I have a DELL PowerEdge SC 430 running Fedora

I have a DELL PowerEdge SC 430 running Fedora my friend closed up his business and left them for me to re-format to XP and sell them for him.  Problem is I cannot get this computer to boot to my XP CD I use for installing the OS on my laptops.  I install from this CD all the time and I have others none will get past the SETUP if inspecting your computer screen and I never get the normal Blue setup screen,  now I would like to just open this in Fedora but we can't get past the user name screen.  The employees who were the actual "Users" were fired under less than friendly circumstances and won't give us the "User Name" or password so we can get in. This is URGENT as we need to do something so I can advertise and sell these "SERVERS"  here are the specs (says no OS but it boots to Fedora):

Intel® Pentium® D Processor 820 at 2.8GHz/2X1MB Cache, 800MHz FSB       

Operating System       

No Operating System, Other       


1G DDR2, 533MHz, 2X512MB Single Ranked DIMMs       

Primary Hard Drive      
80GB1, Serial ATA, 1 inch, 7.2K RPM, Hard Drive       

2nd Hard Drive      
80GB1, Serial ATA, 1 inch, 7.2K RPM Hard Drive       

CD/DVD Drive      
48X, Compact Disk Drive, Internal, Half Height, MG       

Network Card      
Onboard NIC       

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
You can run linux standalone from e.g. a Knoppix CD (www.knoppix.org/ ) and force the Fedora root password to be empty. If the former employees have passworded the BIOS you need to use the mobo jumper to empty CMOS (or maybe just take out the battery and short the holder but I've never tried that myself) (all these with power disconnected of course;). Once Knoppix is running you might want to re-partition the disk with linux fdisk so it is a single NTFS partition - the lack of an NTFS partition or any space for one may be confusing the Windoze installer).
reyeuroAuthor Commented:
pardon me?  The only thing I understood here was about the NTFS partition and the use of Windoze as a slight against Windows which I did not take on a personal level, problem is I do not have ANY Linux software or os disks floppy or otherwise, any other suggestions, I was thinking maybe I could download knoppix to a cd, but I haven't found a download site in English or that I understood as far as all the files in the ftp site, were they all to be downloaded?  If I do that can they then be burned to a cd on my pc?
Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
To boot off your CD, you may need to reconfigure the boot order in BIOS to be CD first. Depending on BIOS, that may be in the "Advanced" "Power-up" or other menu - you'll just have to search around in setup.
Can you get into BIOS setup? That could be your first hurdle. When you power up, what do you see? If only the Fedora boot, what do you see if you hold a key down at power up? (try holding down F1 or DEL). You are looking for a message like "Press DEL for Setup".
Sometimes the only way to reset a BIOS setup so you can get into it is to kill the power to its CMOS - that's why I described ways to do that in the first post. Usually on a motherboard there is a jumper to enable a tech to do this - it may be described in the specs you have or in other docn your friend have you. If you don't have that docn then you might have to resort to locating and ermoving the battery (a round silvery thing about 1.5cm diameter). Because there's a large capacitor across it you need to leave it out for a day or so to drain CMOS, or shorting the holder (preferably with a low-value resistor) may speed up the process.
Hope you understood more of that - post again either way.
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Exchange Server

The MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 certification validates your skills in supporting the maintenance and administration of the Exchange servers in an enterprise environment. Learn everything you need to know with this course.

Duncan RoeSoftware DeveloperCommented:
www.knoppix.org/ starts in German but is very much multilingual - click on the US/UK flag for English, rising sun for Japanese etc.
But having re-read your question it seems that your first problem is failure to boot *any* CD - hence my previous post.
BIOS setup is usually F2 on a Dell.  Press and hold while the DELL logo is on the screen.  Duncan is correct that you need to change the boot order.

Dell keeps user manuals on their web site forever, so you should be able to find it if necessary,


There are various solutions:
- Software solution: Does it have a disktte drive?
  + if it does, you can boot from a Linux diskette
     and re-install Fedora from Web
- Hardware solution:
  + Take the primary hard drive out, put it in another desktop,
     that can boot your XP cd, install XP then put it back,
     and XP should be able to reconfigure itself.



Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
reyeuroAuthor Commented:
Actually I was advised elsewhere to get an ultimate bood cd which I did and it worked, but I also took one of the hard drives out and installed it in another computer and followed your instructions that worked well also...Thanks
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Linux OS Dev

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.