Or your didn't install the supplemental Dell CD. It would have drivers and more. There isn't much in your post to work with as you didn't give us a full blow by blow detailed install procedure. I know some that use a XP CD and forget the supplemental CD. They would post something like you did.
Then again a failing hard disk could make for a 2 day install.
I have a newly acquired Dell 4300s that is slowly(key word here) driving me crazy. As per previous owners desires I formatted the 20 gb hard drive and installed windows xp.Dell media center version. took TWO FREAKIN DAYS. Changed memory out to 512 MB and replaced the HD with a 300 GB then after a successful install, the screen shows a pastoral scene, but no icons. no start button,trash can,or ANYTHING else. CTRL-ALT-DEL reveals the only thing i can pull up. CPU is at 100% usage all the time. runs like a stunned slug. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.