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Before you use the Recovery CD you need to backup your data because to restoring your laptop will wipe your data off the hard disk. To backup your data when you cannot boot up your laptop, remove the hard drive and connect it to an USB hard drive adapter. Connect this hard drive/USB adapter into the USB port of a working computer. The computer will see it as an external storage device, you can then open the folders and backup your data. You can then fit the hard drive back into the Dell laptop and boot up with the Dell recovery CD to reinstall Windows etc.
Are you using a full version retail or OEM copy of WIN XP to install? Or is it a recovery copy from another PC or laptop? You will need to use a full version disc to perform the retrofit. You will also need to download the WIN XP Drivers for your laptop from the Dell Site. You CANNOT "upgrade" install WIN XP over VISTA and keep your drivers, settings, files. Performing a WIN XP install will require a total wipe of your hard drive. Therefore you will have to save off all your personal files before you do this. Microsoft doesn't provide assistance for downgrade-type installations, so you must basically wipe your hard drive and then reload the OS.
You cannot downgrade Windows 7 from Windows XP by not reformatting the hard drive. You need to Remove Windows 7 first, before installing Windows XP Operating System. In order to use the Windows XP CD to fully reformat the Hard drive, follow the steps on the link below.
actually ur machine comes with SATA hard drive and i think that sata drive is not detected in win XP bcoz th einstallation disk is old and does not contain the sata drivers in it u can follow th einstructions on this link to slip stream sata raid drivers on the windows inst disk and then start to install
Because of anti-piracy laws you will not be able to use your XP on the laptop. You will need to buy another xp to Install. Win 2000 pro is very prone to blue screen and crashes. You will need to re-install win 2000 pro.
When you buy and install xp it will reformat (wipe) the hard drive for you.