Dell Won't Start after W2K install attempt

Posted on 2003-03-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26

I have a Dell Dimension XPS T700r desktop computer which came with Windows NT Workstation 4.0. We also have a Dell Latitude LS laptop which came with Win 2000 Pro.

Long story short: I used the Win 2000 Pro "reinstallation disc" to try to do a clean install of 2000 over the NT Workstation and now the computer doesn't boot. Specifically, I got that initial "boot-up information" screen to come up by using Setup (where it says "keyboard detected," tells you what the processor is, tells you the amount of RAM, etc.) but after that, the screen just stays black (on, but black) and the computer just sits there.

The 2000 reinstall CD sits in the CD-ROM drive and spins for a while, then stops. After some hard drive activity and orange light (CPU activity?) blinking on the front of the computer, it just sits there.

Have I completely ruined it?

Question by:m2matt
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

jhance earned 300 total points
ID: 8047843
The problem is that the Dell "re-installation" disk is customized for a particular Dell LINE of computers.  While you can often use these on different models within a "line" you cannot use them on different lines.  So mixing the install disk between the Dimension and the Latitude lines doesn't produce a good W2K installation.  Sorry...

You need to get a "real" W2K installation CD and use that to install to your Dimension system.  I'm sure that nothing is "ruined" and if you have any data on the Dimension it's probably still intact but you will not have a valid bootable system without a valid installation of Windows 2000.
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Expert Comment

ID: 8047848
By the way, I suspect that what you're doing is also in violation of the W2K EULA (End User License Agreement) for your copy of W2K.  

Please be sure that what you're doing is LEGAL.  

If not, you'll be unable to get more help here on EE...

Expert Comment

ID: 8047877

E-E Admin

Author Comment

ID: 8047901
Argh...thanks for the answer.

I didn't mean to try anything illegal. Hmmm...OK, so this isn't going to happen, then, because of the whole "line" thing.

Well, now that the computer isn't booting up, does that mean I've got to find my original NT Workstation disc to boot with? I actually have no idea what I'm supposed to do to get this computer running again.

I have a copy of Windows 98 SE that's not being used (full version, not upgrade), could I boot with that disc and load that OS?

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 8047927
I think the Win98 disk is not going to be helpful as your disk is likely NTFS and Win98 doesn't understand NTFS.

I think your best shot is to get a real W2K installation disk, boot it (or the boot floppies) and run a REPAIR.  If that doesn't work, run a FULL INSTALL w/o a FORMAT.  That will at least preserve your data.

You MAY be able to recover your NT4 installation with your NT4 CD but you'll need to use the BOOTDISK utility on it to make the 3 NT4 boot floppies on a working system.  This can be done under Win98, W2K, or even DOS but you will need your NT4 CD.

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