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inspiron 3500 (laptop)

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inspiron 3500 (laptop)

  • I recently purchased (on ebay) an inspiron 3500.  Seller had totally deleted everything from the hard drive.  I purchased 128mbRam to add to the existing 64 with the hopes of installing windows xp professional.  I tried to install the disk and i am getting a non system disk or disk error.  I am also getting the phdisk utility error and i downloaded that from the dell page.  the laptop will NOT load anything...i keep getting the non system disk error...HELP...thanks
  • Is there a hard drive in the system? (F2 for setup).
  • I assume it does(have a hard drive), however, this is what happens:
    1. turn on laptop
    2. dell screensaver comes up
    3. screen giving info with suspend to disk error and f2 for setup
    4. if I press f2 I get the message -- 'invalid system disk replace disk then press any key'
    This computer didn't come with any system disks (boot)

    Message Edited by amy68 on 11-06-2005 04:27 PM

  • Try pressing F2 immediately at startup. I wonder if the prior owner locked out setup with a password (in which case you have a paperweight).
  • okay...I did it right this time.  I have the bios setup what?? I am NOT a computer programmer, but how hard can this be?  I have directions from dell, but do I need a boot disk? I have a windows xp professional that I want to install, but I added memory and have to get rid of the save to disk suspend message.
    I am reading that I need a Dell Inspiron 3500 System Software CD in order to do anything, is this correct?

    Message Edited by amy68 on 11-06-2005 05:19 PM

  • The XP Pro CD is bootable, and you can download all the drivers from (including the phdisk.exe program you need to make the suspend-to-disc partition).
  • To boot from the Windows XP Professional, are you using the F12 key for the boot menu, choosing boot from the CD, then press a key to boot from CD before it times out?
  • The 3500 does NOT have an F12 onetime boot order option. Provided that you have entered BIOS by pressing F2 during boot up when the splash screen is displayed, and set the Boot order in BIOS for CD Drive ahead of the Harddrive, the W-XP CD should prompt you briefly during boot to "Press any key to boot from the CD"(watch for and do it) and then prompt you about partitiioning and formatting the Harddisk, then install W_XP on the freshly prepared drive. I have had 2 of these pass through my hands for refurbing and then selling on EBay. I would ignore the error messages about the Suspend stuff as Hibernation does not need it and works better than suspend anyway. That is set up by default when Windows XP has been installed.

    You do not need the System Software CD as it had drivers only for W98. W-XP will install almost-if not all-all drivers needed if you do a clean install

    I will advise you to get more memory(at least 256mb) before installing W-XP and at least a 20gb Harddrive, or stay with a less demanding OS. I used a 60gb drive and 512mb (2x256mb)PC100 Low Density 16chip Modules on one for 6 months with W-XP and also installed a 600mhz MMC-2 Celeron. It didn't exactly zip, but it worked fast enough. Yeah, I know Dell says less than 20 gb, 256mb PC66 max, and a 400mhz CPU, but I am telling you what I know works from practical experience


    Message Edited by leduke30 on 11-08-2005 01:03 AM