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How to reformat Dell XPS 400?

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How to reformat Dell XPS 400?

  • I tried to restore my computer to the original factory settings to wipe my computer clean but I'm having problems. I restored windows not knowing what I was doing and thats all it did was restore window and not remove wipe the hard drive. I've been checking the forums and saw some people said to use ctl F11 but that doesn't do anything when I try it. I've tried at least a half dozen times. My computer has Windows XP Media Center Version 2005 with Update Rollup 2. Thats what the operating system cd says. Are there any other ways of getting rid of everything and starting out fresh?
  • apophis00

    How to carry out a clean reinstall of XP.

    Disconnect all the peripherals from the system except the keyboard, mouse and monitor.

    How to configure a Dell Dimension series system to boot to the CD or DVD drive.

    This XP reinstallation guide is excellent, or you can use Dell's XP Restallation Guide here.

    While installing, remember to delete all existing partitions when you are prompted, then recreate the partitions and format the hard drive, following by installing XP.

    Note: You need not delete the small 40/50mb EISA Partition, if you wish to keep Dell diagnostics on the hard drive.

    After installing XP, you should install the drivers and applications in the following order,

    Desktop System Software [if applicable]
    Network Interface Card [NIC]
    Then all other drivers and applications.

    Followed by installing the Anti Virus utility, updating the definitions, then all the critical Microsoft updates.

    Try to note the type of hardware devices you have, prior to reinstalling the operating system. This can help you select and install the correct drivers and applications.

    If you are not using RAID, enter the system setup, scroll down to drives, press Enter or + to expand the drive menu then down to "SATA Operation", press Enter.
    Change the SATA operation mode to "RAID Auto/ATA" press ESC to save and exit the BIOS.


    Please don't send me questions about your system by DCF Messenger.
    Post the issue in the appropriate Board, where they will be answered.


    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • The only way would be to use your Dell system CD (XP MCE) you mentioned.

    First, backup your important data.

    Boot your system with that CD by pressing F12 at bootup and selecting your CDROM drive to boot from.

    Follow the XP install prompts and you'll be able to delete your C partition, recreate and format it then install XP. Reinstall your drivers,  apps and restore your data. An order of drivers I install is chipset, network, video, audio and modem.


    NOTE Before you install XP: If RAID is enabled and you plan to continue using it, you will need to download the SATA drivers, extract the driver files to a floppy disc and during the XP install, press F6 when instructed to load the SATA drivers. If you do not want to use RAID, go into your system setup (F2), SATA Operation and set it to RAID/Autodetect ATA. This way you will not need the SATA drivers during your XP install.

    Studio XPS 435T/9000 (His)
    Inspiron 1720 (Hers)
    Inspiron 530s (Server)