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Startup Repair Loop, Cannot boot into safe mode


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#1
kelltech

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Hello,
I have a Dell Inspiron 1520 running Vista (Pro I believe, wife's laptop) and yesterday it froze then gave a stop error/blue screen. Upon reboot it entered the Startup Repair and I have not been able to get anywhere except startup repair.

I cannot boot into safe mode, an attempt at a safe mode boot leads to startup repair as well. I tried system restore and that leaves me staring at a blank windows color-splash screen infinitely. I am clueless where to go from here, it's as if I'm locked out and can only see startup repair. What can I try?
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#2
kelltech

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Ok, I removed the cd drive, the hdd and put them back in. After reboot it ran the startup repair yet again, then it did a chkdsk on its own and booted to windows. No idea how or why-- maybe impending hdd failure on the horizon?
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#3
rshaffer61

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Do a hd diagnostics and then a memory test following the below instruction.

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, try the Hitachi DFT CD Image version of the software

Thanks to Broni for the instructions



If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-2.11.iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-2.11.iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-2.11.iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

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10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run. You may have to change the boot sequence in your BIOS to make it work right.

To change Boot Sequence in your BIOS

Reboot the system and at the first post screen (where it is counting up memory) start tapping the DEL button
This will enter you into the Bios\Cmos area.
Find the Advanced area and click Enter
Look for Boot Sequence or Boot Options and highlight that click Enter
Now highlight the first drive and follow the directions on the bottom of the screen on how to modify it and change it to CDrom.
Change the second drive to the C or Main Drive
Once that is done then click F10 to Save and Exit
You will prompted to enter Y to verify Save and Exit. Click Y and the system will now reboot with the new settings.


The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


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It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

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The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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