Dell inspiron desktop reformat question

Hey techie gurus out there-

I’m a moderately experienced geek attempting to reformat a friends Dell Inspiron 8200 desktop machine. I set the bios so it will boot from CD, which it does. I have in the CD that appears to be the bootable OS disc. When the machine comes up it reads that CD and prompts me to press 1 to boot from CD. When I do it says “Setup is inspecting your computer’s hardware configuration”, then nothing at all. It just hangs there.

Is there a way to bypass that or a different way to format this drive? Way back in the day we used to do a Format C from a DOS window, but that was many moons ago.

Thoughts? Ideas? Thanks in advance!

OK. The message you get shows it’s using the MS CD boot image (or a good copy). Have you checked whether the hard disk is strobing?

I’m convinced you have got it set properly for CD boot, so thats good.

I see one of two options

  1. The disk is doing a major amount of twiddling before it boots to the next phase - check the HD LED.

  2. The boot is stalled. Get hold of another bootable disk and try again. This doesn’t get around the driver issue if you install windows this way, but there are options.

If you don’t have access to another boot disk, but can download and burn - PM me and I’ll sort out a boot-test disc for you.

Good luck!

trmatthe- I really appreciate your reply! I hunted for my restore disc for my laptop and couldn’t find it until my husband got home from work. Upon explaining the issue to him, he suggested unplugging the mouse and rebooting, using only the keyboard. Lo and behold, it skipped that hardware message entirely! He said he’d seen that before on dell machines. How weird is that?

I appreciate your offer of assistance and reply to my post. Have a great day!

Good catch by your husband, I wasn’t aware of that. It is always a good idea to unplug all USB devices before reinstalling Windows anyway, as sometimes it will try to install drivers for printers and other devices which are not included in the Windows driver archive, which can create problems.

I’d seen it happen before but forgot all about it. It wasn’t even a USB mouse, either. So weird! Hey, it might save someone else some heartache and headaches if they see this, so I’m glad it happened.