this computer is one that is going to a disabled child in a household that cannot afford a new computer.  The hard drive was reformatted and the OS is Windows xp.  When I recieved the computer to add some programs before it was delivered, i started it and only get a message saying "set up is being restarted".
After all the info of start up comes up the computer shows the Windows XP logo and then an error message flashes up "a write operation was attempted to a volume after it was dismounted".

It is an endless loop and is frustrating to say the least.  Hopefully someone can help.  The ram and hard drive are farily new, so I did not suspect that is where the problem may lie.
Can anyone offer any explanation or "cure"?
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Joediggity2Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Do you have a windows XP cd?  You will need it for the reinstall.  

Boot the computer with the disk in place.
Press F12 and select Boot from CD  (sometimes it says ide CD drive or other things but the main thing is CD)
It will say press any key to boot into setup (press any key).
Then go through all the prompts to do a new (not repair) install.
Have you tried the option to restore last known good configuration.  Press F8 before the Windows logo comes up and choose that option.   Also, it is important to note that your please reply to: is against the rules here at Expert Exchange.  All answers must be posted to this website and no personal back and forth communication is allowed.  Also, it is a bad idea to put your email address on this site anyway, because this site is heavily indexed by Google, and your email address will be in spammers hands very quickly.
It sounds like the installation of windows was never completed.  Since it is a fresh build, If you have the disks I would just do a complete reinstall.  When you go to do the reinstall, delete the partition and recreate it.  When you get to the step to format the disk do not do the quick method.  The normal method does a surfaces scan (just incase the disk is bad).
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Yes, indeed. You should reinstall it from begin as noted above.
ace3839Author Commented:
Tried to do the F8 thing and that didn't work either, it just keeps going into this loop.  Last night three of us watching managed to find out what the error message that "flashed" up on the screen ( I wonder what brilliant programmer figured this comes and goes so fast you can't read took about 15 start ups to get all the words) anyway  the error message that came up was: "a write operation was attempted to a volume after it was dismounted".   I have not idea what this means and googling it gave me a lot of conflicting info that really did have anything to do with this problem.
This morning I did some more thinking of the problem and remembed that last night when I pressed F2 at start up, I went into BIOS and noticed in one of the headings that I opened, that the CD drive was listed as #4.  Should it not be listed at #1 in able for the computer to start from that drive?

If any of you think that this may work (I don't realy want to mess with Bios without some direction) then maybe I should do a reformat.  My friend said he did a reformat of the hard drive and a reinstall but something is screwed up so if I reformat do I still need to do a reinstall of the OS?
Yes, reformmating your drive will blow away everything on it and you will need to reinstall the OS (XP).  And yes, The CD should be at #1 in the boot order if you want to boot from it, but there usually is a keystroke you can press at boot up that will let you choose from the boot device.  I know it's F12 on most Dells.
Your only answer is to reformat and reinstall the OS.  From your own post your friend tried to do the reinstall but something messed up.  That means you have an incomplete install.
ace3839Author Commented:
Thanks for you speedy replies...really appreciate it.  I haven't tried the F12 key, will give that a try.  Failing that I will try to change the Bios so the CD drive reads #1....anyone know how to do that?
That will just make it read the xp or os cd if it is in the drive and start to boot from it.  If you go into the bios, generally there is a setting to "restore bios defaults".  In *most* cases this is the correct settings for everything.
ace3839Author Commented:
Jup....tried that too...."that is..hit the restore bios defaults key".  That did not work either....I almost feel like a knowledge....I am just turning 70 and guess it is time to go back to school.
Forced accept.

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