Question about Dell Dimension 8300 PC Desktop

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Dell Dimension 8300 - Can't Boot from XP Disk

Greetings All,

I am having a problem with a Dell Dimension 8300 that I am trying to reinstall Win XP.

The desktop has the factory DVD-ROM and CD-ROM drive.
I just changed the hard drive because the original died.

The drive type is IDE with the jumper setting set to CS like the original. It is a 40GB drive (like original) that I know works because I removed it from another system.

When I attempt to boot from the XP CD, the disc is not read. Instead I get a message that says to hit F1 to retry, and F2 for setup (BIOS Setup). In covering all the bases, I've tried this on both the DVD and CD drive.

In BIOS, I have tried a number of different options in forcing boot from CD.

*Moved the CD-ROM was the first boot device.
*Removed the hard drive from the boot order
*Upon startup, hit F12 for boot menu and select CD-ROM.
*Replaced the CD-ROM drive with a known working CD-ROM drive from another system.

I've also reset the BIOS to make sure that I am running off default settings.

At this point, I am out of options.

I know my CD works, for I have used it before; especially recently; yet I haven't a clue why this 8300 just remains stubborn.

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.


Posted by on

  • Frankie Cruz
    Frankie Cruz Jun 02, 2009

    Thanks Guys,

    Removing the DVD drive (thanks crapiemael) via physical connection absolutely had be done as opposed to just disabling it via BIOS. I don't know why just disabling it via BIOS wouldn't do the trick, but that's what happened.

    Once physically disconnected, I was able to boot XP off the CD-ROM and install the OS. After installing XP, I then reconnected the DVD-ROM and allowed to be added automatically as a new device.

    Unfortunately, the hard drive set at Master (instead of CS) didn't work well.
    When I set it at Master, it shows as "Physical Unknown Device" and
    doesn't provide me the area to unput the specs per the drive. This machine in particular wanted to see CS, and that's

    Thanks for your input AtlastIT. The UBDC is a neat tool and will definitely come in handy!

  • Kevin Kraft
    Kevin Kraft May 11, 2010

    Have you tried booting a different CD on this machine? If you need a bootable CD to test, you can Google UBCD and download or download a Linux distribution just to test.



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When in doubt do without, that is remove the new hard drive cable and power, remove the DVD drive and try loading booting the XP from just this CD device. Enter the BIOS and check if the system sees the device. If it's not found in the BIOS then you'll never boot anything. Address it as the Primary device on the cable (I don't use CS) and see if the BIOS sees it.
If you get CD device seen in the BIOS then try to boot the CD in it. If it boots then power off and connect up your 40gb drive (optioned as Primary) on the other cable. Now power on as check the BIOS for the drive and the DVD device. If both are seen then boot the cd and try to load XP. After it's up and running install the other CD device as a Slave on one of the cables.

Posted on May 28, 2009


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