1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Win XP Pro will not re-install on Dell Inspiron 6000

Discussion in 'Windows XP Help' started by morrig47, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. morrig47

    morrig47 Established Techie7 Member

    I am trying to repair a Dell Inspiron 6000 for a friend's son. Currently Win XP Pro starts up, but then stops and goes into the screen offering Normal Start Up, Last Know Configuration, Safe Mode etc. I have tried all of these with no success. Given there are no important files on the laptop (no backup!) I decided to undertake a clean re-install. I have done this on numerous occasions on this laptop, which makes me suspect there may be a deep-lying fault somewhere. This time, however, I was unable to re-install Win XP. It loads as far as the Win XP Pro Setup screen which offers to Run XP, the Recovery Console (press R function). I have tried both of these options, but the result is the following message at the base of the screen

    "Examining 38155 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi..." I have left this screen live for an hour or so, but nothing happens.

    I googled the issue, one suggestion was to press F6 at the start of the Win XP load for the option to load drivers - no difference. Quite a few suggested that it might be a damaged hard drive. Whilst replacing the hard drive is not that difficult on a Dell Inspiron I do not wish to recommend my friend buy a new hard drive to find this is not the issue, particularly since this is a well used oldish machine.

    One of the frustrations with an OS like Win XP is I cannot get to a Command Point/DOS to run chkdsk, given I cannot load the OS. This would at least give me some information on hard sector damage.

    Can you suggest any other steps for me to try?

    Many thanks

  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    You only need to press F6 during XP installation if you will be using SATA (or SCSI) disks in that computer. SATA came out after XP so XP does not recognize it during the very first initial stages of the install.

    Are you using a installation CD, or the recovery partition on the notebook's hard disk? If a CD, it seems you should be able to set the CD to first in the boot order, then when prompted, boot to the CD. From there, you should be able to run the Recovery Console from CD, and run chkdsk /r on the HD.

    Alternatively, you could get a Notebook to IDE Hard Drive Adapter, or something similar, and connect the drive to your computer as secondary (not boot) drive, and run scans, chkdsk /r and diagnostics from there. Or install the notebook's HD into an enclosure.
  3. Dan Penny

    Dan Penny Staff Techie7 Moderator

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  4. morrig47

    morrig47 Established Techie7 Member

    Many thanks Digerati and Dan for all your suggestions. I have been trying out the various options, sadly with no success.

    To summarise some of your points.

    I have an original Win XP Pro OS disk, which I have used before to repair this laptop. This time, however, it "stalls" after the initial setup and will not enter the Recovery Console, so that option is out. It will not let me perform a clean install either. As I said in my first post I simply get the message:

    "Examining 38155 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi..."

    and then everything hangs.

    I did, however, track down a Dell Drivers and Utilities Disk which contains a Diagnostics and Utilities facility. I ran this, but it did not discover any errors on the OS or hard drive. I also ran a long test, but again no errors reported.

    It did, however, let me get a DOS function so I ran a chkdsk, but this did not seem to run a check, but simply listed the size of the hard drive and files.

    Do you think it would be worth running a format drive function? There is nothing worth rescuing from the hard drive so copying folders over to another PC is not required.

    Thanks again for your time and advice - much appreciated

  5. Dan Penny

    Dan Penny Staff Techie7 Moderator

    Do you think it would be worth running a format drive function? There is nothing worth rescuing from the hard drive......

    In that case, yes. A fresh install will eliminate the possibility of corrupt files etc.

    Boot with the XP CD. During the install, choose Full Format as opposed to Quick Format. This will help in determining the health of the hard disk.

    Post back with your results.
  6. morrig47

    morrig47 Established Techie7 Member


    Via a Dell Diagnostics disc I was able to get into DOS (or at least a C prompt). It would not, however, let me run the format command. I believe that with XP we only get a kind of emulation of DOS and that some of the original functionality is no longer there. The good news, however, is that as a kind of last hope I ran an original Dell OS (Vista) which was from a laptop of mine, now upgraded to Win 7. To my surpries it worked. At least I can now carry out some proper diagnostics.

    Many thanks for all your help and advice - much appreciated as always.

  7. Dan Penny

    Dan Penny Staff Techie7 Moderator

    You cannot format the C: drive while it is in use. The format (C:) function is performed while running the XP Setup from the XP CD.

    Well good luck, and enjoy your Windows 7 machine.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011