Question about Dell Latitude C640 Notebook

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Re-install windows my computer has been crashed to the point of no return, so i planned to do a fresh install of XP. However, my cd drive is not funtioning. I had hoped to use an external cd drive instead, but it there is apparently no option to do so without booting windows (which doesn't work). Any help? I have no desire to replace the cd drive, so a workaround would be preferred.

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Re: re-install windows

I have a dell laptop model vostro 1500 which is in a laptop is running vth windows vista home basic the os windows vista was corrupted and i am unable to get the windows normally so i had decided to format my laptop can any one suggests me the process of formatting or reinstallation

Posted on Apr 18, 2008

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Re: re-install windows

Hi, Based on your post/description: 1. can't boot nor install from HD; 2. can't boot nor install from CD; and 3. you prefer not to boot nor install from USB as suggested by ALewis. A possible way is to physically remove your HD from the laptop, connect it to a 2.5 hdd enclosure with USB, hook it up to a 2nd PC and do the partition, format and make it bootable. Thereafter you have to copy the Windows installation files to it. Reinstall to your Dell and if no other issues should boot straight out. Please note that you might have to format it FAT32. Though I must point out that using a bootable flashdrive (with the installation files) in the USB (as per ALewis post) is less effort and time. Hope this be of some help/idea. Post back how things are or should you need additional information. Good luck and kind regards.

Posted on Aug 28, 2007

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Re: re-install windows

If you hit "delete" at start up (immediately before or after the beep)the computer will take you into BIOS. It could be a different key for your computer but it will tell you at start up. In BIOS, on the "boot" settings page there will be a "device order" list. Most computers from the last few years will have an option for "removable" device or "USB" device etc. YOU MUST PUT THAT DEVICE FIRST ON THE BOOT ORDER! I originally assumed that you already tried this, but the function is so standard that I have to point it out. OTHER OPTIONS -try an upgrade installation -copy the install cd to a booting hard drive partition (advanced) -pull out the hard drive and install windows on it in a separate computer. If you truly can't boot from an external device, than putting a new CD drive in seems like the most painless option... though I know thats not what you want! If it just a cd drive you need they come for about $10 nowadays. Food for thought anyway!

Posted on Aug 27, 2007

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Good day. I bought this Netbook with Windows 7 installed. I need to format and reload Windows XP as I have software that I need to use that only works with XP, I have an external "USB CD Drive"...

Hi neil720...

Installing the external CD Player...
You will go and start up and install Windows XP by doing he following:
Plug in your external CD drive, and let windows install it into the system...
Once the CD is ready to go, shut down the computer.
You will first need to format your hard drive, I will give you instructions on how to do that.

1...To format your hard drive and install XP:
To set you computer back to factory fresh settings you will need to format the hard drive and install the XP operating system and the drivers.

1.Format the hard drive:
You do this by double left clicking on "My Computer",then double left click the main drive (normally C drive).
When the window pops open, you will choose "Format"
Keep in mind that once you format your hard drive you will loose all your files,programs,pictures,etc that you installed since the computer was new.
So make your back up on a portable hard drive,thumb drive,etc.
2. Once the formatting of the hard drive is complete you will need to install the XP operating system along with the drivers.
You will now insert the CD's into your external CD player starting with #1 first and continuing until all has been installed.
After all has been installed, shut your computer off and restart.
That will bring your computer back to Windows XP factory new condition as far as operating is concerned.
Please take time to rate me

Sep 15, 2011 | Acer Aspire One D255-2670

1 Answer

Recently i formatted my laptop (Dell latitude c400). i installed fresh copy of windows XP. i finished the installation but when i open it again after i turned it off, i think it crashed (i hear the start...

You would probly want to completely reformat and reinstall your copy of XP, if it is already crashing on a fresh copy, it most likely didn't install correctly. Make sure you format first. You can do this before you run your installation. Reboot your computer and hit f8, select the option that says command prompt with networking. when the screen comes up with the C: type in there vol you will need the volume label to format, it will display this for you and make a note of it. At the next C: type in there C: format it will ask you to enter the volume label, do this and hit enter. It will then ask you if you are sure you want to delete all data, type y and hit enter. It will go through the format process. Enter your XP cd into the drive and reboot your computer, you should now be able to reinstall windows with no previous errors or versions already installed. Hope this helps!

Oct 13, 2010 | Dell Latitude C400 Notebook

2 Answers

My evo610c would not start and failed the HDD self test. I installed a new hard drive. It now passes the HDD self test, but will not go past the screen that says "not-system disk, replace and try again"....

Put the Windows CD disk into the CD-drive.
Turn the computer off.
Turn the computer on, and immediately look for a message like "press F12 to change boot order", or something like that. Tell the computer to first try to boot from the CD-drive. When it boots, the installation process will start.

Jun 23, 2010 | Compaq Evo N610C Notebook

2 Answers

Sony laptop crashed. no disk included. what do I do

Start the computer hit f10 which will take you to the utility partition there you will be able to do a full system recovery. If you look carefully you will also see the option to recover data to a cd.
Good luck

Aug 15, 2009 | Sony VAIO VGN-CR220E/P Notebook

2 Answers

I purchased a 'broken' c400 off ebay, rather foolishly thinking it's an easy fix.... Basically I need to find a way to install an operating system on the computer - it has no cd drive, no floppy and...

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.

Jul 14, 2009 | Dell Latitude C400 Notebook

2 Answers

System crashed , no restore partition, origionall had xpsp1, have Dell reinstall Cd with xp sp2....will it have to be re activated?

Yes, but it will erase any personal data you have. Let me know if there is data to save and I will give more suggestions.

Apr 13, 2009 | Dell Inspiron 600M Notebook

1 Answer

IBM thinkpad T23 2647 install help

Many lockups are caused by incorrect (wrong kind or too much) or faulty memory modules. If you are comfortable doing so, open the memory door on the bottom (most likely) of the PC after first unplugging the PC and removing the main battery. Verify, if you can, that the memory is correct for PC. If the modules don't specifically say what type and speed they are, do a search on any numbers on labels. Go to and use the memory finder on the left side of the page. If the memory you have is the correct type, try the following: If there are two modules, remove one, then try your XP install again. If it crashes, reinstall the removed module, and remove the other one. If either XP install works, the removed module is faulty. Replace it. If it still crashes, try to borrow some proper memory from someone. If all of this still doesn't work, it could be the hard drive and NOT the memory. In this case, about the only thing you can do is borrow a copy of a bootable CD-ROM based program that can check your hard drive. Many hard drive manufacturers have something like this.

Mar 03, 2009 | IBM ThinkPad T23 2647 Notebook

2 Answers

Computer froze

Yes, it does. Try this:
How to Repair Install: ***Also removes Service Packs***
Sometimes the only way to repair XP is to reinstall. You do not have to wipe your partition and start over. Just as with previous versions of Windows you can reinstall right over top of an existing setup. This has the advantage of retaining your installed applications, data and settings. You will lose previously saved System Restore Points but System Restore will begin creating new restore points again immediately following the Repair Install. You will need to reinstall SP2 and any Critical Updates from the Windows Update Site. Be aware that a Repair Install will leave your system vulnerable to the Blaster and Welchia worms. Do not go on line until you have enabled XP's firewall first. Then visit the Windows Update Site to patch your system It is always prudent to backup important data before you make changes to XP.
There are two approaches. The first one should be used if you can still boot to your Windows Desktop. Simply pop the XP CD into the CD-Rom drive and select Install->Upgrade[recommended]. This will install XP overtop of itself in the same way as upgrading from a previous setup. However if your version is an OEM version then you will not have this option. If you do not see the option to Upgrade[recommended] DO NOT choose New Install as that will either overwrite your current setup completely or give you a dual boot setup. Also if you have an older version of XP and have upgraded to a new service pack you will get a message stating that a newer version of Windows was found and you will not be able to run the Upgrade. Create a Slipstream version to solve this problem
If you cannot boot to the Desktop, or you have an OEM version of XP, or you want to remove a service pack then the following should be used to complete a Repair Install.
Boot with the Windows XP CD and at the Setup Screen press the Enter Key
You will be taken to the Windows XP Licensing Agreement. After reading the agreement press F8 to proceed.
setup02.jpg The next screen gives you the option to do a fresh (clean) install or to repair the selected Windows XP installation. To run a Repair Install Press "R" at this time.
***CAUTION*** if you do not see the option to repair the selected Windows XP installation DO NOT choose the option to continue installing a fresh copy without repairing as that will overwrite your data and cause unrecoverable data loss.
setup03.jpg Windows XP will copy the necessary files to your Hard Drive to begin the installation and will then reboot. You will see the message that informs you to "Press any key to boot the CD". Do not press any keys this time just wait a few seconds and the Windows Startup Screen will be displayed. Following this you will be greeted by the Windows XP Setup Screens.
setup05.jpg rc%20017.jpg setup06.jpg When Setup has completed you should find all of your previously installed apps and settings are intact.

Jul 17, 2008 | Dell Inspiron 8600 Notebook

4 Answers

How to remove windows vistra from a acer extensa 5220 and replace with windows xp

HAVE A VALID REGISTRATION KEY for WINDOWS — Microsoft will not let you upgrade your operating system with necessary patches until you VALIDATE your copy of Windows XP - by phone or online. If you try to update or format your system with a shared or borrowed copy of Windows XP, your result may be a crippled or non-working copy of Windows XP on your computer. You’ll need that 20 character number from your Windows Certificate of Authenticity. A certificate of Authenticity looks like the image below:
coa.jpg TO BEGIN:
1 ) Put the installation CD of XP or Windows 2000 into the CD drive and start the computer. Your computer should display “Press a key to start from CD”. You must boot from the CD because you’ll need to format the C: drive partition where Windows is installed on the hard drive.
If your computer is displaying a blue screen with white text, then you can proceed to step #2.
Your computer’s “Boot Order” tells the computer which device to check first when starting the computer. If your computer did not boot from the CD, you’ll need to power on your computer and press either the F2 or F10 or Del key — depending on your computer — to display your computer’s BIOS menu. In the Bios Menu, find the menu that allows you to change the “boot order” and make a change so that the computer will boot from the CD first, instead of the hard drive.
2 ) A blue screen with white text will be displayed. Press F8 to accept the Windows XP Licensing Agreement. The Windows XP Setup program will search for existing Windows installations and “repair or install fresh copy” will appear if a Windows installation currently exists on your machine. Press [Esc] (don’t repair).
3 ) A list of your computer’s disc partitions will be displayed. Press the UP or DOWN arrow keys to choose your main install partition. Note that your system partition must be a primary partition (usually the first partition that appears in the list), not a logical partition.
4 ) Once you have selected your main partition, press ENTER. “You already have a system installed” will be displayed if you already have Windows installed on this partition.
5 ) Press C to continue. From the options displayed, select “Format the partition using the NTFS file system” then press Enter. Windows XP can also run on FAT32, but the NTFS file system is recommended because it is more stable. You will receive a warning about formatting the drive unless the drive is brand-new -Press “F” to confirm you know that you will be formatting the drive. The disc formatting may take a while depending on the capacity of your hard drive.
6 ) The Windows XP install should begin automatically after the formatting is complete. If not, restart the computer with the Windows XP CD in the drive and follow the instructions for installing Windows XP. This can take 35 minutes or more depending on the speed of your computer.
7 ) Once Windows XP has been installed, connect the computer to the Internet, start the Internet Explorer browser, and visit to download and install the latest security patches and updates for your operating system. This could take up to an hour depending on the age and version of your freshly installed copy of Windows XP. When I did this last week, there were 79 security patches for the version of Windows XP that I installed.
8 ) Install the sound, video, modem, and other drivers that are specific to your computer and your operating system — as mentioned in the very first step. Follow the instructions as provided by your computer manufacturer. You may be told to restart your computer between installing some drivers according to your manufacturer’s directions.
9 ) Restart your computer, then select “Start > Help and Support” Click any update links you see to install the latest patches and drivers from Microsoft and from your computer manufacturer.
That’s it. Good luck!

May 23, 2008 | Acer Aspire 5100-5022 Notebook

2 Answers

Reinstall windows xp

How do I install Microsoft Windows XP. Answer: Below are the steps required to installing the standard version of Microsoft Windows XP. It is important to realize that some computer manufacturers have their own proprietary install of Windows XP on a Recovery or Restore disc. Therefore the below steps may not all apply to how Windows XP is installed on your computer. If the below steps do not apply to how Microsoft Windows XP is installed on your computer and you are unable to correctly reinstall Windows XP it is recommended you contact your computer manufacturer for additional help, Computer Hope will not know how to install Windows using your manufacturers CD.
  1. Before following the below steps see document CH000186 for a checklist of things to consider before erasing the computer and starting over.
  2. The standard Microsoft Windows XP CD is bootable. Therefore start by placing the Windows XP CD in your computer and reboot.
  3. As computer boots you will be prompted to press any key to boot from CD, at this time press any key. If you do not get this prompt or are unable to boot from the CD please refer to document CH000217 for information on how to boot from a CD.
  4. When the Windows XP setup menu appears press ENTER to continue the setup.
  5. Next, the Windows XP licensing agreement will open, if you agree to this agreement press F8.
  6. Next, Windows will give you the option to repair Windows XP or to install a fresh copy if Windows XP is already installed on the computer. If you're wanting to install a new copy of Windows XP press ESC.
  7. Next, the partition setup will appear, it is recommended that if a partition already exists and you do not plan on having multiple operating systems on the computer that you delete the existing partition before continuing the setup. You will know if a partition exists if you see anything other then "Unpartitioned space".

    To delete the partition:
    on the drive that you press D and ENTER then press L to delete the partition and then press ENTER and then if you are aware that this will delete all information on the partition.

    Note: If you have multiple partitions, we suggest deleting all partitions unless you plan on using these partitions. Deleting each of the other partitions can be done using the same above steps.

    To create the partition:
    Select the unpartitioned space you wish to create a partition on and press C, specify the size of the partition in MB, by default this will have the full amount of the drive and press ENTER.

  8. Once you have a partition ready to have Windows XP installed on it press ENTER to install.
  9. Next you will need to select whether the drive will use FAT or NTFS. We suggest NTFS for users who are not sure which file system they wish to use.
  10. After selecting the file system and pressing enter the computer will start formatting the drive. Depending on how big the partition is will determine the length of time the format will take.
  11. After the format Windows will begin installing the files and then take you through a wizard to continue with the remainder of the setup.
Good Luck, Please dont for get to Vote/Thank you.

Dec 23, 2007 | Toshiba Satellite M55-S3512 Notebook

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