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A few months ago I picked up a monitor for cheap. I few weeks ago I got a working computer... cheap...turns out it had no hard drive though...hmmmm. Yesterday I got a free hard drive, that may or not be good.

 

I installed the hard drive and I can hear it spinning. The screen says F2 for set-up. I set something to auto and it shows the hard drive as 130gb or something now, but it will not boot up still.

 

I have no experience at all with these things, the computer I use now, is the first one I ever had. Is there something I need to do to make a used hard drive work in a strange computer???? Or does it all need to go in the creek :lol:

 

 

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Normally there is some words on the screen with a message, but sometimes it flashes so fast superman could not read it. The thing that comes to mind would be not having an operating system installed on the drive. Also, installations done for one hardware config won't usually work for another. You will need a windows disk to install an OS. The biggest issue will be that you would more than likely only be able to find Win7 or perhaps Vista and it might not be supported by the pc you just got.

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Yes I do, I an have XP Home CD.

Have you tried installing it? You may have to enter the setup menu and select "boot from CD", insert disc then shut down and start again so it will boot from CD-rom. The Windows installer will test system to see if it can install XP.

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I think I tried that once or twice, but I may have done it before the hard drive was recognized or something. Could be a bad CD drive too I guess....I have another one of those I can try too. If I knew just a little about this stuff....well I'll learn :)

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Try going into the setup menu right when computer boots, and see what the setting are, you should be able to see what is installed. If you see the hard drive and CD drive they should be ok to try the just select first boot device and restart with XP cd already in drive.

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Chris whoever sold it probably pulled the hard drive to use in another computer or didn't want to take the chance of letting someone else have their hard drive with a lot of data on it from not knowing how to format the hard drive before selling it. You may have a good computer once you get it going.. don't toss it for sure.

 

Someone explain how to get into setup mode when the computer starts up, that would be good information to have. I've never had to do this so I can't explain it. :P

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Someone explain how to get into setup mode when the computer starts up, that would be good information to have. I've never had to do this so I can't explain it. :P

As your computer is starting it will flash a message on screen such as "press F2 to enter set-up" with newer computers that boot fast this message flashes real fast, and then it starts windows. It may take a couple boots to push F2 at the right time, and it may not be F2 it might be something like push control button and F2 so look for that message. Be careful to just exit when in setup you should not need to change anything.

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There you go... thanks!

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I think I tried that once or twice, but I may have done it before the hard drive was recognized or something. Could be a bad CD drive too I guess....I have another one of those I can try too. If I knew just a little about this stuff....well I'll learn :)

Just read my reply and it was not very clear. In your set up menu you need to make the cd-rom the first boot device, exit set-up saving changes, place your xp cd in and the turn off computer, then restart and the computer should find the disc and load xp on your machine.

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First I would suggest that you look on the back on the drive and see what brand it is.Then go their website and down load the free software for it.After doing this and having your hard drive formatted then use your XP cd.Look up the model number and see what size it is.Your computer may or maynot see the drive if it's too large in size(Like 130gig)Your motherboard may only see a maximum size--if so,you can partition the drive with the free software from the manufacturing site.

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You can format hard drive when computer is installing os,if you get it to boot from cd. I usually do a full format when installing new os. Takes awhile but cleans hd better. What computer/model is this? What does screen say after turning on & going past f2?

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It's a Dell Dimension 8100/Limited from 2000...old, but newer than this one :)

 

Thanks for the replies and the help. I believe I have it working as of right now, and I think it came down to a loose connection where the big ribbon plugs into the main board. I have to work on some of the settings again, now that it seems to want to co-operate. F2 goes to a set-up menu where you get to pick lots of options...I have it close to being right, but it still wants to ask me what operating system I want to use, and it only has the one. Before I plugged the ribbon in all the way, I had re-formatted and started installing XP, but it pooped out. I'll start it again and that might fix it up.

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212,

you might find that that Dell is propriatary (spelling). Which means it will only work with original Dell components. I had one here that was like that. I ended up getting rid of it, giving my grandson my old computer and buying a new one for myself. Just could not get the Dell to run right.

Don

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