What Bios revision do you have on this 1100? If it's older than "A22", then you can burn a bootable CD ISO to update the bios to A22, and then after that's successful, to the last revision, which I think is A32.
Dell changed the bioses on the 1100 from Phoenix bioses to Dell bioses. I've read reports such as yours where flashing to the Dell bios (A22 first, remember) can cure the setup issue. Of course, it will be preferable to go to the last updated bios after that. I have an 1100 and 5100 (same family).
Let me quickly start by noting that I have familiarized and comprehensively searched every forum for assistance on this issue, and have attempted multiple fixes for the following problem. That said, if anyone absolutely knows what my problem is, and if is addressed elsewhere, please direct me. If not, thank you VERY MUCH in advance for your help!
History: 30 GB HD filled up on Fiance's Inspiron 1100. I purchased a compatible 60 GB HD, enclosure, and then I cloned the original HD to the larger one.
Then, after restarting the computer with the original drive still in the case, the computer failed to boot.
So, after attempting to fix the original boot issue, I physically installed the new, 60 GB HD with the cloned drive on it. The computer fired right up. I was elated. Then I ran defrag. Not a good Idea.
Defrag crashed at about 40% complete. I attempted to reboot the computer, to no avail. The computer seems to boot fine, but then gets stuck permanently at the Windows XP loading screen. The loading bar moves, the mouse moves, yada yada. Nothing else.
I CAN boot in safe mode, and access all my files (which i DID backup first). However, I want the damn thing to work, considering I just bought the new HD and the computer otherwise worked just fine.
I ran CHKDSK from the recovery console, which found errors, but did no good. Then I ran CHKDSK /r, which took about 24 hours to complete. Errors found, some "unrecoverable," to no avail.
I CANNOT access my system startup BIOS w/F2 (or any other key) during startup, no matter how early i start to tap the key. That is strange to me. Thus, I cannot boot from the XP CD.
What do you all think my options are? The HD is physically OK, I think. The fact that safemode seems to function pretty flawlessly is a good sign, right?
I have read to use bartPE to correct the registry. I have read to reinstall (?) the BIOS. I am ready to re-format the HD and re-install XP, but I'm not sure how to do this, or if I can do this via DOS or the recovery console, as again, I cannot access the system startup settings to change the boot sequence.
Again, at this point, is there a way to fix this? If not, can I sweep off the HD and re-install XP? How might I do that?
You people are great - I look forward to hearing from you all.