You might try a new hardrive, and make the old dell a secondary (slave). If you install your new operating system on the new drive, the dell drive might be configured by windows 7 as a secondary drive. I use windows 7 ultimate which works with xp files. I've seen 1 tb drives as low as $45 lately in the usa.
dont reeally get what u mean. i think this happen because i press on to the Boot system when the com is loading. i think i press onto something that make this happen. it always reset my time after it appear this invalid configuration