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2 x Dell Inspiron 1525 not booting after MS updates


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#1
yosinc

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Please...can anyone help. Both machines are dead and unusable.

I would be eally grateful for your help.

thanks.
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#2
playsatan

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Microsoft updates usually create a system restore point when installing updates as do other pieces of software usually on installation.

It is possible to use these system restore points to return your comp to its state at the point of the restore point being created. If it is the MS updates that have caused your comp not to boot into windows then this could help.

What you need to do is to boot using your Vista dvd. If you are unsure how to do this let my try to explain....
You need to change your BIOS settings to make your cd/dvd drive be the primary boot option. To enter the BIOS differs on motherboards but it is usually 'Del' or 'F10' or something similar. Refer to your user manual if you have one.
Once in the BIOS there are usually several tabs running along the top - one of which should hopefully be 'BOOT' or something similar. If you select this tab there should be an option like 'boot drive priority' If you highlight this and press enter it should show an order of devices to boot from. You need to change the cd/dvd drive to be the first choice.
You can now save the settings in the BIOS by pressing 'F10' or finding the option to 'save and exit' manually.

Your computer will now restart and after a short while it should say....
press any key to boot from dvd.............

After you have pressed this the Vista logo should appear as if you were installing a fresh copy of windows to your system. Once it eventually loads you will be presented with an option to 'install now' and in the bottom left corner of the window it should say 'Repair'. You need to choose repair.

Once windows has successfully detected a copy of windows you can continue forward until you see a menu of options - One of these options will be System Restore. Clicking this option will provide a list of the most recent restore points for you to choose from (arranged by which program created them making it easier for you to choose which one you want).

Follow the on-screen prompts and windows should automatically restore to the selected point. Once completed you can enable the hard drive to be the priority device in the BIOS again and after the restart i hope your pc will be operational again.

Sorry if this is a hard to follow - i'm no techie but a user just like yourself. I have used this method to restore my comp to a previous state so just passing on my experience. Hope it helps.
If any of the more experienced users have an alternative solution feel free to listen to them

Edited by playsatan, 17 November 2009 - 12:44 PM.

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#3
yosinc

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Thank you playsatan for your suggestions.

Unfortunately, neither laptop passes the POST (Power On Self Test), which means that it does not try to boot from anywhere. There is no time to press a function key.

We suspect the BIOS has been corrupted, but do not know what to do about this or even how to test anything because it stays up for such a short amount of time.

What we really do not understand is that it has happened to both laptops, in the same way, after the same MS updates.

Any other suggestions gratefully accepted.
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#4
playsatan

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I'm certainly no expert when it comes to a corrupt BIOS - but i did find this article that may help. You will of course have to find out if your motherboard BIOS is an American Megatrends (the majority if not all of mine in the past have been. Its a long shot as i dont know the motherboards that dell put in their products, but might be worth a try.

If for any reason your motherboard (mobo) BIOS corrupted, if you’re motherboards comes with a backup BIOS (Dual BIOS boards or Quard BIOS board from Gigabyte), then you still be able to boot up and log on to operating system. If you’re not, and your computer or motherboard is using an AMI BIOS, then you can use the following fail safe emergency BIOS load trick to try to recover the BIOS corruption. The hack works on the basis that AMI BIOSes have a recovery process that embedded in “boot block” which is a portion of the ROM that runs first and is not updateable. Code in boot block verify that the rest of the BIOS is intact (via checksum, hash, etc.) and if it detects that the main BIOS in “system block” is corrupt, the recovery routine is called and for AMI BIOS, it will boot to a floppy to access any new BIOS file with the name AMIBOOT.ROM. If found, the file will be read and flash or write to the system block, replacing the corrupted or bad main BIOS.

Recovery procedures for AMI BIOS

1. Download the latest version or your choose version of BIOS file for your computer or motherboard from the manufacturer’s support site.
2. Rename the downloaded file to AMIBOOT.ROM.
3. Copy the file to a floppy disk.
4. Insert the floppy disk to the floppy drive.
5. Turn on the system.
6. The system should automatically access the floppy drive (indicated LED will light up). If no floppy access occurs press and hold Ctrl-Home to force update. Follow any on screen instruction to restore and recover the good BIOS from the floppy disk.
7. When 4 beeps are heard or a reboot prompt you may remove the floppy disk.
8. Restart the computer.

Note: If USB keyboard cannot work, try PS/2 keyboard. Sometimes, take out the CMOS battery to clear the configuration settings or reset the CMOS jumper switch to clear the CMOS may help too. Only the BIOS file is needed. For AMI BIOS recovery, the floppy no need to be bootable, and no flash utility needs to exists too.

Source: http://www.mydigital...s-flash-update/

Does anyone else have any input for this thread with regards to a potentially corrupt bios?
Are you running it from a power adapter? i have just read a lot of people with the Inspiron 1525 have experienced faulty power adaptors

Edited by playsatan, 17 November 2009 - 04:05 PM.

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#5
yosinc

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Thanks...I will give that a try tomorrow as I am about to go to bed!

I tried running from battery but it made no difference. I haven't tried removing the CMOS battery - I meant to but forgot (ooops). So I'll do that first tomorrow.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Yolanda
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#6
yosinc

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Right...well I've spent hours taking both machines appart to get to the CMOS battery (what a pain) and rebuilding them.

The good news is that one of them is now working - came straight back up as if nothing had happened.

But although the other one is getting further than it did, it stops with "Windows error recovery" and runs startup repair which fails - "Cannot Repair this computer automatically".

Am I right in thinking I need to reinstall Vista, or is there anything else I can do?

Anyway, huge thanks for the advice which got one laptop working and at least has got the other one sort of starting, even if it is not actually runing yet.


Yolanda
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#7
playsatan

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Sorry for late reply i hadn't checked to see if anyone had replied to my thread for a few days (no joy on that front! lol) Glad one of your laptops is working again!! It might be worth getting a spare battery for the CMOS just in case it is running low or something.

Would it be possible to try the solution in my original post now that it at least begins to switch on?? This would save you having to start all over again from scratch by re-installing vista. If the system restore feature doesnt work then a complete re-install is certainly an option if you can get your laptop to boot from cd/dvd
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