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Dell laptop will not boot OS


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#1
chainsaw6966

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I have a Dell Studio 1735
BIOS Version A04
Intel Core 2 Duo 2 MB
Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM (307 MB/ 667 MHz)
250 GB HDD

When I turn on my laptop I get the Dell POST screen and that seems to function normally. After the bar fills up the computer would normally go to the Vista log in screen...it doesn't. I get a black screen with an unrespsonsive cursor in the top left. I've checked the BIOS and all of the setting are where they should be. When I start over, I can only use the F2 or F12 keys (I can run any bootable disc). I've done every diagnostic possible (Dell "Diagnostics and Drivers", Vista "Repair My Computer" and the onboard diagnostics) and they all PASS...everything. I cannot use the F8 to try Safe Mode or such, and did a keyboard check to make sure all keys are functioning properly, and they are. In the Vista RE, it shows the OS and I move to the next screen to click on "Startup Repair". That completes successfully but the comp still will not boot. I've checked the memory, hard drive, etc. and as I said earlier, they all pass.
The next thing I tried was the Bootrec commands for FixBoot and FixMbr, which both say completed successfully. Still not booting. Here's the kicker...when I use the ScanOs command, it says that no operating system can be found. I've checked the directory and it's there. So now I'm really confused. I did a clean install after formatting the drive, and still nothing. (Just to be sure, and since I had them new, I replaced the RAM but problem is still here.) If anyone has any ideas or help, that'd be great! Thanks in advance!
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#2
Macboatmaster

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Welcome to Geeks to Go

1. If your spec is correct you have no chance of running Vista with that ram
http://windows.micro...em-requirements

2. What O/S was origninally on the laptop

3. As you have just recently I think, done a clean install
I would recommend you make yourself a bootable CD and check the HDD if you know the make of drive use their utility on an extended test
If you do not know the make use Seatools for dos on an ISO CD
Here is the link
http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287

4. What happens when you try and boot to Safe Mode please

5. I would after the drive check be tempted to try again on a clean install - if of course the check reports the drive is OK

6. It may be a graphics issue

7. As I stated at 1.
RAM or rather the lack of ram is your second enquiry

8 A final point for your consideration is
What is being used to install Vista, in otherwords - a Micorosoft Vista licensed installation DVD, a Dell Vista reinstall etc
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#3
chainsaw6966

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The laptop originally came with Vista, and I'm using the licensed copy that came with it. I cannot boot in Safe Mode, as the F8 key does nothing. (I did a full system check and a specific keyboard check also, just to make sure it was functioning properly, and it is.) The only options I have when I boot is to hit F2 or F12. I use the F12 and run the Vista DVD or the Dell Diagnostics DVD, and they work perfectly. No graphics errors. As far as the RAM, it's what was originally installed on this laptop (with Vista 32 Bit)...that's why I'm so confused. I thought formatting the drive and a clean install should've fix my problem. Thank you for taking the time to help me out! I really appreciate it.

Edited by chainsaw6966, 03 September 2012 - 11:43 AM.

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#4
Macboatmaster

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It depends on where you obtained the 307MB MEGABYTE of ram details from
The spec of that latop was

View Specifications

Base Model

ProcessorIntel Pentium Dual Core
2.0 GHz - 667Mhz - 1MB Cache
Hard Drive160GB SATA (5400rpm)
Memory2GB DDR2
VideoIntel Graphics Accelerator 4500
Screen Glossy Widescreen 17.0 inch 1440 x 900
ExtrasWebcam,Dell Wireless Card,Bluetooth,HDMI connector,VGA connector, LAN(10/100/1000),Line In, Line Out, Mic In, IEEE1394(Firewire)

Best Model

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo
2.0 GHz - 800Mhz - 2MB Cache
Hard DriveDUAL 320GB SATA (5400rpm)
Memory4GB DDR2
Video 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650
ScreenGlossy Widescreen 17.0 inch 1920 x 1200
ExtrasWebcam,Dell Wireless Card,Bluetooth,HDMI

So ONE may presume that it is NOT 307MB of ram.

Here is a guide to your computer
http://support.dell..../NU140A00MR.pdf

As after the format and reinstall of Vista, you still cannot access the F8 menu, something is seriously wrong.

Make yourself this CD and see if Memtest tells us anything please and then we will proceed to another check
http://www.geekstogo...sing-memtest86/
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#5
chainsaw6966

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I might have written something down incorrectly, but as I said, Vista was originally installed on this laptop and I never changed any hardware. Just recently it crashed to the black screen problem. I'm doing the Seatools scan that you recommended right now. So we'll see what happens there.
I read that Microsoft had an issue with the "$Txf directory" and this is why the black screen happens. They recommend a clean install but that didn't work. Some posts suggest a parallel install of Vista, but I'm not sure how to do that. Do you have any ideas on this? One more question...when I do the install, I'm not asked for a product key. It's been a long time, so I don't remember if that happens later on in the install process, or is something going wrong? I do see Vista in the directory when done, so I'm lost.
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#6
Macboatmaster

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To answer that one quickly, as I am signing off for evening meal, a parallel installation, is an installation of the O/S on the same drive, but choosing a different name eg
Windows1, or whatever.
It is used when the EXISTING system has errors that cannot be repaired, but can be accessed.
The new installation is then used to copy across from the ORIGINAL installation all your user files etc.
IT WILL NOT HELP you in this instance, as you formatted and reinstalled therefore there is no data to copy across.
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#7
chainsaw6966

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OK, and thanks. Hope you have a good night. If you think of anything, please let me know.
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#8
Macboatmaster

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Only offline for an hour or so
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