My daughter has a dell Inspiron laptop that went Blue Screen of Death once and then to boot failure. She has told me it's ok to wipe it, but I know she has a lot of pictures on it and I'd like to try to recover them for her before wiping it. I have no way to prove viral corruption, but I know she has been running w/o virus scan and goes to lots of media sites, so I wouldn't be surprised if some nasty is involved. The laptop is over 4 years old. Here are the symptoms and what I've tried to far.
1. Trying a normal boot, the system runs through the Dell Screen with blue progress bar that rtuns to completion,, next she has a chronic "battery calibration" message that is bypassed by hitting ESC. I had her actually run the calibration a couple days before the blue screen and ran to completion, but the message still apprears. Once you ESC past the battery message, it hangs at the black screen before the any windows activity and there is no further C: drive activity (based on sound and the HD light), and it sits at black screen.
2. I booted and F@ to Setup. All looks normal, although I am not familiar with her system, but it had a recognized HD and recognized bios. I then rebooted to F12. Took me to dell diagnostics. I ran individual diagnostics on Memory, bios, HD, and "control system" all passed, even the HD diagnostic. There are "symptom based" diagnostics and I ran 2, first one named "can't boot OS", andthen another names (interestingly enough) BLue screen of death. BOth ran to completion with no errors reported.
3. I then tried to boot into safe mode so that I could dump her photos to a memory stick and then wipe it, but the boot gets through about 15 of the lines in the DOS screen of drivers loading and hangs, consistently at the same place and will not complete the DOS boot to windows safe mode.
4. I created a XP boot CD on another XP computer and booted using this, which correctly takes me to A:, but it will not let me access C:, responding with "invalid drive specification" message. (question, is there a way to boot windows, not DOS, from a CD?)
5. I loaded using a Windows XP CD (though I don't know if it'sthe right version. It is a copy of pro, and I don't recall whether she had pro loaded. It recognized that there is a previous version of windows, and loaded setup which I continued until the decision to wipe the drive, or not, but it said that even without the re-format, "My Documents" folder might be wiped and that's where the photos are, so I escaped and didn't continue.
6. Using the XP Cd I ran windows recovery console and ran CHKDSK /r which ran to completion and then ran bootfix, which simply returned to the DOS prompt with no messages at all. I'm assuming it completed normally?
As you experts can see, I know enough to be dangerous, but I'm out of tricks, except for the thought to remove the HD and try to load it as a slave inside desktop system, just to get the files off it..
I would sincerely appeciate any help that can be provided. thanks very much!!!
you could create a preinstalled environment of Windows using WinPe. what this does is allows you to boot from CD into a sudo Windows Environment which is running directly from the Disc. you then have access to your HDD's (i think its read only access but that's all you need isn't it??) as well as being able to plug in USB devices.
Try using the windows install disc to repair it. No not the repair console but repair install.
When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the options below
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
Windows XP to run on your computer:
To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.
To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.
To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
Accept the License Agreement by pressing F8 and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.
Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair.
Don't be scared by it looking like a clean install! A Repair Install will replace the system files with the files on the XP CD used for the Repair Install. It will leave your applications and settings intact, but Windows updates will need to be reapplied. (I have only found one thing that does not work which is Daemon tools but i don't think your daughter uses that ).
A Repair Install will replace files altered by adware and malware, but will not fix an adware, malware problem.