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Windows will not start

My Dell Inspiron 530 worked fine yesterday. Today when I turn the power on I get the Dell screen with the f2/f12 options followed by a message that windows did not shut down properly with options for safe mode or normal mode. I have tried both options and after the screen shows the microsoft logo with a status bar briefly the screen goes blank and nothing happens. The machine is running Vista Home Basic

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Sounds like a corrupt MBR . . .

In reply to: Windows will not start

Master Boot Record.

First thought, restart in Safe Mode and choose Last known good configuration.

Second thought, restart with the XP CD and choose Repair. If you can get to the DOS-like repair screen, type:

fixmbr

Press Enter. Accept.

Holler back.

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safe mode will not start either

In reply to: Sounds like a corrupt MBR . . .

Selected safe mode. Screen shows a series of components as loaded and then screen goes blank and nothing else happens.

I do have the reinstallation DVD for Vista Home Basic 32bit sp1. Does that have the repair software?

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Re: Vista repair install

In reply to: safe mode will not start either

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can only use DVD from boot menu

In reply to: Re: Vista repair install

Ok I read through the link for Vista repair and the first step says
"1. Insert the Vista DVD into the DVD drive while your current Vista is running.
WARNING: Do not boot the computer and run the Vista installation DVD from boot. A upgrade install will not work this way."

The only way I can get the DVD drive to work is from the boot menu.

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Did you try the other methods?

In reply to: can only use DVD from boot menu

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start up repair does not find any problem

In reply to: Did you try the other methods?

I ran the start up repair from the DVD by using the boot menu. No problems found.

Ran the memory diagnostic tool. No issues found on that screen but it says I will get a report on login after a restart. Restart does not happen. Machine is back to blank screen.

I also tried to use the Command Promt per these instructions http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392 and I keep getting a message that the commands are not recognized.

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Then it looks like a damaged OS.

In reply to: start up repair does not find any problem

When the repair methods fail you often are looking at a fresh install.

There usually was a sign or something we did to break it. Common causes I encounter are torrents, registry cleaners and the usual malware.
Bob

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Getting back the files

In reply to: Then it looks like a damaged OS.

Any suggestions on getting back the data that was not fully backed up?

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We have many options.

In reply to: Getting back the files

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