cannot reinstall windows xp from cd on dell e520 cpu.

rberke
rberke used Ask the Experts™
on
This 7 year old machine has been mothballed for over a year, but now i want to use it.

I logged in as mydomain\rberke but I ran into some minor issues, so i used msconfig to set safeboot and restarted.

Oh crap -- I forgot the administrator password so I can not log in !!!!  (Next time I will try to remember to use safeboot with networking!!!)

I tried every possible password I might have used including blank password. Tried booting to last know good configuration. I tried booting to safe mode with networking.  Unfortunately, the msconfig setting takes priority and overrides all those tries.

I then tried booting to an xp pro service pack 2 CD hoping that the recovery console and BCEDIT might save me.

I cannot get it to boot from the cd. I think the cd drive might be misconfigured.

When i hit f12 during boot I get to the boot menu and tab down to select "onboard cd" the computer freezes.

I then retried using the actual dell re-installation disk that came with computer. still no luck.
I also tried setting bios to only boot from the onboard cd, but the boot hangs when it tries the cd.



I suspect the cd drive may not be configured correctly, but I can't see any obvious bios settings to tweak.
 I am willing to take the hard drive out and mount it into a USB case if needed.  But, I am not willing to replace the cd drive
 
The computer is not worth a lot of work, but I hope somebody has some suggestions.
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RaminTechnical Advisor
Commented:
My first step was to replace CD rom drive with a new one.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
you can easily reset the password with nordahls password utility
https://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

but the problem is you need the cd drive to boot from the cd

what pc is this?  model or motherboard plse?
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
Commented:
Note Ramin's comment above.

Try another CD drive.  Also check the connections between the drive and the motherboard in case they have come loose.

@nobus.  It is a Dell E520.
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rberkeConsultant

Author

Commented:
its a dell e520. I ran hardware tests, but there does not appear to be anything to test the CD.

 I wonder if I can boot from USB like a flash drive?  I tried using an 8gig win 10 upgrade flash drive but CPU was totally non functional with stick in front panel, and stick was ignored when the back panel.
Perhaps a smaller USB stick would work?

I also have some scrap dell computers, and I suppose I could try swapping in the CD.
I also have an old floppy drive that I could put in (there is an empty slot that could take it.

Th
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
a deskto p- then the drive can be changed for under 20$
you can also test with an external drive !
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
>>  I wonder if I can boot from USB like a flash drive?   <<  that must be possible
>>  CPU was totally non functional with stick in front panel, and stick was ignored when the back panel.   <<  test if you can boot from the stick on another system - it may not be functional
how did you make it?
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
Commented:
Try swapping in another CDROM drive.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
note that it can just be a bad contact in the cables also
try swapping cables for data and power to test
here a test for the cd :  http://www.passmark.com/download/index.htm
rberkeConsultant

Author

Commented:
I'll put in a cd and floppy drive tomorrow and post back the results.

rberke
rberkeConsultant

Author

Commented:
I made the win 10 stick last year and it worked fine for upgrading 5 Windows 7 computers to windows 10.  But, I am pretty sure that 8gig sticks are too big for a 7 year old bios to handle.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
no - not at all
but is the stick an USB3 model?  these are unknown in XP, and older bios models
rberkeConsultant

Author

Commented:
could not boot the computer even with a new CD.

but, I stuck the harddrive into another computer and used a Linux based password zapper to blank the password.
Returned the harddrive to the original cpu and now all is well.

I will give points as best I can.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
tx for feedback, and glad its running

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