I’m trying to figure out if a hard drive has gone bad on a Dell Inspiron N5010 laptop. Windows 7 will no longer load when booting the machine. At first, BIOS would go through the entire boot order without loading Windows and end at the last boot option which was “Network Boot”. So I changed the boot settings for the boot order to end with the hard drive. That’s when I got a message saying “no disk drive”… or something to that effect. I don’t remember the exact wording.
But the drive is detected in BIOS. I was even able to run all of the DELL diagnostic utilities that are on that drive (on a diagnostic partition) and they found no errors. No errors were found with the drive OR the Windows installation. I pulled out the harddrive and was able to access all of the files/documents from another PC with a USB to SATA adapter.
I put a Windows 7 hard drive from another laptop into this DELL and it did load Windows so I’ve ruled out a bad motherboard.
I ordered the recovery disks from DELL and used them to try and repair Windows 7. But it checks the current Windows installation and says nothing was wrong with the installation so it doesn’t attempt to fix anything. I decided to go ahead and just completely reinstall Windows.
During installation the system has to reboot but when it does, it won’t continue the installation. Right after the Dell logo appears and goes away, the next screen is just a blinking cursor. And it will stay in this state indefinitely. So I changed the boot order to boot from the CD/DVD drive first and then tried to re-install Windows this way. But after the first reboot during installation, instead of continuing with the installation, it just reads the dvd again and asks me if I want to reinstall Windows or repair it.
I don’t know how to move forward and don’t have another SATA laptop drive that I can try to install Windows on.