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Laptop won't boot in normal/crashes in safemode


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#1
Caffeine_Powered

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Friend of mine called me up and asked me to look at this laptop. It was a strictly off line laptop. Its a Dell Inspiron 1200

Quick Specs-
Intel Celeron M 1.4 ghz
RAM - 768 MB (DDR333)
40 GB HDD

So if I boot up normally it gets to the Windows XP logo and loads for about 20 minutes before I just restart it. In safe mode it takes about 5 minutes. Once into safe mode I can't open anything. I can open the start menu go through it but no windows or programs will open. Every 5 minutes or so, Windows Explorer crashes and opens again.

I'm thinking its a hardware/Operating System problem since its offline and all its really used for is some bare minimum photo editing. So I'd like to know if anybody has any suggestions as to whats wrong with it.

The first priority is too get all the pictures off of it since they weren't backed up. I'm trying to think of a way that as to do this but can't. I'm wondering if I were to hook it up to my Desktop if I would be able to explore the files manually. hm...

Edited by Caffiene_Powered, 05 May 2008 - 02:45 PM.

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#2
Caffeine_Powered

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I booted it in regular mode and after about an hour the desktop is finally loading.

I'm gunna screw around see if I can back up the stuff and possibley figure out the problem, still all suggestions are welcome.

EDIT:

Alright after waiting alittle while longer I got a popup:

NTVDM KERNEL: Missing 16-bit system module

Please re-install the following module to your system32 directory:
USER.EXE

:) thats odd

Edited by Caffiene_Powered, 05 May 2008 - 03:46 PM.

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#3
Ztruker

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I think you're going in the right direction. Get the data backed up first, before doing anything else.

If necessary buy an External USB enclosure and mount it there or a Universal drive adapter like the NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter and connect it that way. Both are good to have around if you plan on continuing to work on PCs for fun and profit :)

Once you have that done, then you can mess around to your hearts content.

If it were my Laptop, I would simply restore it to factory state, then immediately install SP2 plus all updates, before doing anything else. Then remove all the crapware most manufacturers install, addd a good, free AV and Firewall and give it back.
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#4
Caffeine_Powered

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I think you're going in the right direction. Get the data backed up first, before doing anything else.

If necessary buy an External USB enclosure and mount it there or a Universal drive adapter like the NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter and connect it that way. Both are good to have around if you plan on continuing to work on PCs for fun and profit :)

Once you have that done, then you can mess around to your hearts content.

If it were my Laptop, I would simply restore it to factory state, then immediately install SP2 plus all updates, before doing anything else. Then remove all the crapware most manufacturers install, addd a good, free AV and Firewall and give it back.

yea I hear ya. Problem is I don't have an XP disc laying around and I don't think my friend has the factory discs anymore. I may ask if they can get there hands on an xp disc (said they might be able to).

My biggest problem is backing up the data. I've turned it on and Windows Explorer is virtually unresponsive. I can open the start menu but it takes 5 minutes to close. i can highlight icons and de-highlight them fine. Opening run takes about 10 minutes. Doing anything through Run takes 15 minutes and I can't get my documents or my pictures to open at all.

My question is would I be able to get the information off the laptops HDD manually. Possibley hook up the laptops hdd to my pc and boot my pc having the laptops as a slave drive and just get the files out like that.

Also how can I be sure its not a hardware problem.
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#5
Caffeine_Powered

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anything? :)
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#6
wannabe1

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Hello Caffiene_Powered...

Let's see if we can find what's slowing things down. It sounds as though your machine is running in programmed input/output mode.

Right click on My Computer and choose "Properties". Click the "Hardware" tab and then the "Device Manager" button. Expand (click +) IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.

Right click on the Primary IDE channel, choose "Properties", then click the "Advanced Settings" tab. List the Transfer Mode and Current Transfer Mode for each device shown for this channel.

Right click on the Secondary IDE channel, choose "Properties", then click the "Advanced Settings" tab. List the Transfer Mode and Current Transfer Mode for each device shown for this channel.

wannabe1
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#7
Caffeine_Powered

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Hello Caffiene_Powered...

Let's see if we can find what's slowing things down. It sounds as though your machine is running in programmed input/output mode.

Right click on My Computer and choose "Properties". Click the "Hardware" tab and then the "Device Manager" button. Expand (click +) IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.

Right click on the Primary IDE channel, choose "Properties", then click the "Advanced Settings" tab. List the Transfer Mode and Current Transfer Mode for each device shown for this channel.

Right click on the Secondary IDE channel, choose "Properties", then click the "Advanced Settings" tab. List the Transfer Mode and Current Transfer Mode for each device shown for this channel.

wannabe1

See the problem with that solution is I won't be able to get to my computer. Windows Explorer is virtually unresponsive and I'm unable to open any kind of windows in either safe mode or standard.
I'll give it a try tomorrow since it's late (here) and the laptop takes like 2 hours to boot up.
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#8
wannabe1

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If you can get to the point where you can get that information for us, leave the machine running and open to that window if you can. I'll try to post instructions asap after we see if transfer modes are involved. Sure sounds like it.
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#9
Caffeine_Powered

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If you can get to the point where you can get that information for us, leave the machine running and open to that window if you can. I'll try to post instructions asap after we see if transfer modes are involved. Sure sounds like it.

wow I'm really sry about leaving you hanging, I left the laptop at my friends (the one who owns the laptop) house and didn't realize. lol funny story but for another time.

Alright I'm starting it up now by the time you read this it'll probably be half way started. It takes a good hour to get booted.

Hope to here from you.
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#10
Caffeine_Powered

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Alright I've tried multiple times to do what you're asking over the last week or so and I can't get the computer to respond really. It boots, but is so slow that I can barely get the menu to appear when i right click My Computer. It's not a problem of patience, it's a problem that it's not happening. I mean I waited 1 hour for the drop down menu for My computer to show up, only to have the computer lock up and "forget" what it was doing.

I mean I'll try one more time tomorrow but I don't know how much it'll help.

I'll reiterate that all I'm really concerned with at the moment is backing up My Pictures and if possible My Music.

I'm still looking into the external enclosures as a possible solution. It sounds like a viable option honestly, however if you have any ideas I'm open to them.

Any Ideas would be much appreciated. :) :)

Edited by Caffiene_Powered, 28 May 2008 - 12:51 AM.

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#11
wannabe1

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The external enclosure is sounding like your best option at the moment. If the machine is that slow, I don't really think it's going to be the transfer modes...even Programmed Input/Output isn't that slow.

You should be able to get your data off the drive and it should let us have a look at what's going on in there.
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#12
Caffeine_Powered

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The external enclosure is sounding like your best option at the moment. If the machine is that slow, I don't really think it's going to be the transfer modes...even Programmed Input/Output isn't that slow.

You should be able to get your data off the drive and it should let us have a look at what's going on in there.

alright I'll see what I can do about ordering an enclosure relatively soon.

Any recommendation on the brand, I know the poster above suggested a specific company.
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#13
wannabe1

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I don't really have a preference as to brand. I've used MassCool enclosures and they seem pretty solid, and I've used Ultra enclosures...also without problems. As a rule of thumb, I don't purchase the cheapest I can find...nor the most expensive. Something in the $20 range should give adequate quality and performance.

The important thing is that you know whether your drive is SATA or PATA (IDE) and that you get the enclosure for that type drive. OR you can get an enclosure that will do both.
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#14
Caffeine_Powered

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I don't really have a preference as to brand. I've used MassCool enclosures and they seem pretty solid, and I've used Ultra enclosures...also without problems. As a rule of thumb, I don't purchase the cheapest I can find...nor the most expensive. Something in the $20 range should give adequate quality and performance.

The important thing is that you know whether your drive is SATA or PATA (IDE) and that you get the enclosure for that type drive. OR you can get an enclosure that will do both.

yea
I'm pretty sure it's an IDE drive but I'm gunna buy an enclosure with both so I can use it in the future with anything.
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#15
Caffeine_Powered

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Quick question

I haven't ordered the cable yet, swamped with work :-/, but I was wondering just for the sake of data recovery would it be possible to take the Laptop HD and throw it in my desktop through another IDE (I'm almost positive it's IDE considering its age) connection, set the Laptops HD to slave and just recover the data that way?

thanks in advance

I just want to recover the data since I feel bad I've had this laptop this long, fortunately the owner is somewhat understanding.
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