Restore from recovery disks

I have two Dell E510s, my original (this one) has some problems so I need to do a complete reinstall of XP but I couldn’t get the recovery discs since it was so old. FWIW It does not accept any new drivers for the printer, mouse or anything else. I bought another one off Ebay that had the recovery discs for $27 which should solve that problem. So I figured I would restore the one I just bought so that I would be the administrator and to practice before doing this one. I googled how to do it and came up with two conflicting ways. First I booted the system then tried to load the CD but it said I needed to reboot with the CD installed. So I tried that and it didn’t do anything other than power up.
What am I missing???


I don’t have a Dell . On my boot screen I can select F12 for a boot device .
It has to be in the startup order in the BIOS.
Or you need to go into your BIOS & set your CD\DVD drive as the first in the startup or boot order.
It should then boot from the recovery CD.

Some computers have a recovery mode on the boot screen as well & some don’t.
If your computer does you may need to use it .

After F12 the choices are -
Onboard SATA Hard Drive
System Setup
Hard Drive Diagnostics
Boot to Utility Partition


I Googled your computer & it says F2 is for entering the BIOS.

You might try System Setup . That might be where the boot order is set up.

The Utility partition may be what your computer has instead of recovery discs.
I would take a look at that also.

If those don’t help try F2 & see it there is a start up or boot order that is setable.

If the above two from F12 don’t offer a way to use the recovery disc or possible "recovery partition " on the hard drive . Many times those are hidden.
Your CD/DVD drive has to be first in the boot order.
If you need to boot from the recovery disc.

I found the problem I had to clear the CMOS to recognize teh CD-ROM so that it would reboot from the CD. Thanks anyway.