On one machine the owner bought a new drdrw drive. The other they just wanted it fixed without fixing/replacing the drive. We booted from an USB DVDRW drive, reinstalled the OS and for the 120 bucks we charge for the install I'm unsure why they wanted no new 25 buck drive while we are in there. It didn't make sense since an easy install is only 60 then 25 for the drive. Gotta wonder.
I installed XP home edition from an older computer (which I intended on wiping and selling) on a T30 IBM Thinkpad, but decided to buy XP Pro to install on the laptop and leave XP Home on the older computer. I never activated XP Home on the laptop and it went past the activation expiration date. I thought no big deal, I just install and reformat the HDD with the new XP Pro OS.
Here's the problem, now I can't get ANY bootable disc to start up in the laptop. I went to the bios boot sequence and made the CD drive priority, but that didn't help. I made the CD drive the only thing to boot from and still nothing. The drive was working fine right up to when the expiration date was crossed. I check the XP Pro OS CD in another machine and it booted with the disc and wanted to install the software just fine...so OS CD is good.
On the laptop I cannot get past the loop of, "Do you want to activate...". If I say yes and try to get to an internet explorer screen so I can get access to the local drives it won't let me; actually stops on the screen just before the one I need and starts the loop again. There is no floppy in the laptop, but there is USB ports; unfortunately I do not have the ability to burn a CD.
How can I force a boot from the CD or wipe out just enough of the HDD to make it stop the loop and let me load the new OS? I'm guessing that if I can get the laptop to see the new OS CD that I'll be able to install XP Pro and all will be fine...I hope Thanks in advance for your help!