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I'm going to ask before I get the computer. . .

by Coryphaeus / October 22, 2007 6:46 AM PDT

A friend just called, she's running XP SP2 on a Dell. When she turns it on it boots to the screen to start in Normal, Safe, Last known, etc. No matter what she chooses it stops, reboots, and back to the same screen. She has the Dell XP CD and the drivers CD.

She's going to bring it over this evening. Any thoughts off hand? From what she describes I may be looking at an install from the CD. Hope not, she has a ton of iPod music.


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Last Time
by Darton Fury / October 22, 2007 8:10 AM PDT

I encountered this, I slaved the drive on a good system, chkdsk repaired errors on the disk, and I placed it back in the original system without any loss of important files.

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My personal experiences with this have all been
by Steven Haninger / October 22, 2007 8:10 AM PDT

hardware changes that XP considers to be over the limit. I've only been able to resolve them by doing a repair installation and re-activation. Sometimes even a BIOS update triggers "new hardware found" messages. I did have one case where a bad driver caused a continuous reboot for several cycles but would eventually load....and it might be possible that there's some sort of hardware failure, overheating due to dirty fan, etc. Good luck with it.

As a side note....Be careful of befriending people with broken computers. Wink (just a bad joke)

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I'm telling your wife, again!
by PudgyOne / October 22, 2007 11:32 AM PDT

I hope she brings the Dell drivers disk that came with it.

I would clean it first, If she has the Dell disks, you could use them to install/repair the system. All the drivers and the Windows Updates need done but no files will be lost.

Maybe running chkdsk /f or chkdsk /f /r will fix any problems.

Last note Internet Explorer 7 didn't go well on my Dell Inspiron B130.

Good Luck,


Remember her drivers can be found on Dell's website.

Also try this link using internet explorer

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It's DOA. . .
by Coryphaeus / October 22, 2007 11:40 AM PDT

Booted with the XP CD, went to Repair, typed fixmbr, rebooted, same, same.

Booted with the XP CD, chose to reinstall XP, instead of getting the reinstall screen I got an fdisk info screen and it showed the C: drive as unknown file system. Ooops.

Removed the drive and put it into an external USB-2 case and plugged it into my machine. Nothing, not in Explorer. Ooops again. Went to Computer Management, not there, and in fact my machine stalled until I turned the USB drive off. Major ooops.


Young person, ask me if she had any backups. What do you think? She has over a thousand songs in iTunes. Now had.

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Obviously, at some point, it would boot
by Steven Haninger / October 22, 2007 8:08 PM PDT
In reply to: It's DOA. . .

or it wouldn't display the options you mentioned. Not always does putting a drive in an external enclosure work....even on a HD that works...or semi- works. I wonder if putting the drive back into her machine and booting a Knoppix CD would be worth the gamble. You could also download the manufacturer's disk utility CD and run a diagnostics check on it. I suppose the laptops controller circuits could be bad but, if the utility can see and identify the drive, there might be hope to determine if it's a problem with the magnetic media. Just some thoughts.

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I left out a lot. . .
by Coryphaeus / October 23, 2007 12:49 AM PDT

I've done this before for her. A while back she got so eaten up with spyware and junk it took forever to boot. I pulled it and put it into my external case, saved everything in the Documents and Settings folder, all her wallpaper, and more stuff. Moved it all to my HD. Then did the factory restore CD and the other drivers CD, put it all back together for her. This time the drive is toast.

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(NT) And hopefully a lesson too...
by Me, Myself and You / October 23, 2007 2:58 AM PDT
In reply to: I left out a lot. . .
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