Reinstalling XP on Dell Latitude

Ferral_Imp

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Hey peeps (this time I'm not responsible)

I've been trying to figure out how to reinstall windows xp on my brother's laptop for the past few days because he messed up the registry with a registry cleaner about a week ago. A few weeks before he messed around with the registry, he spilled tea on the laptop which caused the enter and down arrow keys to stop working. So I can't reinstall xp unless I can find a way to do it without using the enter key.

I've already tried connecting my usb keyboard to the laptop, but the laptop doesn't acknowledge that the keyboard is connected(there's no ps/2 port on the laptop so I can't try using that keyboard). So I can't use my keyboard to reinstall xp with. I also tried attaching the hard drive to my computer and using the xp disk from dell(I knew it was a longshot but I figured it was worth a try), but I kept being told that the xp key on the laptop was invalid.

So I'm left with trying to figure out a way to reinstall widows without using the enter key because my brother is unlikely to either get the keyboard issues fixed, or get a new computer(unless a working computer falls out of the sky or I win the lotto or something).

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

falconguard

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If there is a dell partition you can press conrol + f11 to hit the dell partition
 

Ferral_Imp

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I''l have to try this a little later, and report back. Thanks Falcon
 

madmatt

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Does the keyboard work prior to boot, prior to Windows starting? If the keyboard does work prior to Windows boot then you can reformat it and it will (should) load the drivers properly.

The notebook may be having problems loading the USB drivers needed for the keyboard. If you can remote to it (XP Pro) then you could remotely manage it and install the driver for it that way.
 

Psyborg

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i assume since it's xp you're trying to install, its a "D-series" latitude...

http://www.laptopbits.co.uk/database_files/Dell_Keyboard.htm

they're not that hard to install, you just remove the bezel by inserting a flat head screwdriver underneath the right hand side. and you'll see it's screwed in with two/three screws at the top, remove these screws and you'll reveal the guts of your laptop, the keyboard connector is obvious from there, hope this helps....
 

Ferral_Imp

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Falcon,
There's only the one partition on the laptop.

MadMatt,
The laptop can't load windows (it displays the screen that says "press f2 to enter bios yadayad", then it displays the page where you can chose to boot up regularly, use the last good configuration etc. When I try to move the cursor using the usb keyboard, nothing happens. And if I try to load windows normally, I get an error message that something in the registry is missing and the computer is beginning a memory dump). So I've only been able to try the usb keyboard prior to it booting into windows.

Shamus MacNoob,
I've told my brother that he needs to replace the keyboard and possibly a few other parts as I don't know all of what he damaged when he spilled the tea on the laptop and kept using it. So far, he hasn't made an effort to buy a replacement keyboard and he's enrolled in an online course that's going to start classes soon(I really don't want to let him near my computer after everything he's done to that poor laptop).

Psyborg,
The laptop is a Latitude C400, and I'm in the U.S. So the link you posted isn't much help to me.


Thanks everyone for the suggestions. It looks like I'll have to start brother-proofing my computer for right now.
 

Electronic Punk

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Can't you attach an external keyboard anyway?

I know you can get C series docks cheap on ebay as well.
 

Henyman

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did you have system restore on? if so you could maunuly restore the old backup of your registry and get it working that with without a reinstall. works really well and easy if you have the backup.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
 

madmatt

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MadMatt,
The laptop can't load windows (it displays the screen that says "press f2 to enter bios yadayad", then it displays the page where you can chose to boot up regularly, use the last good configuration etc. When I try to move the cursor using the usb keyboard, nothing happens. And if I try to load windows normally, I get an error message that something in the registry is missing and the computer is beginning a memory dump). So I've only been able to try the usb keyboard prior to it booting into windows.

F12 will take you to the boot menu. Start pressing it (multiple times) at the POST screen.
 

Ferral_Imp

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Electronic Punk,
I tried using a usb keyboard on the laptop. The laptop didn't detect the keyboard. I'll have to suggest getting a laptop dock to my brother(cuz I'm starting to think he killed the usb port)

Henyman,
It's my brother's computer so I don't know if system restore was turned on or not. I'll have to try the link, and report back later today.

Madmatt,
I've tried hitting f12 and entering the boot setup using the laptop's keyboard. The usb keyboard isn't detected under the boot setup either (I've been assuming that the usb port works because my brother said he used the port to connect a cd burner to the laptop prior to him using the registry cleaner, but I dunno now), and I can't change any settings because you need a working enter key to change anything(grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!).


Thanks guys for the suggestions. I think if Henyman's suggestion doesn't work I'll just give up and tell my brother that he needs to buy a new keyboard.
 

Ferral_Imp

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Ok seeing as the edit button doesn't seem to be working

Henyman,
The procedure requires a working enter button, and the enter button on my brother's laptop doesn't work.

I'll just tell him he needs to get a new keyboard in order to reformat the laptop(I'm tempted to tell him he needs a new computer).

So anyone know how to set up windows firewall so that a user can only view websites on an allowed list and the rest of the internet is blocked(I know how to do this using Norton's Firewall but I don't know how to do it using Windows Firewall)?
 

Henyman

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the other way is hook the laptop up as a slave to anougher computer, then just copy/paste the files. but that assumes you have a 2.5" --> 3.5" adapter like i do :p
 

Shamus MacNoob

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The thing is even if it gets install no enter key is one thing nothing says that the keyboard even works at all now, I really would be looking for a keyboard.
 

Ferral_Imp

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the other way is hook the laptop up as a slave to anougher computer, then just copy/paste the files. but that assumes you have a 2.5" --> 3.5" adapter like i do :p

The closest I come ia a 2.5" ---> usb drive enclosure. I might try using the enclosure if my brother doesn't buy a keyboard in the next week(I'd rather be able to completely reformat the laptop so it doesn't end up in the same state a few weeks from now when my brother tries to uninstall all traces of Medieval Total War again)


Shamus_MacNoob,
The laptop's keyboard works fine except for the enter key, the down arrow key, and the left arrow key. My usb keyboard however, didn't work with the laptop no matter what I tried(my keyboard works fine with my comp so I know there's nothing wrong with the keyboard).

Thanks guys for helping.
 

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