Inspiron 1520 - Unable to boot from CD/USB

ZowieHowie

Diamond Member
Sep 23, 2002
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A coworker of mine brought over her Dell Inspiron 1520 Laptop for a reformat and upgrade to the OS (dual boot of XP and Ubuntu).

I went into the BIOS, but there is a master password, not allowing any changes to the BIOS (including not allowing me to change the first boot device to CD/DVD drive). Dell is willing to provide us with the "password unique to the machine" for $75 since the computer is out of warranty (by 6+ years).

I was thinking of putting the hard drive in another laptop formatting, and loading WindowsXP (all the files until it does the first complete restart),and then putting it back in the Dell laptop. I would then load Ubuntu from within Windows (assuming it's possible).

Would this method even work? This is the first machine I've ever done work on that has not allowed me to boot from CD, so I'm hoping there is an easier method than what I'm planning on trying.
 

Bubbaleone

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2011
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No; the BIOS password is in NVRAM and regardless of any installed drive/s, you'll still have no access to the BIOS setup utility without it.

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Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
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If you use a Dell version of Windows XP (or a copy of Windows that will otherwise activate), your plan should work assuming the hardware is not too different (not going Intel to AMD for example). Hopefully your coworker still has the OS and driver CD.

That doesn't solve the problem for Installing ubuntu, unless you go about that OS install in the same manner.

I might just encourage them to pay the $75 and call it a lesson learned. And if they don't want to pay Dell, you could tell them that they would need to pay you the $75, as installing 2 OSs this manner would be a major pain.
 

ArisVer

Golden Member
Mar 6, 2011
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I see them going for about $40 on ebay. Why pay $75 to Dell? Change the motherboard and you'll be fine. And you will get an extra PSU, battery, etc (maybe, I haven't checked details).
 

ZowieHowie

Diamond Member
Sep 23, 2002
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Got windows loaded by swapping the HDD and loading windows on another laptop. Then, I put the drive back in the original laptop. I did need to get drivers from Dell's site, but everything looks to be working now