Question about Dell AMD 386/33 Desktop Computer 333S/L Motherboard

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Dell c400 upgraded to xp now it won't boot up

I took out the HDD and put it into a toshiba laptop and formatted it and then loaded xp onto it. Starts fine in the Toshiba but not in the Dell.
1. Still asks if I want to fun windows 2000 or XP Pro
2. After choosing XP Pro it asks me for different safe modes
3. After trying all the options, the same thing happens each time. The computer shuts off and I start all over again.

What is different between the Toshiba and the Dell C400 that is stopping XP from running?

P.S. Have not loaded the Dell c400 drivers yet as the computer won't start


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  • wdiddy Dec 21, 2008

    I think I did a full format. I did it before I setup XP with the blue screen, is that a full format? It did the whole hdd. What info do you need?

    1. On startup still asks what OS I want to run 2000 or XP
    2. Choosing 2000 doesnt' work as it's missing
    3. Choosing XP Pro it asks for different safe modes
    4. Tried all safe modes and regular but it won't start up. Will just shutdown afterwards
    5. Seems like the Dell C400 is looking for something else to start up
    6. As you know the C400 doesn't have a built in CDRom that's why I had to take out the HDD to format it. Tried running XP directly from portable CD drive but got a bunch of errors on loading and then Dell wouldn't start up at all. Was just able to get the BIOS setup screen, but couldn't but up at all, that's why I did the format.

    Hopefully someone can help now

  • wdiddy Dec 21, 2008

    New info, when I formatted the HDD I created 2 partitions. I did a boot logging startup and got stop code 0000007B which means inaccessible boot device. Read that it could mean something to do with partitions. Will reformat the drive and make only one partition and see if that does it.

  • wdiddy Dec 22, 2008

    Okay I loaded xp again this time with one partition and it still didn't work, same problem. I can't run it from the cd drive as it requires a driver to run so I can't use it until I get an OS to work. Is there some kind of registry edit that I can do?

  • wdiddy Dec 22, 2008

    Found this on this forum, does this sound like it will work, it's quite a bit to do and if it isn't gonna work I would like to know now. Thanks

    The only way to do this is to pull the hard drive, and install windows
    on a computer that has a cd rom drive. Install windows on the other
    (laptop) and do not install any additional drivers.

    install the ethernet driver if needed and run all the windows update.

    Download all the drivers from dells website for the dell c400

    Once the drivers are all unzipped, note down all the paths it unzipped from to a text file.

    example: "c:\dell\drivers\audio"

    example: "c:\dell\drivers\audio\XP"

    example: "c:\dell\drivers\chipset"

    example: "c:\dell\drivers\chipset\something..."

    make sure to get them all and do not include the ""

    once you have all that information in a text file, sepeate each path of
    driver with a ";" and arrange it so there all on one line.

    example: c:\dell\drivers\audio;c:\dell\drivers\audio\XP;c:\dell\drivers\chipset;c:\dell\drivers\chipset\something

    again make sure to not include the ""'s....

    now copy the entire line

    go to start | run | regedit

    browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

    modify the DevicePath by double clicking

    do not delete anything that is in there, instead add a ; to the end and paste the rest

    this will point out all the folders and sub folders for all the dell C400 drivers

    go to microsofts website and download the latest version of sysprep

    run sysprep and leave all the default settings just to make it simple

    make sure to choose mini setup and shut down check boxes

    once complete the computer will strip any unique sids and create an image for deployment.

    you can then pop in the drive to the dell c400 and let it self install
    xp with all the drivers you have preloaded and all the windows updates
    installed without the cdrom or floppy drive, this is the best free
    solution to do this.

  • wdiddy Dec 22, 2008

    An external cd drive needs to have a driver installed first for it to work, doesn't it. That's the reason I'm having this problem, I can't load via cd because the hdd doesn't have the driver beforehand. Is there a solution to this problem? Can I load a driver onto a formatted hdd and will the laptop then notice the external cd drive?

  • wdiddy Dec 22, 2008

    This is a small laptop that can't fit a drive into it. It has to have an outboard drive.

  • wdiddy Dec 29, 2008

    Thanks crayzee it worked. Took me some time as I'm not familiar with Fdisk and had some problems. Finally did it, only took about 100 hours LOL

  • Jay Glendenning
    Jay Glendenning May 11, 2010

    the problem that you may be having is that you are loading windows on 1 machine and then trying to "finish" on another .. The hardware is different on both machines and it loads different drivers. Sometimes that process works (rarely), but I see this as being the "bottom line" problem. You need to really get yourself a CD drive for your 400 and load all from there.

  • melissa titus May 11, 2010

    need more info

  • Jay Glendenning
    Jay Glendenning May 11, 2010

    You did a full format?


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Its not gonna work, unfortunately. You cannot load it on a machine then take that drive out and put it on another. SOMETIMES this can work but only if the chipsets are the same or "similar" .. But what %'age of similiarity is required is ... well .. a mystery

Posted on Dec 22, 2008

  • 1 more comment 
  • Jay Glendenning
    Jay Glendenning Dec 22, 2008

    Thats alot of work for a maybe .. a cd drive is less than $50. Is it worth all that time and it still doesn't work ...

  • Jay Glendenning
    Jay Glendenning Dec 22, 2008

    I don't have any "personal" experience with Dell C400 but I would imagine that in the BIOS there is a setting that would allow you to use the external CDROM as a boot device.

    When you bought this unit .. just out of curiosity .. why did you opt for no optical drive (i.e. cdrom, dvdrom)?

  • Jay Glendenning
    Jay Glendenning Dec 22, 2008

    I havent tested this process but I did evaluate it visually and it should work .. click here


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  • 67 Answers

You have toboot xp in the dell they are not interchangable you have load xp withit inthe dell or the dell wont work

sorry to be the bearer of bad news

Posted on Dec 21, 2008

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