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Laptop Help!


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#1
darkstar225

darkstar225

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I've got a Dell Latitude CPx H500GT with Windows XP Office, and it's been giving me trouble sense i bought it.

So when i turn it on, first it does it's initial Dell load, then stops for a few seconds. Then it goes to a black screen with a blinking line. Then it says "No boot device available - No bootable devices--strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for boot utility"

i don't know wat to do, but i want my laptop running again :whistling: if i can't get it to run i at least want to be able to get my files and pictures off of the hard drive. But if all else fails, can i re-install windows XP to get it back to normal, although i'll loose everything?

i really want to get it running again, so i hope u guys can help.

i do greatly appreciate the help!

- Johnny

Edited by darkstar225, 12 December 2006 - 07:17 AM.

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#2
b1caez01

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Did you not contact DELL's helpers over the telephone...when the probs first started?

When I service client's DELL's, they [DELL] have been very good... while it was still under warranty.

DELL's are pretty finnicky, I find. They are very proprietary.

Owners of DELL computers may consider this URL...

http://forum.us.dell...message.id=3314

Off hand, it sounds like it might be a BIOS issue...can you access the BIOS on setup? Check to see what the boot order is...and depending upon your preferences, set it up accordingly...most often no matter what setting your prefer, it will search for the first compatible boot source that appears to have something to read from...and it goes from there...down the sequence defalted, or set up by the user...

Check this URL out for some suggestions...

http://www.michaelst...anufacturer.htm

"The BIOS (stands for Basic Input/Output System) is system software inside your computer that helps the computer start up, even before Windows does. It also contains key settings about what the computer has on board.

In newer computers, it exists on a special chip called CMOS (stands for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor).

You can go into the BIOS to edit or change the technical information about key components of the computer like disk drives, keyboards, and display settings. It also keeps track of the date and time.

The BIOS can normally be accessed when you start your computer. You may see a reference to "Setup" when you turn your computer on. Thatís your opportunity to get into the BIOS. It usually requires the push of a function key, such as F10, to get access to it. That "F" key varies between computers. Sometimes itís not even one of the Function keys, but the ESC key or DEL key."
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#3
darkstar225

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i would have asked Dell for help if i was the origional owner. i bought this laptop used a little over a year ago, with no manuals, paperwork, or any disks.... so i don't think that would work.

i've been through the BIOS and it says "Primary Hard Drive: None" and in the boot order it is: Internal HDD, then CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive, then Diskette Drive"
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#4
b1caez01

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"Internal HDD, then CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive, then Diskette Drive"

Try switching the CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive and the Internal HDD around in the BIOS, tap on it then hit the + key as many times as needed, if there are on options...in a drop down menu...

What it appears to be doing is going to c:\ to find its setup files, and they are not there... What you may want is for it to go to a boot disk in the removable drive which is the CD... drive...

Failing that, set up an i386 folder on c:\ by copying over to c:\ the i386 folder and files from the setup disk...then when it calls for it, send the computer searching for it on the c:\; you may have to physically direct it to that site...

Failing that...download and setup MS-XP's installer disks...

http://support.micro...b;en-us;Q310994

"Creating a boot disk for an NTFS or FAT partition... access a drive that has a faulty startup sequence ... You do not have to reset these attributes for this disk to work correctly. For more informationabout the structure of the Boot.ini file, click the ... " support.microsoft.com/kb/311073

Also check out: How to perform advanced clean-boot troubleshooting in Windows XP at

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316434

NB: Monitoring Registry Activity During the Boot Process

http://www.microsoft...ryactivity.mspx

Edited by b1caez01, 17 December 2006 - 08:02 AM.

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#5
darkstar225

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um, i don't have a floppy drive on my laptop, can i just burn it on a CD?
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#6
b1caez01

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You got me there...I can't see why not, it is just that I have not tried it.

You will be asked to insert the floppies in sequence... I would think that if it finds the reference already on the CD, it would not have to do that...but don't quote me on it.

I'd look around for a used floppy PnP device...for the future :whistling:

I get my computers built for me, I alway have a floppy disk installed, in spite of their protestations...; or as in the case of my laptop, not purchased unless there is a floppy bay...

...DOS oldsters to not die, they just demand the best :blink: solutions and they are all DOS based when push comes to shove...

Edited by b1caez01, 19 December 2006 - 09:13 AM.

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#7
darkstar225

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alright, i'll try to burn it on a disk, and i'll reply as soon as im done
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#8
darkstar225

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yea, it didn't let me, after i downloaded the prograb, i ran it, and when it asked to type in the name of the drive that i want to copy to, when i tried to enter D (my CD burner drive), the window dissappeared. i tried it more then once and it didn't work all times. when i pressed a (my floppy drive) it told me to insert my dist and continue with it..... any more ideas?
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#9
b1caez01

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SLOW AND SURE METHOD...

Do you have access to the orignial setup CD, OEM or whatever? If not find one of the same version that is already on board. Reinstall Windows into another location...

1. e.g. you have Windows in c:\WINDOWS >then put a second copy into c:\WIN
> then one you get going again, transfer the useful stuff from the old Windows folder over to the new Windows folder.

OR

2. resinstall a fresh copy onto a new Partion 2 in the same volume...give it about 1G to move around in...
3. recover all of the goodies you need via the burner
4. uninstall all the left over trash on Partition 1 >give it a good cleaning

THEN

5. repeat the process, by reinstalling a fresh version to the old Partition 1, move everything back where it once was...wipe Partition 2
6. merge Partition 2 with 1

This should have you back to a clean install on the original partition...

FAST AND DIRTY METHOD

F-disk the entire drive...this will wipe clean and clear everything on the drive
Re-install a fresh XP to the first partition

Once you have Windows carefully installed and successfully up and working, creat a wall around it, by partitioning it off into its own space...create a second Partition, on which all programming and the like are kept, with exact copies of all Documents and Settings folders and files cached there.

In this way, if you need to reload XP you will not affect the rest of your lay out.
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#10
darkstar225

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idk if i can do the first part, my laptop won't start up windows, and i don't have the XP CD to re-install XP.... is there any other way i can do it?
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#11
b1caez01

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With so many limitations, it makes it pretty difficult to get into the problem as there are too few avenues, without an a:\ drive, or a boot CD...

Does it have an USB port...there are progs, that you can load onto sticks and do repairs and then access stuff from there with a bit of BIOS tweaking, but that's out of my league, in so far as I have had not experience with that...

1. I think that you'd be better off biting the bullet and go to the nearest tech shop, sob, weep, cry, stamp your feet...and get them to use their "universal" setup SP2 disk to get you onto your desktop... Ask them to load a copy of that CD's i386 folder and contents into c:\Windows\Backup\i386

In future, load from that spot. Once you get it back home, burn a disk of that same stuff they loaded for you...immediately do an sfc_/scannow, then follow that up with a defrag, a scandisk, then scan for malware...

2. find someone that has the same version as you did, OEM or otherwise, it does not matter... i.e. XP, XPSP1 or XPSP2, get them to burn you a copy of the disk, or if they won't do that for you, then ask them to burn the following:

/i386
/SUPPORT/TOOLS
/VALUEADD/MSFT/NTBACKUP/*.*

When you get out of this pickle, look around for an old a:\ addon...plugin...
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