I`m turning to you in despair, please kindly help me as I am technologically impared .
Briefly, I have a Dell 800 laptop with Windows XP, which now gives me the same dead-end message on a black screen: error loading OS.

Indices: This has happened after I have tried connecting an external hard-drive to my laptop, which didn`t even workout, as it didn`t show up in MY Computer. So I guess this turned my OS upside-down.
Also,what I dubiously did before was that I deleted a Local Documents folder, namedwith many numbers and letters, which I had never seen there before, but I obviouslydid not believe it had any vital functions.

The problem is that I am working abroad and left my installation CD at home.
I have read many solution blogs since,checked all the BIOS, did the check_ups and all the tests, even the hard_drive, passed.

... help...

If you dont have your instillation cd you might be able to do it another way

Immediately at startup when it says dell push control + f11 and see what happens.

On my dimension desktop this activates a hidden recovery partition on the disk where you can reinstall windows (you will lose your stuff)

not all dells have this though.

Thanks, I`ll keep this as the last option (just before suicide ;o), but it is essential to me to recover my stuff.

Now, can you please tell me if the roboot requires the very same Windows XP CD, or can I use another, more handy one?
And just inserting it ahould do it?

Thousand thanks for your time,


This is Richard of Dell's Online Community Outreach. The Image Restore option (CTRL+F11) is not available for Latitude systems. To correct the current issue it would appear that a complete re-installation of Windows is needed. Unfortunately, that would require the Windows installation cd.

When you return to the US we would be able to ship you Windows.

Richard B
Dell Online Community Outreach

You do have a couple more options depending on what exactly you want to do. If you want to do a back up of all your files and have access to another system you could download a live cd such as ubuntu linux and run the live cd which will give you access to your HD. There are also some Portable windows XP cd's out there which do the same but to keep it nice and simple i do recommend ubuntu.