but don't have the original dvd and this is a new drive. I have another computer that I can install the new drive into as a secondary drive and put the os on it that way but lack a dvd for it. I have an XP dvd but think it's for a different computer cause I get an error part way thru.
Is the XP media a Dell Windows Reinstallation CD/DVD, if so it will work on another Dell system. If not you might have problems with product activation.
In addition is the version the same (you should install the same version, Home, Professional or Media Centre Edition).
Since you are in the US you may fill out a form to request reinstallation media for your system here which you may or may not be charged for. Otherwise there is eBay e.g. XP Media Centre Edition, XP Professional, XP Home.
Once you have either Dell XP Home or Professional Reinstallation Media follow my wiki make a XP Service Pack 3 Reinstallation CD using your system that has a working disc drive.
In the case of XP Media Centre Edition (which I don't think you'll have) just copy the contents of the DVD to a new folder called XP on your Desktop and don't use nlite.
In your case skip the creation of an .iso and the burning to CD as this is useless to you. Instead download Novacorp WinToFlash. Insert a 4 GB (or superior) USB drive without any precious data on it. Under Windows Path select the folder on your Desktop, under USB Drive, select your USB drive. Then next, next finish.
This will update the reinstallation CD and convert it to a bootable USB which will overcome your lack of a Disc Drive on your Latitude.
Follow my wiki A Clean Install of Windows XP once you have a Dell Reisntallation DVD.
Once you have reinstalled Windows XP and are happy with your system, use the HP Format Tool to return your USB Stick to normal.
The COA is for Windows Vista. I just want the hard drive to come up on the Dell with any os. It's not having the dvd that's the problem.