Dell Windows Vista Laptop Troubleshooting Questions

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by TheKid7, Jun 21, 2013.

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  1. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I have very limited experience troubleshooting PC's/Laptops.

    Someone asked me to look at their Dell Laptop (Windows Vista) to see why Windows is not loading and to recover some data from the hard drive.The problem(s) may be software or hardware related. When Windows Vista tries to start you get the screen to do a Windows Repair or Start Windows Normally. Neither option works.

    I can easily access the hard drive with Live Linux Distros booted from a USB Flash Drive. I ran the Dell Hardware Diagnostics and the tests show PASS.

    Both Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Command Prompt won't work. Safe Mode starts to load and then stops before completing.

    I did a scan with the Dr.Web LiveCD and a few infections (2) were found (cleaned/quarantined). The Laptop still won't load Windows Vista.

    I am suspicious of one thing. Will Windows Vista not load if the CD/DVD drive is failing? I as suspicious that the CD/DVD drive is failing because both Ubuntu and Linxu Mint won't load. They both have the same error message something about not being able to find the file system. The exact same Ubuntu on my USB Flash Drive will load without any issues.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go from here with the Testing/Diagnostics?

    I will recommend that the person buy a USB Hard drive so that I can recover their data.

    Thanks in Advance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Someone with lots of PC/Laptop repair experience told me to disconnect the power from the CD/DVD drive and then see if the PC will load Windows Vista. I will give this a try over the weekend.

    I remember that a couple of years ago Windows XP Pro would not load on one of my Desktop PC's. I was frustrated a did an Image Restore which did not help. I eventually figured out that the CD/DVD drive was failing.
     
  3. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Do you get a BSOD?

    It will load - the optical drive will not cause Windows to stop booting.

    Have a look here: Create a System Repair Disc on a Bootable USB Flash Drive

    This will enable you to boot from the USB stick and access the recovery console, and from there you can run chkdsk, or do a System Restore.

    It is quite possible that the hard drive has physical errors (chkdsk will say if there are), in which case if the damage isn't too major you should be able clone the hard drive onto a brand new hard drive using EaseUS Disk Copy Home Edition When you run it, it gives you the option to install it onto a flash drive. You will need an external USB enclosure for the new drive, and you will be able to use Disk Copy to clone the faulty drive to the new one. When you get a message about disk errors, just select the option to ignore all errors. It may take quite some time to do the cloning, but quite often the end result will be that the copy of the hard drive boots Windows fine.
     
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