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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    External CD drive vs Internal CD Drive

    I am helping a friend who has a Dell Inspiron 2500. The system needs to be reformatted and WIN XP re-installed. The internal CD drive will not recognize any CDs. I have tested several different ones. It will spin up but not recognize the CD. I have an external CD drive (connected through a USB port) . Would it be possible to reinstall WIN XP using the external CD drive and not the internal CD drive?

  2. #2
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    Re: External CD drive vs Internal CD Drive

    You could check the BIOS to see if there is an option to boot from a USB device, but I suspect this is a fairly new feature... (I don't know how old an Inspiron 2500 is)

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
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    Re: External CD drive vs Internal CD Drive

    Yes, it is possible to install Windows XP from external USB CD drive. Just press F12 during bootup (when Dell splash screen appears) and select the drive from devices menu.

    Probably your CD drive is damaged or dirty. If it is a slim drive, try to clean the lens with extreme caution. If the drive does not recognize any CD from inside Windows, replace the drive.

    It is recommended to upgrade BIOS before installing Windows XP. Also it is better (but not necessary) to download appropriate drivers and install them on fresh Windows installation. Visit

    Inspiron 2500 Drivers & Downloads

    and choose the downloads.

  4. #4
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    Re: External CD drive vs Internal CD Drive

    The F12 key does not bring up the "select devices" boot menu. Any idea as to which F key will do that? I changed the BIOS BOOT Sequence to boot from CD ROM before HARD DRIVE but it is not booting from the external CD drive.

  5. #5
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    Re: External CD drive vs Internal CD Drive

    Where can I find a replacement CD Drive for my Inspiron 2500?

  6. #6
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    Re: External CD drive vs Internal CD Drive

    Have you tried Dell, they just may have one or two?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  7. #7
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    Re: External CD drive vs Internal CD Drive

    Well, it won't be booting from an external CD-ROM because it doesn't know about it! That boot option is for the internal CD-ROM.

    That's why I asked whether you had the BIOS option to boot from a USB device...!

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  8. #8
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    Re: External CD drive vs Internal CD Drive

    I found a replacement CD drive and installed it and all is working A-OK.

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