Hi everyone, A few days ago I decide to reload XP on an older desktop.
Dell pentium 4 with 1gig ram. Backed up data and started. Went part way through with the format and power glitch??? Now I can get to the set up menu but the cd drive does not see the windows CD and widows was wiped out on my hard drive. I have the original driver disc but it wont read that either.

Since I am not very experienced in the workings of the system, can the folks in the forum help?

Suggestions anyone?


try cleaning the disc and check whether your cd drive can read it...or check whether BIOS still detect your cd drive..

try cleaning the disc and check whether your cd drive can read it...or check whether BIOS still detect your cd drive..

Yes I would do the above. Check if the CD drive is recognised in BIOS try pressing DEL or F2 at boot up to enter BIOS. If it turns out the CD drive is knacked then they are not to expensive.

Try the bootable CD in another computer. Or are you saying the CD loads but doesn't progress to the installation stage?

Another computer can read the CD, (that's what I'd hoped it was.) The desktop will not boot, or even see the disc. I think part of the problem is that, the computer does not even recognizing there is a disc in the drive.

I'm at work and away from this computer.

Thanks for the reply

Are you sure that the cd/dvd drive is at the top of the boot order in BIOS?

Is there no option to select boot device? (My PC has a F8 option to selct boot device)

When I go to the boot menu I have 2 options either boot from the sata hard drive or usb cd-rom drive.
Select the usb, hit f1 and get selected boot device not available.
Select f2, select drive group and get the following.
*diskette drive
*drive 0: sata-0
*drive 1: sata-2
*drive 2: pata-0
*drive 3: pata-1
*sata operation
Settings for these are
diskette drive usb
drive 0 on
drive 1 on
drive 2 on
drive 3 on
sata operation is set to normal.

Hope this makes sense to everyone.
Thanks again

Looks like your PC can not find your CD drive.
Check the connections to your drive. Do any lights come on the drive when you boot?

Dell Power Supply Units do not provide provide enough poer for CD/DVD drives. Look inside and you will be lucky if its 375 Watt.

You need 600 Watt. Remember, all PSU only provide 85% pover to the computer and 15% is grounded or waste power.

You say old but it probably is 2.6ghz cpu. That's not old in my book (or in my computer). If it is a 1.8 ghz or less, then use 400 to 480 Watt PSU.

Thanks Bob! I pulled out the cd drive and reset it. That got power back to the unit.

Disk boots and goes to xp setup. When it starts the format I get the following message.

"Setup is unable to format the partition. The disc may be damaged Make sure the drive is switched on and properly connected. If this is a scsi disc, make sure your scsi devices are properly terminated."

I don't think that the disc is damaged because it has worked up until I tried to re-install XP. But I have no idea about checking the scsi devices. Maybe it's time to throw up my hands.

Thanks to everyone helping.

If you use a wireless usb internet device, this is assigned as a cd-rom device. Go to Explorer, right-click the device and it says "CD-Rom", It might have taken your CD/DVD device Position.

If this is the case then go to Disk managment, delete the cd/DVD drive letter. shut down. Remove usb device. start up. Assign a drive letter if the cd/dvd drive no longer has one. Turn off. Plug in internet usb device. restart.
All okay now!

If your power supply is not at least 500 watt, then your cd/dvd drive will not work as expected.

"Too many people blame viruses for their own ignorance or mistakes."

Just a note - Your cd drive may not be CD-R compatible and the cd is cd+R
Nero info tool - Nero > Extras > Get system info (takes about a minute. It shows what compatibles your cd/dvd drive allows.
See the picture attached showing my cd/dvd drive info.

Thank you Jupiter 2, the problem is with my C drive and thats internal. Windows setup cannot format, the partition in order to load from the CD drive. So I have no operating system.

Thanks again.

Did you boot from CD?
In bios set Cd as boot drive then hdd then other =Disabled

Thank you Jupiter 2! The last move cleared up the problem and XP is finally re-loaded.

Thanks to everyone on the group that helped.


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