Dell Latitude CP

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Question (about Dell Latitude CP)

Please Help! How to Reformat a Dell Latitude CPx laptop

Hoping you all can help me out. My Dell Latitude CPx isn't working. When I boot up, it shows the Dell logo and the boot process but instead of going to the windows screen, the screen goes blank and in the middle of the page there is only ">>_" I can't type anything in the cursor and enter doesn't work. I'm not sure what I can try to fix this.....Any ANY help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!

2 Answer

  • peakcrew peakcrew | United Kingdom | Subject Experience (show)
    Hi, yabbledabble,

    A bit more information would be useful.

    Which version of Windows are you using? Was it working fine before this episode? If yes, had you installed any new programs or hardware just before it went belly-up?

    Has the number of beeps changed when you switch the machine on? (It should be one short beep). Is the drive light coming on? If not, switch on the machine, then keep hitting the "Del" button until you get the bios screen up - is the hard drive being recognised?

    Let me know the answer to these, and we'll see what we can do.


    • yabbledabble yabbledabble
      Hi Jeremy,

      It's Windows 2000. I was able to get to the system setup screen and alt-p to get the drive page. The HDD hard drive was not active, so I changed that to recognize. Now when I reboot it says "No bootable devices -- Strike F1 to try to reboot, F2 for system utility". No new programs were installed before it went down.

      Thanka again!

      16 Jul 2005
    • peakcrew peakcrew
      Hi, Jamie,
      Hmmm - typical: you have the only version of Windows I don't know much about! However, it sounds as if you have had something attack the boot sector of the hard drive (if you're lucky, it is a virus - if not, the hard drive may be physically damaged).

      Can you hear the hard disk spinning up? If yes, we may be alright. Then, do you have a boot floppy (sometimes called a rescue disk)? If not, let me know and I'll attach the files, or point you in the direction to find them. If you do, let the computer boot from the floppy, and type "fdisk" (at least, I'm assuming Win 2000 works the same way as other versions). The fdisk command should enable you to see the drives on the machine, and whether they are bootable. In the first instance, if we are lucky, just making C drive bootable again will cure the problem, though you will need to find out why this happened in the first place - what antivirus do you run?

      Try this and get back to me if you need to.


      16 Jul 2005
    • yabbledabble yabbledabble
      Unfortunately, no boot disk, I'd appeciate any files or links you can send to me. The drive does make noise on boot up then beeps twice and goes to the previous error message I mentioned.

      Thanks again for the help!

      16 Jul 2005
    • peakcrew peakcrew
      Please find attached a zip file with the Win 98 boot files. Unzip it to a floppy, and then boot from it. There is a Readme file, but for now, just running fdisk should give you some idea.

      I've just been Google searching this problem, and found someone who had much the same problem - see

      Unfortunately, it seems that, rather than the hard drive, it may be the motherboard that has malfunctioned. The site there has some links to solutions for the problem.

      I don't want to leave you in the lurch, but I have to leave the computer now. You might find more on this subject at - you need to register (free) first, but there should be something there to help.

      I hope I am wrong about this problem, because I'd hate you to have a dead computer!

      Please feel free to get back in touch if you need to - I might take a couple of days to get back to you, though.

      Good luck,

      16 Jul 2005
  • Djbpcs Djbpcs | Netherlands, Gelderland | Subject Experience (show)
    check what boot priority order is given, it should be Hard disk (hdd) > cd/rom etc.

    check foir viruses

    come back if this doesn't solve the problem

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