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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay--this is odd. My 8600s hard drive failed--so I bought a new one--tried to install windows on it but it won't boot from the CD--seems like its reading the CD but the screen stays black. Now, I also have a 600 which is essentially the same machine just smaller--I can actually take the hard drive out of that, install it in the 8600 and it boots up--and reads the Windows XP CD-ROM with no problem. So there's nothing wrong with the CD-ROM. Also, there's nothing wrong with the XP CD because my desktop will boot from it no problem. I guess I could install Windows using the 600 and then switch the drive to the 8600 since they are compatible and I know the hard drives swap with no problem but I'd like to know why the 8600 won't boot from the CD. Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DaveBurnett said:
Don't Dells have a nasty habit of not liking to have the primary drive missing. Try just partitioning and Formatting it, and then try again.
Well, this is an interesting story. I had originally tried to clone the bad laptop drive with an extenral USB enclosure and couldn't get it to work. As luck would have it--the hard drive on my desktop downstairs had also gone bad and I was in the process of replacing it so I was attempting to clone the laptop drive on the upstairs desktop--all have XP Pro--both desktops are fairly new with the upstairs one having an Athlon dual core and Asus MOBO and the downstairs having a Pentium D dual core and Asus MOBO. Well, after I fixed by downstairs puter with a new drive, I decided to try again the cloning process on that computer and it worked--I also used a different USB laptop enclosure. When I put the new laptop drive in the Dell laptop, it booted, gave me a message it had recovered from a serious error in the registry from backup files and then worked fine after that.

So I am miffed at why I couldn't get the cloning to work the first few times I tried it--I thought the bad laptop drive was the problem--its still bad--it won't work as a boot-up drive, but it works fine as a storage drive. And I tried to repair it with Chkdsk and it just kept giving me errors. I don't understand why the drive works fine as a slave drive but not as a primary boot drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DaveBurnett said:
Don't Dells have a nasty habit of not liking to have the primary drive missing. Try just partitioning and Formatting it, and then try again.
I was going to try that--if worse came to worse I could have tried installing Windows on the 600 using the new hard drive and then just transfer that drive to the 8600 but I really wanted to determine why that wouldn't work because how the hell can you install an O/S if it won't read a CD?. I guess I'd have to get an external floppy and try that. Dont' know what I would have done without the 600--its really difficult to troubleshoot these issues when you only have one computer.
 

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You're a rich lawyer, buy a couple more machines. :D
 

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I find that when drives go bad, it is often the boot sector that gets affected first. That would possibly explain why it would work as a backup drive.

However, if I where you, I would format the drive as FAT32 and do a FULL surface scan on it, or use the maker's disk tools to check it before putting any data on it.
 
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