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laptop won't boot

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I have to first say I'm not very computer literate so bear with me. I purchased an hp dv71135nr laptop last week. Everything has been fine until I was booting up this past Sunday. It immediately came up with an unable to boot to Vista screen and said a drive or software may be the problem. A friend of mine told me to try getting to safe mode or to the bios screen to check the hard drive but the F keys will not function. Within a couple of seconds of powering up the error message appears.

When I was on my laptop on Saturday, the only things I remember doing were installing Zone Alarm and VLC player aside from surfing.

I tried doing a system restore that runs from the hard drive. That took about an hour but nothing changed. I made restore disks and it has an option of restoring from the disks back to factory settings. Do you think this would solve it? Any other suggestions on things to try?

Thanks in advance!

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Grandad Phillip

Grandad Phillip


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AS you haven't had the laptop very long so haven't yet accumulated a lot of your own files on it which would need backing up, I would go for a full system recovery using the discs you made. Then check very carefully that any application you intend to install is fully vista compatible.
Certainly I would not risk installing ZA or VLC again as it's very likely one of them is the culprit. ZA is particularly troublesome according to the posts I've read on it's own forum. Make sure Vista's own firewall is enabled, leave it at that for the time being, and see how your laptop behaves without ZA.
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