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If you're tryng to format the HDD on a Dell latitude C400 (or install an OS), this thing will not boot to any USB devices (flash drives, pen drives, external USB cd-rom drives, etc.) - just ain't gonna happen since the BIOS doesn't support such boot devices. The only thing it'll boot to is (1) docking station, and (2) a Media Bay optical drive.
try other known good windows installer. if it boot, then the problem is in xp installer, if it not. try other external cd-rom drive. also be sure the disc rom drive are dvd rom drive because a cd rom drive cannot read dvd disc but a dvd rom drive can read cd rom disc installer
This laptop will not give you an option to boot from a usb device or even from an external cd rom/dvd. You need to do a network install only for this particular model DEll c400. It is a long process and requires some skill of setting up a RIS server. You will also need a switch or hub to connect your laptop to it. Once your server is setup with dns, dhcp and ris you need to do a network boot and install the os. Get in touch with a professional to do it if your not familiar with this. I tried calling dell as i had a similar issue and they couldnt help me over the phone so they sent over a technician. Technician tried in vbain including removing my hdd and installing the os on his laptop and then putting the hard drive back into mine. It still didnt work. I then researched the net and figured out the only way to do it was via a remote installation.
If you already have an USB flas bootable with XP on it, plug in into the laptop, and when the laptop starts, press F12. Then you should select that the computer should boot from USB. If this won't work, try to attach an external DVD\cd unit.
Honestly with so many things that are missing and so many things acting weird on you, your best bet is to get a known working hard drive in there and also a know working cd drive in your laptop. This way you know for sure those two components are working properly and you can try a fresh install of XP from a good working cd drive and onto a know good working hard drive.
If you now have problems then from this point it can legitimately be narrowed down to a memory, CPU or motherboard issue.
This really is the best way to try troubleshooting this problem with so many components missing.
Always a good idea to stick to doing things on the same computer instead of doing lots of swapping between hard drives.
If you need further help, feel free to let me know.
Hi there. Go into the bios of the computer, this is usually F2 on start up, go to boot options/priority and set the first boot device to USB, (make sure the external drive is connected). Save the changes and exit the bios, the computer will restart and boot from the external.
hi, i have dell c400 laptop, its to much simple to install xp first you just take out hdd from laptop plug in tht hdd in desktop pc by external usb box now u just start windows 98 setup in it when it started first format ur drive then install it when windows 98 setup files copies to 100%. machine need to restart u just plug out the hdd and plug in back to laptop now the setup will remain start in ur laptop and when the installation complete u just upgrade ur windows from 98 to xp by intalling xp from external drive on OPERATING SYSTEM OF 98 WINDOWS NOW WAT U SAY??? ITS TO MUCH SIMPLE just try once
This is how I did it, you may or may not have the ability. A basic knowledge of Dos is necessary
1) I used another laptop but you could use an adapter to use the hard drive in a regular computer.
2)boot with a windows 98 boot disk, fdisk it to a fat32 partition, make the hard drive a system boot disk (format /s c:)
3) copy the i386 folder and all its contents from a full or full oem (not branded) disk to the laptop drive, also copy smartdrv and highmem.sys from the floppy (speeds thing up dramatically) and create a config.sys file with device=highmem.sys
4)physically install the hard drive back into the C400, boot to dos run smartdrv.exe, then go to the i386 folder and type winnt.exe (enter) wooo should work.
MusslaChooda Pakichooda Nathuram Godse
This sounds like a dead hard drive. Still, you may want to try:
1. Enter your CMOS/BIOS and verify that your laptop can detect the hard drive. Further check if it is configured to boot first from the HD;
2. Slip in your XP or Recovery CD and boot from that. It may be that the boot section/files of your HD got messed up. When prompted, instruct the CD to repair;
3. Remove your laptop's HD and connect it to a 2nd PC as an external/removable drive using a 2.5 enclusore with USB attachment. Thereafter proceed to diagnose, check and hopefully recover your important files;
4. If confirmed of a defective HD, replace and reinstall your OS.
Hope this be of some help/idea. Post back how things turned up or should you need further information.
Good luck and kind regards.