Windows Legacy OS forum


need boot disk

by padyboy / May 20, 2012 1:14 PM PDT

Hello again.
I am attempting to resurect an old Dell Dimension 5150 so I will have a unit I can use for learning purposes and won't have to bother you guys so much. I do not have the mouse.

It was running Win XP, but os will not start. The hd needs reformatting. There doesn't seem to be any info on where I can get a dependable msdos boot disk; presumably I can use the old reformat command from there?
I was hoping I could download the file(s) and create my own floppy disk from there.
Need advice. Holiday here tomorrow, so stores are closed.

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All Answers

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Finding a dos boot disk
by lacsr / May 20, 2012 8:48 PM PDT
In reply to: need boot disk

Have a look here:
It should also be possible to make a boot disk with the necessary items on a functioning Windows computer, provided it has a floppy drive.
BTW: Make sure the restore media is available to reinstall the OS. Normally, that media will also be able to reformat the hard drive.

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which one?
by padyboy / May 21, 2012 12:30 AM PDT
Grin Thank you for the reference.

However, there are so many products listed, I am uncertain as to which one to choose,
"Multitask Utilities Suite" seems to be the one to get.

Any specific recommendations would be greatly appreciated,
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No. No. No.
by mchainmchain / May 21, 2012 3:15 PM PDT
In reply to: which one?

'"Multitask Utilities Suite" seems to be the one to get.'





All reviews gotten from Google here:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=d26384b3edd27057&biw=1280&bih=861

Read user comments re no delivery of cd after payment received, etc.

I'd stay away.

Read what others say about getting a computer to run ok, Ubuntu is a good choice, and it is free.

Otherwise, go and get the floppy disk set here for XP here:

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Re: boot disk
by Kees_B Forum moderator / May 20, 2012 9:07 PM PDT
In reply to: need boot disk

Most likely, any Windows 98 or Windows ME bootdisk won't be able to partition and format the drive, because it is too big. And if it does, it only does it in FAT-format, which you don't need for XP (with XP, one prefers NTFS).

As lacsr already said, any OS install disk will let you partition and format the disk. So no need for a separate step before you install the OS. What OS are you planning to install/


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os install
by padyboy / May 20, 2012 11:25 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: boot disk

I intend to install Win XP Home Edition, This wasthe OS used previously and I have the OS disk, I think.
The disk is labelled "Drivers", which I previously ordered from HP; no disk included with original purchase.
Hope this wprks!!!!

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Re: drivers
by Kees_B Forum moderator / May 21, 2012 6:03 AM PDT
In reply to: os install

The drivers disk, usually, contains drivers and utility software. It doesn't contain the OS. Moreover, it's very unlikely that a disc you bought from HP will work on your Dell. So that seems a dead end.

Time to find out if the PC has a recovery partition to boot from to bring the system back to factory conditions. A Dell should have one, if it didn't come with a disk, and still has the original hard disk. In fact, the first 2 hits of are the user manual and the instruction on how to use "Symantec Factory Restore" on your PC.
Much better than an HP disk!


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by padyboy / May 21, 2012 10:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: drivers

This hard disk was previously contaminated by a virus, a particularly malignant one. Thus it must be reformatted before I can do anything else. Thus I belive it is effectivel not the original hard disk.
I must proceed with preparation of an msdos boot disk by download of the appropriate file as suggested previously. Then reformat from there.
Thus I will have to acquire the Win XP OS somewherw else, if that is possible. But first step is the boot up, then reformat.

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In the interim.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 21, 2012 10:25 AM PDT
In reply to: reply

You can boot and run Ubuntu and for some folk, the Chrome Browser and other apps may be enough.

Not only that, rarely have to find drivers. Besides it being free.

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Re: formatting
by Kees_B Forum moderator / May 21, 2012 5:17 PM PDT
In reply to: reply

You don't format a disk. You format only a partition. There's a very good chance that this hidden recovery partition is unchanged and fully original. Did you try?

Alternatives for a good old boot diskette (which only will make a too small FAT32 partition, I'm afraid) are:
- GPARTED live CD to delete the old partition that was the c-drive
- DBAN to totally erase the disk, including the hidden recovery partition. Not a good idea if you don't have to OS CD in my opinion.

But even if you prefer to buy a Windows XP install CD, you can use that also to delete the partition and make a new one. There really is no need to do that as a separate step from a diskette.


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by padyboy / May 22, 2012 10:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: formatting

Can I do all this if the hd has been contaminated previously by a virus???

Previous info from this site stated that reformat was only way to condition hd for further use.

Nobody has mentioned if these steps will work with my contaminated hard disk.


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WOW, you sure have a mess on your hands.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 22, 2012 11:25 AM PDT
In reply to: reply

Looking at your posts in the past month can you tell the forum what happened?

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WOW is correct
by padyboy / May 22, 2012 11:29 PM PDT
Plain At this stage I am totally confused.
There appear to be posts in disagreement with each other.

As a result of my present state of mayhem, I am stepping back for a time, until I can get my head together.
Few have discussed the effect of the virus contamination on their recommendations.

Thank you for all the input. I must rest so that I do not get discouraged.


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What happened?
by padyboy / May 23, 2012 5:29 AM PDT

You are correct, Mr. Proffitt. I do indeed have a MESS on my hands.
What happened is that I got so many different comments from so many different people that I am now more confused than ever. I am no closer to a solution than when I began.

I must therefore revert to the initial recommendation that I must wipe this hard drive clean. Someone said I must run this program several times to ensure success.
I must therefore mark this question as 'closed' but not 'resolved' since it hasn't been solved to my limited understanding. I am sure there are others who require your expertise.
Thank you to all who participated, though.

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reply 2
by padyboy / May 22, 2012 10:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: formatting

Do I not have to boot into MSDOS before I can do anything?

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What MS-DOS is
by mchainmchain / May 22, 2012 3:25 PM PDT
In reply to: reply 2

Is a separate, older, and different operating system than XP Home Edition. It is the grandaddy of all Microsoft operating systems.

Unless you know how to work the command prompt in DOS, you really cannot do much of anything with it, except to format and partition your hard drive. If you do know the arcane commands, and the syntax and the language, then it can be a very useful operating system.

Limitation of formatting and partitioning in DOS is that it cannot see a drive larger than 2 GB (Gigabytes), which as Kees says above, is too small for you to use. If you have a drive that is 40 GB, then you would have to make 20 partitions to use all the available space, and DOS will not let you do that. It cannot, as it was never designed for this.

As Microsoft has introduced each newer operating system, each of them has brought greater capabilities built into them, from Windows 3.1 to Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Along with each successive introduction has come more RAM, faster processors, and larger hard drives.

The only way this will work for you is to obtain a legal CD-ROM copy of Windows XP before you use the floppy disk set to start the CD-ROM drive and then, and only then, install XP from there. XP will format and partition the hard drive for you when you begin your installation.

You need a full retail copy of the XP disc, and it should come with SP3 as part of the package.

Having SP3 already installed will save a lot of time in updating your system. As it is, there are now over 100+ updates that must be installed after you successfully install XP Home Edition. This will still take some time to do.

Newer computers do not need a floppy drive to start them, and many made today do not come with them. Merely placing the install CD-ROM in the CD-ROM bay will start the computer when it is first turned on, and installation will begin from that point on.

Without the full XP installation disc, there will be nothing to install as an operating system.

Your XP CD-ROM will start your system for you when you insert it in the CD-ROM drive bay and turn your computer on. So that is what you need. You should not need the floppy set.

To ensure that no viruses remain on the hard drive you want to use, use this free hard drive wiping program, Using this program will ensure that no data or viruses remain after running it, and the hard drive will be in pristine condition, like new, in factory condition. As it is quite thorough, it will take quite a bit of time to complete. After that is done, you can install XP without any worries.

So I would not bother with the floppy set.

We can also point the way for you to find the drivers you will need to make XP run as it should. It's a Dell 5150, right?

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