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Can't access XP in order to format hard drive

I am trying to format a Dell Dimension 2400 with XP Home Edition SP3 on it. I didn't have the original discs but got Dell to send them. Now the problem is that I tried to do a repair install (big mistake) and I can't access Windows because it wants me to register the program. I can't access the internet unless I am logged on to Windows because I have a USB modem. Now, I think I want to do a reformat and I can't get get the computer to boot from the cd drive. I did go and change the boot sequence, but for some reason it will not boot from the cd. I did a test and the cd drive is working and reading cd's.
Can I reformat from the C: prompt?
Can I even access the C: prompt?
If I can reformat from the C: prompt, will it recognize the cd drive?

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Re: your questions

1. No, you can't reformat from the C:\prompt
2. Only if you can get into Windows or boot from the CD into the recovery console. But see #1.
3. No, that is irrelevant if the PC is set to boot from a bootable CD.

I'd fix the non-booting from CD first. Start with trying this CD on another PC. Then download any bootable CD-image and burn it (as an iso, not as a file) to a CD and try that.


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RE: Can't access XP in order to format hard drive.

I got it! After restarting close to a million times, it finally worked! (Well, not a million) I don't know what happened differently but it worked.

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