My husband turned on my Dell XPS desktop a couple of days ago to check his email The computer appeared to be running something (restore, defrag, etc). He became impatient and shut down the computer. When he turned it back on, it took him to the repair computer or start normally. He tried start normally and when that didn't happen quickly enough for him, he shut it down again and restarted it. This time he selected a repair. Since that time, the computer will not boot up at all. It shows the Dell startup then goes to a black screen and comes back to a screen that says select f1 to continue or f5 to do a diagnosis. I ran that and it showed problems with the cd drive. I went into the setup and it shows the following drives: 1.ST3500630AS 2. Onboard SATA Hard Drive (not present) 3. Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive 4.USB Device 5.Onboard or USB Floppy Drive (not present). When I run a repair, it hangs on the black screen with cursor. I cannot access my c prompt, safe drive, or cd drive. I am at a total loss as to what to do. My computer has all of my tax info and other documents that I cannot afford to lose. I am trying not to reload Vista which I am not sure I could do anyway since it doesn't recognize that drive. I had Kaspersky anti-virus installed on the computer and it has been great about blocking any viruses until now. I don't know if this is a virus or a machine malfunction. I do know that I had no indication of any issues with my computer prior to this. I was running Windows Vista 32 bit. I would appreciate any suggestions you can provide. I had a computer problem similar to this several years ago on another computer and you were able to repair it.
Computer won't boot up and black screen with pointer(46 posts)
With that much abuse, what do you expect. You were lucky that your husband did not throw the thing out of the window.
Since about everything has been done wrong on the system, you best bet is to reinstall. It is impossible to backtrack all the damage that was done.
If you first have to recover data, post back and I tell you how to do that.
Q: are you familiar with Linux ?? If not, we'd use another tool for the data recovery.
You are correct about the damage. This happened a few years ago on another computer. Someone on this site was actually able to provide the necessary steps and tools needed to correct the problem. They walked me through it step by step. It was a miracle. I do need to recover the data. I have too much important information on it to lose it. This is a good lesson for me also. Backup your files!! I kept procrastinating and then this happened. I am not familiar with Linux, but I am very good at following instructions or reading directions and learning by reading manuals. I also don't know how to give up. Did I accidentally mark this as solved? As far as I can tell, the problem has not been resolved.
You may try to load a Restore Point, that may save your system and you files. Start your PC and tap F10 over and over until the prompt asks you to select the option. Select Restore System to a prior point and select the latest. I just hope you have a Restore point on your PC!!! And I suggest putting a padlock on it!
The easiest way to recover your data would be with an image that you make with Macrium from xxxxx.
1. Download that xxxxx on another PC and burn it to a CD (e.g. with ImgBurn, which is very easy to use).
2. Load from that CD (you have to change the BIOS boot sequence to load from the CD/DVD reader) and select the XP environment (first entry on the screen - after the title)
3. On the bottom right of the XP screen there is a dark icon for the programs. Click on that and go up to the Recovery section (I think that is what it is called - it is the second or third from the top) and find Macrium (which is Macrium 4.2)
4. Make an image of any or all partitions of your disk to an external disk. Here is a tutorial on how to deal with Macrium 4.2. This tutorial has a couple of steps that are slightly different because it refers to the installed version of Macrium.
Note: If the disk has serious physical damage, this will not work and you may be out of luck.
5. The image you can mount on any system by double clicking on it. It will then show in Computer like any other volume/partition from where you can pick your data.
Edit by mod. link deleted.That is illegal software, and you should know better.
I remember three years ago when I almost got banded from the HTG Forum for even mentioning Hxxxxx Boot Disc because it was supposedly considered illegal software way back then.
Glad to see Times Have Changed. (LOL) (LOL) :) :)
Your solution is a Good one for sure !!!!
Hmm, I did not know that the 'H" CD is not legal. My understanding was that this issue went away after release 11.0 - and now we are at release 15.1 which is being distributed by many reputable sites. So is there really a problem ??
And LH, put my link back. I think you are wrong.
It is best you don't know!
It is a problem, not just the illegal software. Some downloads will really mess with your computer, badly, with virii and malware.
It's a road you just do not want to go down.
Mike, you are right that there are some links that are a bit questionable. But that's why I posted a safe link that I have used myself to make sure the OP did not have to Google it and fall into a trap.
LH, could you tell us which part you think is still not legal. The free Macrium 4.2 I referred to is certainly not a problem. It is available for free from many sites.
I did the repair again and it actually went a little further into it. It asked for verification of US keyboard then came to a place where it asked to load fonts for the appropriate operating system listed (there wasn't any listed). I attempted to go to my cd drive to load the drivers, but it did not recognize the disc as being loaded. I attempted to go the backup drive (X)and reload from there, but I could not locate a file with the drivers. I am no expert on computers so I can only do the things I am familiar with doing. My principal method of education on computers is through reading the manuals and OJT. I tried F10 on bootup, but that did not do anything. Any more suggestions anyone? I refuse to believe this is not repairable. I am also not convinced that this could not have been a virus attack. It ran for quite a while without doing anything at the time my husband shut it down. He watches a lot of videos posted on Facebook page.
LH, Regarding the 'H' problem, here is the view of one of my Australian friends who is a Windows Guru which sums it up. We must not be more catholic than the pope.
"" Anyway, in my opinion, no one in their right mind would use the mini XP or DOS environments as an OS substitute. Therefore, MS revenue is not being cannibalized in any way. These tools facilitate the maintenance of legal, paid MS operating systems.
Therefore, in my opinion:
Morally = no problem
Legally = ??????????? MS would surely act if their interests were targeted.
This may be such an insignificant issue for MS they don't waste their time on it.
Hxxx is a great all in one tool. ""
Edited by mod.
whs, please remember that this is The Geeks site. And he is respected by MS. Please do not corrupt his site with anything that could upset that.
And if you continue on this course you will get a 30 day ban. And that is not a unilateral decision.
Apologies to juhank48 that this had to come up in your thread.
Am not sure what the re-install disc does on a pre-built machine.
Was thinking if you had a FULL copy of Vista, may be could install WITHOUT formating and that would create Windows.old directory where you could retrieve data.
I have never run Vista, only XP and Windows 7.
Do NOT do anything until one of the Vista Folks can help you.
Okay. Thank you. I am pretty sure from what I read in my dell manual that it completely reinstalls Vista, I have another disk with the drivers, diagnostics, etc., but I can't access my cd drive to run it.
I recommend that you attach your drive to another computer and see if you can retrieve your data. I use a Sabrent USB 2.0 to IDE/SATA Cable for 2.5-Inch/ 3.5-Inch / 5.25-Inch Drive with Power Adapter.
I have tried everything I know to try to get access to any of my drives. I cannot access any prompts to try to type in a command. This is totally frustrating. Someone told me how to get to my drives when this happened years ago on another machine. I really believe this is viral, but I cannot run any scans to check because I can't access the drives. I appreciate any suggestions you can provide. I really don't want to lose my info on the computer. (taxes, documents, etc.)
If OP thinks it's " Viral but can't run scans"
Have you tried the portable SuperAnti?? ( Download towards the bottom) Obviously making the portable cd on another computer.
Granny maybe talking rubbish, sometimes the simple's can give you a start.LOL!!!
If it's a virus you will need to use a bootable utility so windows is not in the picture.
You mentioned you can't access your Cd, is it broken?
If you try and use your Vista disks you will be starting from scratch and will overwrite everything on your hdd.
This might be your best option
Download it then make a bootable USB drive. The instructions are right on the downlaod site.
This will allow you to recover your data then you can do a clean install
I cannot get to my c prompt the cd drive or anything else. The computer goes to the windows screen then cycles back to the start windows normally or repair screen. It won't go any further. If I go into safe mode, I get the same thing. It appears to load the windows drivers then hesitates and goes back to the same screen. I tried booting to safe mode with C prompt. Same thing. I tried resetting bootup options to cd drive as priority. Same thing. I am totally stuck! I can put a CD into the drive and it does the exact same thing. It never reads the data.
What CD are you using in the CD drive? Is it actually a bootable CD? Do you get the message when starting "Press any key to boot from CD... ? Do you press a key? Will that CD boot i8n another computer?
If you are actually booting from the CD you should not get any Safe Mode selections.
It is not even recognizing the disk in the cd drive. It goes directly to the windows welcome page and cycles back to the repair computer or start normally. The same thing happens when I go to the Safe Mode. It loops back and forth from the welcome page to the start up page. It does this when I set the bootup to start with my hard drive or the cd drive.
Do you have a good bootable disk you can try?
Maybe a windows installation disk?
Do you have another computer you can check the disk your trying to boot from? Maybe the disk is not a bootable disk.
When you boot up look ad your Cd drive light does it start blinking rapidly or just does the normal startup blinking?
I ran a hardware diagnostic. It gave me an IRQ response timed out with an error code 0F00:0232. It was testing the sectors and got to the end of the hard drive somewhere around 58% of test completion when it gave me the error. I ran a test on the CD/DVD drive and got the error Spindle self-test failed. error code 0F00:2876. I had not encountered any problems with either of the drives prior to this. Every time I boot up the computer now I encounter a new problem. It will not allow me to change any of the drive sequence to boot up now in the set-up file. I can't boot up from the cd drive. It does not light up at all now when I insert a disk.
You might want to have a look at your PSU. If everything is acting up at the same time it could be your power supply is going bad and or you have some bad power caps on your mobo that are shot.
If you remove the side cover, can you smell a burnt odor. If so the caps are the culprit. If not do you have another PSU you can try?
One other thing you can try and that is to remove your CMos battery and or look in your manual for the pins to jump it. This will set your BIOS back to default settings.
Remember to unplug your system if you try the reset method.
I will give that a try. I am running a startup repair disk now. It gave me the keyboard selection (US) and took me to My computer where it actually shows all of the computer drives present. That is something new. I have never made it this far before now. It has been on that screen for some time. I don't know if it froze or if it is still repairing. I am afraid to shut it down. I can't select the drive or system because everything is stuck. I used the disk on another old computer that I had here that someone brought me with the same problem mine had and it corrected it. That one was windows XP. Mine is Vista, but the repair disk is designed to do both so I am hoping mine is taking longer because I have a very large hard drive and additional memory. The other one did not have much of either.
Just re-read your post and it seems like something is missing.
You said you couldn't access your hdd or CD drive.
How did you start the repair disk? Had to be on a CD / DVD.
How did you finally access your Cd drive?
If you remove the side cover and look inside while booting up, are all fans running, is there any unusual noise?
Is it dusty, if so power down, unplug then main power cord, then you need to blow it out with compressed air.
If you do this make sure you are grounded as you don't want anything ruined due to static charge.
If it's not dusty then make sure all connectors are properly plugged in.
Leave the side cover off and try booting again just to see if anything changes for the better
I was probably not very clear. I am a novice at this and don't really know how to explain it any way except in layman's terms. I inserted my repair disk in the cd drive, but it did not read it. I copied the files to a flash drive which is the only drive that appears to be working at this time. I am sure it probably needs to be formatted differently than a cd, but I didn't have a clue how to do that so I drug the file from the cd to my flash drive. The instructions with the repair disk said to change the boot sequence to cd/usb drive. Hit the F8 key and go to the repair option which I did. It would go through the windows welcome startup screen, then to the US keyboard selection and next it either asks to load drivers with associated operating system listed. It should show Windows Vista, but it doesn't. In the instructions is says select Windows Vista from the options, but there isn't that option. At other times, it goes through the first steps and then comes to a screen that says please wait, but it never goes any further. Hope that helps a little in the explanation.
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