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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.
A clean installation consists of removing all data from your hard disk by repartitioning and reformatting your hard disk and reinstalling the operating system and programs to an empty (clean) hard disk. For more information about important things to consider before you partition and format you hard disk and how to partition and format your hard disk by using the Windows XP Setup program, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 313348(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313348/ ) How to partition and format a hard disk by using Windows XP Setup program
To perform a clean installation of Windows XP, follow these steps:
Back up all important information before you perform a clean installation of Windows XP. Save the backup to an external location, such as a CD or external hard disk.
Start your computer from the Windows XP CD. To do this, insert the Windows XP CD into your CD drive or DVD drive, and then restart your computer.
Note To boot from your Windows XP CD, the BIOS settings on your computer must be configured to do this.
When you see the "Press any key to boot from CD" message, press any key to start the computer from the Windows XP CD.
At the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to start Windows XP Setup.
Read the Microsoft Software License Terms, and then press F8.
Follow the instructions on the screen to select and format a partition where you want to install Windows XP.
Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the Windows XP Setup.
Post back if it is not working we will be happy to help you.
Microsoft (and Dell) stopped supporting Windows 98 a few years ago -- it lasted for over TEN years! So, it is *NOT* likely that you will find drivers for any computer that was "designed for Windows 2000" or "designed for Windows XP" or "designed for Vista".
So, in general, it is a _bad_ idea to connect any computer running Windows 98 to the Internet -- Microsoft has issued many "security-fixes" in the 4 years after they stopped supporting Windows 98 and Windows ME.
See if you can go into safe mode by hitting the F8 key right after the dell splash screen and right before the XP splash screen comes up. If you can get into safe mode try to uninstall the rangeplus adapter and try reinstalling again after rebooting the system normally.
whenever i format one of my computers, when it gets to the point where you format, i format once with the normal ntfs and then right after it finishes i turn it off by holding down the power button until it shuts and then when i get back to the point where it asks about formatting again i do ntfs quick. i do all this because i had the same problem before and this is how i got past it. now the drivers. did you go to dell and download all of the drivers for your computer? whenver you format you need to get all the drivers again. i will usually use another compter to get the wireless network driver first if it has it so i can install that and then put it on a flash drive or something to get it on the other computer and install that so i can download the rest after that