Reinstalling Windows on a Dell Dimension 2400

A friend asked me to have a look at his PC last week because he was having a problem starting the computer. More specifically he was getting a blue screen with “STOP 0X000006B PROCESS1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED”. As far as I can make out, this type of error occurs because there is a required system file missing. No information on which file is missing or damaged. But what else can you expect from a blue screen of death?

Apparently he was doing a Windows Update and the system stopped responding so he turned it off. Now this type of error doesn’t bug me so much. After working with Windows for so long, it’s pretty much expected that whenever anything goes wrong it will result with an unrecoverable blue screen error that will prevent you from being able to even attempt to fix the problem.

No the blue screen doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is Dell’s restore process. Especially the part where the manual says to tap CTRL+F11 when booting to start the restore process. Expect for this particular model it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because it was never installed. This wouldn’t be too bad, but these days Dell don’t ship restore CD’s with their PC’s. They have to be ordered. Now there might be a restore program accessible from Windows, but a fat lot of good that will do when Windows won’t even start in Safe Mode.

So it looks like I’ll have to install Windows into a different location on the hard drive and then see if I can locate the restore program. If not, I’ll have to do a vanilla install of Windows and install the various applications separately. And that’s going to be a real pain.