E5400 laptop - Unable to install Windows OS

December 2016


I have a Latitude E5400 that has been left untouched for ages. The Windows XP installed keeps rebooting, and I figured I could just reinstall XP to see if it still works. During setup I run into an error telling me to check for viruses or run chkdsk. It's a blue screen and it happens at the same time during setup. I also can't access the BIOS because it is passworded.


  • The BIOS SATA configuration was set to AHCI mode, I needed to change it to SATA.
  • The real problem though was getting past the BIOS password.
  • Apparently Latitude laptops enforce a created BIOS password by ensuring it cannot be erased, even by removing the CMOS battery.
  • I tried calling Dell but since I am not the original owner I could not request a master password.
  • I had to take the service tag found in the BIOS when asking for a password (11 characters I think), and use a dell master password keygen to get in.
  • It worked and I changed the setting, thus allowing me to install Windows XP.

Thanks to Jeff for this tip.

Related :

This document entitled « E5400 laptop - Unable to install Windows OS » from CCM (ccm.net) is made available under the Creative Commons license. You can copy, modify copies of this page, under the conditions stipulated by the license, as this note appears clearly.