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Computer Won't Boot Up


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#1
DTX

DTX

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I'm having a problem starting up my computer.

The Dell splash screen comes up, and then instead of going to the Windows logo it just goes to a blank screen with a flashing cursor at the top left corner.
F2 and F12 are shown as options during the Dell splash screen, but nothing I do in there helps.

Usually you can press F8 (I think?) to go to the safe mode options, but it won't work, and I even did a Windows repair from the disc and the problem still persists.

Based on other information I've read in these forums I have tried the following from the Windows Recovery Console:

CHKDSK /R I tried this multiple times. The percentage counter seems to hop back to 50% once it reaches 75% and then continue on very very slowly after that.

FIXBOOT and FIXMBR Tried each of these a few times at various stages of investigation.

Nothing has made any difference at all.

I have also just tried installing a parallel version of Windows on the same drive, as recommended by another person on these forums, in order to gain access to my files.
It installed fine, but when the computer restarted near the end of the installation, it went back to that damned flashing cursor again!!

I've tried unplugging the laptop and taking out the battery for an extended period of time, as suggested by another user in a similar thread.
Also tried taking out the hard drive and re-inserted it after starting the computer as another user suggested.

I've even tried what the Microsoft website recommended :)
That was to copy the NTLDR and NETDETECT.COM files direct from the Windows disc to my c:\ drive.

Again, nothing has changed. The flashing cursor still sits up there mocking me! :) :)

Do any of you fine techies have any suggestions as to what I might try next?

Thanks in advance!

**EDIT**

I just wanted to add that I've also run the diagnostic in the BIOS and everything comes up as a "pass".
The memory test seems to take quite a bit longer than all the others but that may be normal, I'm not sure.

Edited by DTX, 31 July 2010 - 02:59 PM.

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#2
SRX660

SRX660

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More than likely your hard drive has died. The computer is working because you can get into the BIOS. The flashing cursor is saying the puter is running but it cant find any boot loader for windows, caused by either bad sectors in the area the MBR is residing or the drive just won't even start. Can you hear the drive spin up when the computer starts up? If it does spin up then bad sectors is usually the problem. This still equates to a drive replacement.

SRX660
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#3
DTX

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More than likely your hard drive has died. The computer is working because you can get into the BIOS. The flashing cursor is saying the puter is running but it cant find any boot loader for windows, caused by either bad sectors in the area the MBR is residing or the drive just won't even start. Can you hear the drive spin up when the computer starts up? If it does spin up then bad sectors is usually the problem. This still equates to a drive replacement.

SRX660



Hi, thanks for your reply, and sorry for the delay in mine. I've been away for a few days.

I fear you may be right. It's hard to tell, but I don't believe there is any sound coming from the hard drive on startup.
The only thing that confuses me is the fact that Windows seemed to install okay when I added the parallel copy. Even though it wouldn't start up afterward.

Would it still have done that with a bad drive?

The drive is actually only about year old, as I swapped out my old one for a bigger one when I did my last Windows reinstall. Unfortunately I didn't keep my old drive.
Knew I should have stuck with WD instead of going with the Samsung model.

Do you know if there is an easy way to access the information on my current drive?
Unfortunately I had downloaded a bunch of holiday pictures and videos 2 days prior to this problem occurring and I hadn't had time to copy them to my backup drive before the crash.

Thanks again!
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#4
SRX660

SRX660

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While your drive may still be working it might have bad sectors in the area on the hard disk that contains the boot information. This could cause the problems you are having. One of the first things that i try when people ask me to try saving data off bad drives is to use a external USB enclosure. Since you don't have to be able to boot off a USB drive 90% of the time you can still see the data and programs on the drive. You can then access most of the areas of the drive. Windows will remark bad sectors of a USB external drive so it does not affect the other data. One drive i did this to took a very long time to be seen in explorer. That was because the drive was going bad so badly that all windows could see was 113 gigs of a 160 gig HD. I saved all the data i could(transferred to another drive)in a long 2 hours session. The next time i tried accessing the drive even the USB enclosure would not let me see the drive anymore. The few times a external enclosure did not work the drive was usually really dead(not spinning up at all).

SRX660
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