupper on USB and boot the USB. Trick is you have to boot AOMEI and then quickly insert the blank USB stick for the clone. I have also cloned back to a netbook via AOMEI Backupper and USB.

Just wanted to throw that out there in case you want to make sure you have a clone of your drive should it go south. In my case it did, the hard drive went out. I use my netbook as a FTP server, TeamSpeak server and it has Phone Tray on it. It's on 24/7 in the kitchen connected to an external monitor and mini wireless keyboard. I call it the kitchen kiosk. What I didn't realize was that the page file was enabled it was constantly using the page file thus the hard drive finally burnt out. It is flash-based anyway. So I bought another 1 GB of RAM for a total of 2GB and disabled the page file. So now the hard drive isn't used that much while idle. I had this same thing happen to a thin client. Quickly found out what that write protection option was I did. LOL I'll never use a thin client again. Netbooks or a Nettop is all you need in a 24/7 user scenario.
 

GillBates54

David
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
12
OK guys, just want to give you a quick update:- I tried installing Windows XP using Rufus and also WintoFlash but sadly, both still only got me as far as the blue "Windows XP Licensing Agreement" screen where it has three options at the bottom of the screen:- F8=I agree ESC=I do not agree PAGE DOWN=Next Page However, despite many attempts, none of these options seem to function at all. :(

737Simpilot:- Thanks for your input, but like I said in my original post, I have tried networking the CD/DVD drive of my desktop PC to my Dell Inspiron 10 Mini netbook in the hope of installing Windows XP that way but all that did was to take me to the blue Welcome screen where it says:-

Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP

What do you want to do?

Install Windows XP

Install optional Windows components

Perform additional tasks

Check system compatibility

but unfortunately the "Install Windows XP" option is greyed out.

I do appreciate all your suggestions but I really do think I'm going to have to throw caution to the wind on this one and format the hard drive of the netbook and then try installing Windows XP from scratch. I'm pretty sure this method will succeed because I can recall a time several years ago when I had cause to reinstall Windows XP on a Dell Dimension desktop PC. Long story short, the hard drive had crashed and I bought a replacement but installing Windows XP on the new HDD was a piece of cake. I'm thinking that if I wipe the hard drive of the netbook, I'll pretty much be in the same position I was back then.

I'll keep you posted on how things go.

Thanks again.
 

TerryNet

Terry
Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
81,506
Are you booting to the installed OS instead of to the installation USB flash drive?
 

managed

Allan
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Joined
May 24, 2003
Messages
15,495
Go into the Bios and make sure the hard drive mode is set to ATA/Legacy/IDE instead of AHCI/Sata then try the XP install again.

Is your keyboard wireless ?
 

dmccoy

Darrin
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
4,489
Are you still not able to boot with the USB or are you still having issues getting the installation to complete? Do you need any files on your existing drive?
 

dmccoy

Darrin
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
4,489
What happens if you connect the WinXP USB and press F12 or whatever key is used to access the boot menu during start up? It should provide a list and your USB should be one of them.
 

GillBates54

David
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
12
Are you still not able to boot with the USB or are you still having issues getting the installation to complete? Do you need any files on your existing drive?
I'm having absolutely no success at all in trying to boot from the USB drive even though initially it starts out like everything is going to work great but then stops dead in its tracks. When you ask: "Do you need any files on your existing drive?", do you mean when I create a bootable flash drive using a program like WintoFlash or Rufus? If so, I have no clue, I simply follow the instructions to the letter and the process doesn't seem to flag up any problems.
 
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