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From: LVTravel on 18 Mar 2010 17:56
"Doum" <me(a)domain.net> wrote in message
> "Anonamoose" <aetoo(a)hotmail.com> �crivait
>> I presume this was labeled a used or off-lease computer or you have
>> been swindled by Dell as there is no way a hard drive that has not
>> been previously loaded with Vista could ever show anything related to
>> Vista. A computer sold as new cannot have a used hard drive: there is
>> no wiggle room. If you cannot get to safe mode in your XP installation
>> and are seeing a remnant of a former Vista install your XP setup is
>> seriously faulty/hosed and the most expedient thing to do is
>> reformat/reinstall. I would use a program like Magic Jelly Beans to
>> get the XP installation key from the registry first. as well as make
>> the usual back-ups. Vista and XP use different boot loaders and if XP
>> is your only OS it appears that the XP installation did not completely
>> wipe out a prior Vista install. The sooner you bite the bullet the
>> less painful it will be. Microsoft OSes being what they are, including
>> Win7, sooner or later you will absolutely need to get to safe mode.
> If the CD key revealed by Magic Jelly Bean is the Dell volume key for
> purpose, it shouldn't be used on a new install, the OP should use the key
> on the sticker applied on the case if he reinstall using a generic OEM XP
> cd matching the type (Home or Pro) and language. If he reinstalls using a
> "Factory restore" disk or partition, he shouldn't need a key.
> But as mention by others, there shouldn't be Vista traces if the machine
> was bought new and there was no attempt to install Vista, it must be
> resolved by Dell.
I am wondering if this machine was one that was shipped with XP Pro on it as
a "downgrade" from Vista. I have an HP laptop that this was the way I
purchased it. If I hit the wrong key on boot-up the drive restore program
attempts to start and this has Vista on it. When you purchase the machine
with downgrade the Vista restore is generally installed and they only
overwrite the system partition with the XP image. I am also wondering if
the OP is pressing the F8 key for safe mode or hitting another key which is
attempting to start the system restore.