Hello, I'm new to these boards, because I need some major computer help. I have normally always been good with fixing computers and I've never had to ask for assistance, but this problem I'm having is seriously becoming a nightmare.

It all started three days ago. I got a new Dell 4700 Dimension for Christmas. It has a Pentium 4 Processor 2.99 Gb, 71.4 gigs of hard drive, 504 Mb of RAM. Atfirst my Dell was running smoothly. I had McAfee with all the up-to-date virus definitions, it had Dell maintenace and security, and just a bunch of other stuff, like Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition. Well, three days ago I started to notice something didn't seem right. My computer kept restarting everytime I would try to log-on. Immediately, I thought this was a virus. Then, I finally got on. I tried to run Virus scanner, but it wouldn't open. Then, I noticed some of my files were missing, and my Graphics card seemed to not be working. I didn't know what the hell was going on, so I just thought "screw up, I'll just re-format and ue the recovery disk." Well, on the loaded window for the OS, it wouldn't format c:. It said it had programs needed for Windows to load or something, I don't know. So, I just installed a new copy of Windows over that. Well, when I got onto the new version, it still had some of the old files, which meant all the files weren't deleted. This wasn't good, because nothing worked. The sound card was gone, none of the applications would load, McAfee was gone, and none of my original Dell programs, like Security and stuff, were there. That made me very furious, because I was hoping my recovery disk that came with the Dell would allow me to do that and get my programs, applications, and drivers back... nope. So, anyways, I decided that if I was going to have none of the original settings and just Windows XP then I should just delete everything off 'C:' for a fresh start. Well, once again - it wouldn't work; no formatting what-so-ever. So, I went into the XP recovery setup and I typed C:\>FORMAT C: /Q /FS:NTFS, but that didn't work. I was getting really irritated. Well, I saw from http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ that you could get KILLDISK.exe and it would erase all of the files for you off all partitions. I made it into a floppy and put it in. Oh yeah, it erased it... but now when I restart my computer it only loads from the floppy and says "Error loading operating system...". I've searched pages and pages about this, but couldn't find anything too helpful. I went to Microsoft Support and their only suggestion I read was like either fix the hardware, send it in, do something with BIOS, or use Windows XP Home Edition boot floppies that they have. Well, I got the boot floppies from them (all 6 of them) and I inserted the first into my floppy drive. When I restarted, it began working. It went to a Windows load screen. After the first disk was done, I put in the second. Again and again I did it until it got somewhere towards the middle or end of the 4th disk. It said somehting was a corrupted file, I guess on the disk, and then it made me restart. Once again, I was a loss for ideas. I have no clue how to honestly fix this. It's becoming really irritating, because it's like every idea I have - it gets creamed by the computer's ignorance. I just wish there was some way that I could just format c:, use my Operating System disc to reload Windows XP on my computer, and go back to a normal PC. But ohhhhh no... it's much more complicating. So, I'm out of ideas. My last hope I can think of is that MaxBlast or whatever from Maxtor. If it doesn't work, then I think I'll just throw this thing out of the window. Please, help with thorough and complete answers. If someone knows a way to fix my computer, I plead for your help on every step. If someone has the answer to this, I don't want to screw up by once little mistake. Thank you.

Recommended Answers

All 2 Replies

I think you only have one choice. Once you erased the entire harddrive you removed all proof that you had xp in the first place installed by dell. You could do 1 of 2 things. Call dell,explaine what happend. Have them send you the cds to fix it. Or buy a new copy of xp. Honestly I would consider buying a new copy of xp. You will always have the disk and the key. If you have to replace the harddrive or whatever call microsoft ,takes just a short time. Tell them you need a new key and why. They will help ya. Word has it almost all the time no hassles you get a new key. My xp is preinstalled. Something major happens to it oh yea im gonna go buy the program. Just my 2 cents. Hope it helped.................have a nice day.

Did you ever run scandisk? Or run any diagnostics on the hard drive? It's not unheard of for new drives to go bad. Since this is a new computer, and still under warranty, your first step should be to contact Dell and see what they suggest you do next.

For complete instructions on installing XP, see this thread:

If you did get infected (no way to ever know now), you should read this before going online again once you get it running:

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, networking, learning, and sharing knowledge.