Currently, my problem is when booting a Dell Latitude D505 on a 160 gb hd. It goes through the POST, then proceeds to a black screen with the cursor in the upper left hand corner. Then nothing. While going through the POST and the Dell logo, I can access the f2 and f12 keys. F2 takes me to bios setup and F12 takes me to Boot menu. I am having problems getting to F8 to attempt safe mode, safe mode with cmd prompt, etc.. I was successful at getting to F8 only one time and haven't been able to do it since.
I had recently replaced a 120 gb hd with this 160 gb hd and performed all of my installs and I've been working from this drive for the last 2-3 weeks. I've saved all of my data off of this 160 gb drive by using an external enclosure and connecting it to a separate system. Thus if I kill this partition, it's not like the end of the world, but it would (hopefully), save me the pain of reinstalling everything if I can save this system.
I have been able to boot from a boot disk created by copying boot.ini, ntdetect.com and ntldr files from the installation to a newly formatted floppy disk (from XP) and what I get after 1 to 2 minutes is "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file." I investigated this by accessing the hd as an external drive and found that this file does exist. (now what?)
I have been able to boot from a boot floppy built from Barts Boot Floppy tool but I don't have the tools to diagnose my problem. When I try to boot from the XP installation cd, after I hit any key to boot from cd it tells me that "setup is going to inspect hardware" then the words disappear and nothing happens after that, just the green light on the cd-rom goes out, the cd spins down and then a black screen.
I have put the 120 gb hd with a previous XP install on it back in the laptop and all is well. I can boot to the XP installation CD, Floppy and access the F8 option. Microsoft's knowlegebase article 314503 suggests that I may have a corrupt Master boot record, Partition tables, Boot sector, or NTLDR file. I want to be able to attempt suggested repairs but I'n not sure which tools to use for this task since I am unable to get to the recovery utility.
Thanks in advance, all comments are most welcome!
Edited by DrewJones, 18 September 2007 - 02:25 PM.