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Self loading image of xp for dell latitude L400

Last response: in Windows XP
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April 4, 2010 6:24:27 PM

Hello,
If this has been addressed in the forums; then apologies all around.

I have a Dell Latitude L400. The HDD has been low level formatted and is clean, I also know it to be fully operational (I was the one that did it). It won't boot from the USB port, so there is no hope of loading XP back onto it through a usb dvd drive. I have read that there is a docking port adapter for this thing, but the cost of finding one; well, you do the math.

I have tried repeatedly to 'preload' DOS or even XP (sans drivers till I can just get it running) to no avail. Call it Karma or stupidity, but I simply can not find a definitive answer as to how to get anything onto the laptop drive stable enough to get Xp to load normally.

Forget the preloading from another computer because all it does is 'windows' logo and then blue screen, so that's out. and no amount of bios jocky-ing is going to do it either.

And just to be redundant, this isn't a netbook or current technology that recognizes booting from the usb port, so we can skip that too.

ANY help on this topic would be extraordinarily helpful and make the individual who can solve this a god.

Thanks for the help up front.
April 4, 2010 7:06:03 PM

lordrussell said:
Hello,
If this has been addressed in the forums; then apologies all around.

I have a Dell Latitude L400. The HDD has been low level formatted and is clean, I also know it to be fully operational (I was the one that did it). It won't boot from the USB port, so there is no hope of loading XP back onto it through a usb dvd drive. I have read that there is a docking port adapter for this thing, but the cost of finding one; well, you do the math.

I have tried repeatedly to 'preload' DOS or even XP (sans drivers till I can just get it running) to no avail. Call it Karma or stupidity, but I simply can not find a definitive answer as to how to get anything onto the laptop drive stable enough to get Xp to load normally.

Forget the preloading from another computer because all it does is 'windows' logo and then blue screen, so that's out. and no amount of bios jocky-ing is going to do it either.

And just to be redundant, this isn't a netbook or current technology that recognizes booting from the usb port, so we can skip that too.

ANY help on this topic would be extraordinarily helpful and make the individual who can solve this a god.

Thanks for the help up front.



No God here but just a human checking a thing or three. Does this laptop not have a CD ROM? When a USB CD ROM is plugged in, does BIOS not recognise it. Thirdly, even though it may not "support" USB booting, does your BIOS not have a setting for Legacy Support and if so, is it set to enabled?


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April 5, 2010 6:08:41 PM

I'll definitely settle for the human kind... The notebook is literally too old for legacy anything, because it 'is' legacy... It has no cd-rom and just 1 usb port. There is a location for a docking station (I am assuming) so , no hope of legacy control on that order... As for a usb cd-rom, the green {go?} light on the player glows and the laptop continues looking for a bootable device. I can only assume that it doesn't like or never intended to boot from a usb device. And then there is the obvious, "did I not have" scenario... I actually inherited this imp (sans ANY external devices, other than the power adapter) and thought all would be well if I just low level formatted the hdd (via a working computer and a usb to 2.5 adapter). That's when the sheer stupidity of the whole thing kicked in about no bootable devices. And lastly, there is probably a docking station for this thing that would end my pining, but I am too old and too too tight to do the ebay shuffle. I was just hoping that there was a way to get XP onto the drive so that it would boot and install itself (kind of like when you get a new computer and sit for 3 hours waiting to enjoy the new machine). Thus I sit more confused than ever...

OH! and thank you for answering my plea for help!
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April 5, 2010 6:44:41 PM

lordrussell said:
I'll definitely settle for the human kind... The notebook is literally too old for legacy anything, because it 'is' legacy... It has no cd-rom and just 1 usb port. There is a location for a docking station (I am assuming) so , no hope of legacy control on that order... As for a usb cd-rom, the green {go?} light on the player glows and the laptop continues looking for a bootable device. I can only assume that it doesn't like or never intended to boot from a usb device. And then there is the obvious, "did I not have" scenario... I actually inherited this imp (sans ANY external devices, other than the power adapter) and thought all would be well if I just low level formatted the hdd (via a working computer and a usb to 2.5 adapter). That's when the sheer stupidity of the whole thing kicked in about no bootable devices. And lastly, there is probably a docking station for this thing that would end my pining, but I am too old and too too tight to do the ebay shuffle. I was just hoping that there was a way to get XP onto the drive so that it would boot and install itself (kind of like when you get a new computer and sit for 3 hours waiting to enjoy the new machine). Thus I sit more confused than ever...

OH! and thank you for answering my plea for help!



I'll do the e-Bay shuffle - I'm only 63! :D  There's a port replicator (docking thing) on e-Bay for about twelve dollars US - £7.99 in good old British pounds and not much hope of going any higher. That has a Network Interface so if there isn't one on the laptop itself, it would be ideal because you could then install from another machine.

Sadly, though, having read the specs, I doubt it would support XP which, these days, needs at least 512Mb of RAM. Console yourself that you could also install a Linux Operating System through a network (far better in lots of ways anyway), kiss goodbye to firewalls and anti-virus programmes and keep the old box going for a few more years. My personal preference is PCLinuxOS from the dotcom site of the same name - take a look, you might like it.


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April 5, 2010 8:27:59 PM

Thanks a heap for the help. I've used nLite to get XP down to running on 128mb of memory (albeit REaLly bad, but it does run) and in iso form, but just can't get over the hump of putting it on the HDD and then stick it back in the laptop to install itself. A guy can dream I suppose...
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April 6, 2010 6:34:31 AM

[#0005ff]My last shot at this - and what I'd do in the circumstances, is to whip that hard disk out and slave it to another machine. However, that's easy for me to say because I already have the equipment but you'd need to buy a 2.5" convertor box to turn a hard disk into a USB device. It also causes problems of drivers because those that will appear in the new c:\windows\inf will be those of the computer to which the slave is connected but if you're up to the challenge, I'll write it up for you.[/#000ff]
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