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Most laptops havew a 'hiddn' partitionon the hard disk where the 'raw' operating system lives .. this partition contains all the software needed to recover from a crash ..
So DO NOT format your disk UNLESS you have the Dell Windows CD and the Dell Drivers CD ..otherwise your laptop may never work again ..
To get into the hidden partition, you hold typically hold down the Ctrl and 'F11' key (or some other combo = check you manual for 'system restore') during power-up .. this will give you a choice of doing a 'clean' re-install .. (which will reformat the USER area of the disk).
well what you have on your computer is the computer does not find your hard drive where you have the operative system thats why is asking you to boot from cd because the computer wants to instal a operative system may be your hard drive is damage ok lets do a test turn on your computer by presing the power botton and then press the key to boot on bios page can be (delete ,F1, F10 ) any of those every time you try to do the boot up if does not go to bios you have repit the same operation so when you get bios system display on you computer look for the hard drive and the boot order if there is no hard drive so your hard drive is damege and you have to reolace for a good one and instal the operative system