re-installation of orginal software on Dell inspiron 531


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re-installation of orginal software on Dell inspiron 531

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Evening, would appreicate some guidance.

summary- my desktop is a dell inspiron 531, purchased about 5 years ago. OS is Windows XP

The Hard drive was damaged by a virus so I purchased a seagate 500GB SATA hard drive and installed it. The PC recognizes it.

I have all the original disks that came with the computer as well as the Windows XP "upgrade" disk.

I tried to load the Windows upgrade disk but I got a message that said: "this is an upgrade CD, please insert the full Windows XP and press enter". I figured I needed to install the origianl Dell software so I loaded the Dell disk (one that came with the PC) that is labeled "For reinstalling Dell Inspiron 531/531s Computer software"

it went through some prompts until I got this message:

"Your CD/DVD drive during this boot cycle is f:

"A RAMDISK drive is available for this boot cycle as C: It contains several Hard Drive setup tools. Please use these tools only under the direction of Dell Suport Staff.


I called Dell and they wanted $80.00 to walk me through the process.

Since I have all the original disks that came with the PC and the Windows XP upgrade disk, can someone tell me how to re-install the original software?

I would greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide




All Replies
  • If you're going to go to the trouble of reinstalling Windows, I suggest Windows 7, as support for XP is ending in under three months. For $80, you can get a new copy of Windows 7 Home Premium from Newegg. (Use code EMCPWGP45 at checkout -- this code is good for another 24 hours.) 

    I think your XP disc is an upgrade and expects an earlier version of Windows. If you can find another XP disk (full version) and product key, you can install XP and then use the Microsoft product key change utility to activate with your 531's product key.


  • thanks for your is what I don't understand,,,,

    I have the origianl install disks + my windows XP upgrade disk. Is it not possible to use what I have instead buying a new OS?

  • The main reason to update is that Microsoft is ending support for XP in mid-April. If you're going to go to the trouble of reinstalling Windows, it's recommended to install a supported version that will continue to receive security patches and bug fixes.

    If you insist on XP and you can borrow a full version copy with a key (the XP installer demands a key), you can install that without activating and activate using the Microsoft product key switcher and your 531's XP product key.