1/ You need to try and get that CD booting first, although there are other ways which I will tell you later, lets first get the CD to boot.
2/ Does the message appear during the boot process asking if you want to boot to your CD?
3/ Also is it the original or a copy you made?
4/ If the disk is not the "original" this is your problem. If it is the original, you need to give it a clean in some warm lightly soapy water and wipe with a very soft cloth - get your brother to make a copy using a disk at once copy - that way you will know if it has any bad spots - making a copy can sometime produce a better quality disk for booting. The system only gives the CD a few seconds to boot so if the disk is hard to read it tries the next boot device.
5/ check to see if the light on the CDROM is coming on when you boot.
6/ If the above fails you will need to download the boot floppy disk set from from M$ - this is the Home edition:
7/ once you have made a set of floppies you just then have to boot to the floppy drive
8/ the following link is from Dell to tell you how to do a clean install
9/ Note that even if you do a clean install your non systems folder where your programs are stored wont be deleted - but they wont be register with the system and therefore you will have to reinstall them - this is probably what has happened on your last attempt!!!!!! - so you may have already a clean install - it just a matter of deleting and reinstalling those programs.
Ok, well I hope you guys can help me on this one. I have a dell 8300 and windows xp and ive been getting some bugs where i couldn't even dl SP2 or update directX, so I decided I wanted to do a clean reinstall and start from scratch. I backed up all the files i wanted and i got out my windows xp sp1 reinstall cd that came with my dell. I didn't know what I was doing so i followed a website that said to change the bios to boot from a CD drive first. I did this, but it refused to boot from the cd. So I gave up and just ran windows and put in the reinstall cd there. I told it to install, and it did. It then said later on what drives i wanted to partition, and the website had said delete them all, but it said deleting the main partition would delete crucial files for windows so it wouldn't let me. So i just installed on same drive that already had windows and toild it to override old stuff. This left me with what appeared a new clean windows, but all my programs and files still remained, so what i hoped for didnt happen.
My question for you is: what can I do now to complete a clean reinstall?
If i could get some really basic steps to follow it would be a huge help.
Also, I currently can't even get on the internet because my cable modem isn't being recognized (I'm on my brothers computer). So, if someone could explain how to get the newly cleaned windows to use my cable modem that would help also.
So if you could help me with the clean reinstall and getting my internet working again, I would really appreciate it.