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Cannot load windows, safe mode, reinstall...


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#1
fastfingerfool

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Dell Dimension 8400
Pentium 4, 3.00 Ghz
2 GB DDR2 SDRAM 533 Mhz

While my wife was surfing the net, our AVG virus protection encountered a problem and quarantined some files before the system froze. She was able to write down one of them- windows\system32\smss32.exe- which I am aware is vital. When I try a normal startup, it gets to the startup screen with the user names. When a user name is clicked, it immediately logs back off and goes back to startup screen. I cannot access safe mode startup as well. As a last resort, I attempted to do a reinstall using the Dell reinstallation CD. Message comes up that it cannot find the hard drive and cannot continue. I was able to do diagnostic testing (from f12 startup) and everything checked out ok, including the hard drive.

Is there any way to find out exactly what files were put in quarantine, and more importantly, is there any way to get them back where they belong? If there are no other options, is there another way to try a repair/reinstallation? I do have access to another computer to download anything necessary. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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#2
happyrock

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Hi fastfingerfool ... :) ..:)

If you do not have a windows xp disk, download the following file: rc.iso....from here..then run chkdsk /r... from the cd...be sure the bios is set to boot from the cd drive first...

go here and get burncdcc ..a small FAST no frills iso burning program...

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC by clicking on BurnCDCC.exe
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its rc.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....put the cd in the cd drive..boot your computer....when you get to the screen that gives you the option to install or repair ...select r...then when you get to the prompt...type in chkdsk /r..press enter

NOTE THE SINGLE SPACE BEFORE THE /
While chkdsk is running you will see a light blue window with a dark blue band at the top and bottom. or a black dos box depending on on which cd you use... a Chkdsk will display the specific stage it is checking as well as the percentage of completion of the stage....
there are 5 stages...it may appear to hang at a certain % for a hour or more...it even will sometimes go back over a area...this is normal...
DO NOT SHUT DOWN THE COMPUTER OR YOU CAN HAVE SERIOUS PROBLEMS...it can take a long time depending on how large the drive is...
You cannot do anything else on your computer while chkdsk is running. When chkdsk is finished, it will automatically reboot your computer....


then Go to Start...Run and type: eventvwr.msc press enter
When Event Viewer opens, click on Applications... then scroll down to Winlogon and double-click on it. This is the log created after running Checkdisk...copy and paste the log back here

Edited by happyrock, 22 February 2010 - 04:23 PM.

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#3
fastfingerfool

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I can't get the info you asked for. As I mentioned above, when trying the xp disk it says:

"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.

Make sure any hard disk drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program.

Setup cannot continue. To quit Setup, press F3."

Just in case my reinstallation disk was bad, I made one from your information (rc.iso) and tried that one too. Same thing happened. All connections to the hard disk are good, and the diagnostic tests came out ok too. As far as the hardware configuration being correct, nothing was changed by me- but that doesn't mean something wasn't changed automatically when all the problems happened. I don't know how to check that out given the limited computer usage on this system. I'm still open to any and all suggestions!
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#4
happyrock

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does your bios see your hard drive...keys to use to access your bios here...and here...
if so...use my previous post and try rc.iso...

Edited by happyrock, 22 February 2010 - 06:28 PM.

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#5
fastfingerfool

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Yes, the hard disk is listed under the BIOS screen, which is one of the few things I can access. Diagnostic tests I ran confirm it is in working order.
However, when I attempt to use the Dell windows reinstall disk or the rc.iso disk I made, it will load them and once it gets to the point of hitting Enter to reinstall/R to enter repair/f3 to exit screen- it will come back with the error I previously posted about not finding the hard drive and not being able to continue.
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#6
happyrock

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do you have a new data cable to try...
or you can remove the drive and slave it to a working system to run chkdsk /r on the drive...( be sure to unplug from the wall first on both machines)
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