Quick n dirty Guide to Re-installing Windows XP on a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (910)
For fun to get blood pressure to suitable level.
- Go to Dell website and look-up the manual for the netbook. Note they mention re-installing operating system requires a optical drive and installation media. They forgot to add “Sucks to be you if you don’t have it”.
- Curse Dell for not providing restoration disc or thumb drive and wasting your time.
On a separate Windows machine
- Download WinToFlash (http://wintoflash.com/download/en/)
- Prepare a USB thumbdrive (1GB or more) and Windows XP CD-Rom (don’t have it? Borrow a suitable version that matches your netbook’s license)
- Unzip WinToFlash
- Run WinToFlash specifying your Windows XP CD Drive and USB Drive and let it transfer. Wizard mode works.
- Plug USB drive (with XP transferred) to Netbook
- Boot from USB Drive on Netbook
- Choose Option 1, run through XP setup process in text gui. Take note which your windows is going on, 1 (dell formatted) or 2 (most probably the case)?
- When done copying files, boot in Option 2 in graphical gui.
- When XP is done with setup, you might encounter a hal.dll missing error.
- Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>system32hal.dll
- Continue to boot from USB but select the debug boot “Debug boot rDisk 1 partition 2″ in boot.ini on USB drive [multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)WINDOWS=”Debug boot rDisk 1 partition 2” /fastdetect]
- Allow Windows to finish setup
- Fix c:boot.ini (hidden file) to set default boot to “multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)”
- Copy i386 from USB drive to c:
- Start patching and installing Dell drivers from Dell support site
- Curse Dell again for not providing restoration disc or thumb drive and wasting your time.
This is quick guide for me to read if I ever need to do this again (I hope not). Works for me, if it doesn’t work for you. Post questions to WinToFlash forums instead.