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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    My daughters Dell laptop all of a sudden won't boot up. Gives only two choices. Repair or boot normally. Normal boot just comes back to the same option. Repair brings up a system recovery option, but it never lists any OS.

    At boot up it says "Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change may be the cause...."

    The OS is Vista home Premium SP1.

    I only have the re-installation DVD and not a repair disk. There is no floppy disk drive. There is a recovery drive X that is there, but I can't get to it.

    I ran the built in pre-boot self test and everything tested fine, even the memory.

    I can get F8 to bring up other options. It won't even go into safe mode. Restarts. Safe mode gets to crcdisk.sys, hangs, then reboots.
    Booting with the option to restorer to the last know good settings doesn't work.
    Booting from the DVD never gets any where. Gets to the point of choosing the OS (just like the repair option), but it never displays an OS.

    Any options besides a re-installation?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If you can get to a Dos like command promt from the recovery console, run a thorough checkdisk with the "r" switch enabled.
    If you can't get to a command promt, make yourself a dos like bootable CD/DVD from another computer and do the same.

    Windows XP - Running CHKDSK with recovery console
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Thanks for your response.

    I got to a command prompt from the repair console.
    It only booted to the X drive.
    When attempting to get to c: it says "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error."
    When running the chkdsk /r for the X drive (only drive available) it says "The type of file system is NTFS. Cannot lock current drive. Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected."

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Are you able to access the BIOS??
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  5. #5
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    I believe so....right now I chose repair from the console. It's now saying "Attempting repairs,...repairing disk errors. This might take over an hour to complete."

    I'll see if this finds anything.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Let it run to completion, even if it takes 4 or 5 hrs.
    It sound like it's running a check disk on your hard drive.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger
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    Do you think that could be the issue?
    What's up with the I/O issue and not being able to get to the C: drive?

    I'll let you know when complete...

  8. #8
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    Wow. it actually rebooted and let me login.

    Not sure what the issue was nor what it fixed, What all should I check on this laptop now that it's up and running?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If the DVD/CD disk you are using is old and has defects that may generate I/O device errors.
    It might be a "one-off" thing or something that will come up regularly with the same disk.
    Usually I would clean the disk and attempt reboot to recovery console with it.
    I don't know why you are getting "X" for a drive letter, unless it has been changed to that by someone.

    I/O device errors can occur with a defective hard drive as well. In which case a check disk would be the first thing to try.
    I/O device errors can occur with loose or defective cables inside your computer.

    The reason I asked if you could access the BIOS is that if you can't, you may have bigger problems that may necessitate a shop visit
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyKZ View Post
    Wow. it actually rebooted and let me login.

    Not sure what the issue was nor what it fixed, What all should I check on this laptop now that it's up and running?
    Go into device manager and see if there are any driver issues.
    Check the XP recovery CD/DVD for defects, it may need to be copied or slipstreamed.
    Make a full drive image backup if feasable.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  11. #11
    5 Star Lounger
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    No device issues at all.
    Running a full scan with the installed A/V software of Microsofts Security Essentials. Not sure how good that is.
    Also, just installed Spybot and running that now.

    I don't have a way to do an image of the drive. I do have a full backup of the data though using Carbonite.

    Any other suggestions?

  12. #12
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    You should run a disk diagnostic test. Dell supplies tools and a method to do hardware checks with systems. Check the CDs that came with the PC & check to see if there is a diagnostic partition that you can boot into.

    Joe
    Joe

  13. #13
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    MSE has gotten very good reviews in these and other forums. You say you don't have a way of Imaging. There are very good free Imaging apps available, and USB Ext HD's are very inexpensive. May be worth looking into and Images are about the easiest way to restore an OS after a catastropic failure.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kzkz View Post
    Wow. it actually rebooted and let me login.

    Not sure what the issue was nor what it fixed, What all should I check on this laptop now that it's up and running?
    Why this normally happens is that you have had a locked (by bad luck or nasty of some sort) boot block or a damaged boot block. Either way, chkdsk /r will fix it if it isnt completely stuffed. If this happens again it is better to pull the drive from the computer and attach it to a working one then let that computer's disk check do a thorough check on it. That may seem more messy to you but it normally saves many hours of trying things that dont work.

    Greg.

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