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Standard User Titus
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 10:34:31
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Dell Help


[link to this post]
 
[Not sure if this should be posted here on in "Hardware Issues", but here goes ...]

Help / advice, please!

A friend informs me by telephone that her Dell Inspriron 1720, purchased in 2007, running Vista, will no longer boot up. One day fine, next day, all that happened on power-up was that Dell logo appeared then eventually a message (in grey) "resuming windows" which faded to a blank screen. She has switched off and then on gain, in the time-honoured way - no joy.

She is a bright lady but non-technical and not a computer geek. Like many people, all she used her computer for is E-mail and surfing the internet, booking accommodation, concert tickets etc.

I am not the least bit familiar with Visa (am an XP fan) so don't even know if you can boot into "Safe" mode with Vista to run AVG (which is her anti-virus protection) or how to do any useful diagnostics from the BIOS or from "Safe" mode.

I have suggested that she finds the recovery disk or Windows disk which may have been supplied with the computer, but am not even sure how to boot into a mode which would enable her to re-install windows if necessary.

I am communicating with her by telephone and (of course) she is off-line while her computer refuses to boot up ...

She has tried contacting Dell but has been very unimpressed. After a long wait, a barely intelligible adviser in Asia apparently spent ages on the 'phone to her, guiding her through various diagnostic routines. The outcome of these diagnostic tests is unclear, but the adviser had to pass her on to someone more senior who said he would ring back at XXX O'clock. He rang hours later than that - no use to my friend who works part-time and who is only free at certain (limited) times.

Have you folks got any suggestions as the best way I can assist her, please? Even if one can boot Vista into "Safe" mode, I don't even know which key to press during boot-up. Nor am I sure what to do or what to check (or rather, advise her what to check ...) when in "Safe" mode or in any diagnostic mode.

Thanks in advance!

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User MHC
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 11:05:13
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
I am surprised by the Dell response - the second line support are normally in Ireland and will call back at an agreed time. If she works part time then she must be able to arrange a time when she is free - just tell Dell that is when she is available.

At least Dell were able to make it boot ...

The normal way for a Dell is to power up and as soon as the first (Dell) splash screen appears press <F12>. That will take you to a boot menu ...

There will be options including Diagnostics , or Utility Partition - which ever of those is there, select it. That will boot into the diagnostics set up.

Then select TEST SYSTEM ... press enter and then you will get a choice of Quick Test, Extended Test or Custom. Start running through those to check all of the hardware.


If the hardware checks out then it could be software corruption - and safe mode can be accessed by pressing <F8> at the Dell splash screen.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User Titus
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 11:54:25
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Re: Dell Help


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Thanks, MHC.

Regarding Dell: I, too had heard consistently good reports of both Dell computers and of Dell's customer support, which is why I was very happy to hear that she had bought her computer from them

However the advisor she spoke to (and his supervisor) definitely were Asian, not Irish.

She did exactly what you suggest: explained that she was only available at certain times, and when the supervisor said he would have to ring her back the next day and promised to do so at an agreed time, they arranged a very specific time - 11.00am. He actually rang her - eventually - at 2.00pm, when she was working ...

She had already accessed the diagnostics page (by pressing F12 - trial-and-error - during boot-up) under my telephione guidance but didn't go any further since I was unsure how to guide her through any diagnosis from the end of a telefphone.

Being fully aware of my own ignorance, I didn't want to risk inadvertantly changing any settings. I would have expected experts from Dell to be able to do this much more effcoieintly than me!

However, thanks for your advice. If she continues to have difficulties with the Dell "help" team, I will try to guide her through the diagnostics / test routines myself, in the way you suggest. If, after this, it is not clear to me what / where the fault is or where it lies (hardware / software), I will come and ask here for further help.

Thanks!

By the way, is it possible to boot into "Safe" mode with Vista? If so, how, and what can one usefully do in that mode?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''


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Standard User dandnsmith
(experienced) Fri 15-Jul-11 12:03:50
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
My, somewhat limited, experience with tangling with the asian support team was that they only had scripts to work with - fine if they are well written, but these didn't cater for the equipment we were dealing with (under Dell warranty). The only response I got when I pointed out that they were asking me to do futile tests (which I'd already carried out) was 'do it anyway' - so I did and reported 'no result' (as previous).
I got passed to some slightly better help, which determined that it was a HDD problem, and that it needed replacement, but said they had no authority to get this done (and couldn't pass me to someone who could).
I reported the events to the company for whom I was acting, and suggested that, in view of the cost (in my time) they were incurring, it would be more effective for me to visit a shop, locally, get a new HDD and install it - they agreed.

Derek
Standard User MHC
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 13:17:14
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Re: Dell Help *DELETED*


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Post deleted by MHC
Standard User MHC
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 13:28:10
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
The agent and supervisor will only be first line - second line is where she needs to get to. They are normally in Ireland, but some may be elsewhere.

To get into safe mode, it should as I mentioned before be <F8> during the splash screen.

However, you may need to select: Safemode with dos prompt

then once DOS is running type: c:\windows\explorer.exe





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Fri 15-Jul-11 13:59:16
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Re: Dell Help


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Dell in recent years have gone downhill rapidly fast concerning their support as well as build quality.

Their Ireland operations have been moved over to Poland for manufacturing and India for it's global support.

Although they all may be moved again at the drop of the hat to the next money saving location.

Anyways if the laptop didn't come with recovery discs it may be on a recovery partition which needs to be accessed by pushing one of the function keys during the BIOS boot up.

Also Windows should have invited your friend to make recovery discs when Vitsa booted for the first time
Standard User Titus
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 14:57:10
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Re: Dell Help


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Thanks. She has contacted Dell again, still no useful response to the daignostic tests.

By the sound of it, it isn't even completing the diagnostics properly. This suggests a hard disk failure, confirmed by the fact that she now says "Well, it had been making funny scrapng noises from time-to-time when it was warm." OK, she didn't realise the significance of that, until now ...

I am unimpressed by the fact that so far, no-one at Dell has even mentioned the possibilty of a hard disk failure!

She has tried ringing Dell Customer Service instead of Dell Technical Help. Waste of time - just menus, and being referred from one number to another. How do you get to Dell's Second Level Support, please?

Is there a simple, foolproof way of checking whether the hard drive is faulty / dead?

If it is a dead HD, can it be replaced? If so, would DELL have to do that? Or could a local repairer do it?

Or would she be better off binning the computer and accepting that she has lost all her E-mails (which is the only data she cares about)?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User Apprentice
(knowledge is power) Fri 15-Jul-11 16:37:30
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Like you my PC is loaded with Windows XP so I've no practical experience of using Vista, but if your friend has a Vista DVD she could boot from it in order to try the Windows Vista System Recovery Options (she might have to bring her laptop over to your place):

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ss/win...

http://pcsupport.about.com/lr/hard_drive_problems/44...

Alastair

omadasafisho
Standard User Garyilka
(knowledge is power) Fri 15-Jul-11 16:54:13
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Could it just be overheating? Blow the fan and any other bits you can get to with an airduster to get rid of the dust and fluff that can get into the fan and heat exchanger etc. It's amazing just how much gets sucked into the fan from the lap smile

As far as email is concerned - who does she use for email? If it's her ISP or a web based email such as Yahoo/Google/Hotmail etc then her emails are safe within her account whatever computer she uses.......,
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Fri 15-Jul-11 18:03:38
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
If it is out of warrenty find a local independant computer repair shop.

Take her and her laptop to said shop and see what they say.

If it is inside warrenty you need to get it rturned to dell or get an engineer out, depending on the type of contract she has and get them to sort it.

I am very lucky my local shop doesn't charge for diagnostics at all and will tell you what parts to buy and then they stick them in for you and only charge £30 per hour.
Standard User john2007
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 18:15:41
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
If she wants to get the e-mails from the drive it might be best to stop trying to boot from the disk. I'd take the drive out and examine it on another computer (plenty of 2.5" caddies which will turn the drive into a usb disk). I'd get her to approach a neighbour for help.
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Fri 15-Jul-11 20:19:12
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
I'm kind of confused with what the current state of the laptop is, first you it says it was resuming windows which means the hard drive is working, then Dell is saying the hard drive is dead.

I'm not able to determine what the current state is, so what im suggesting is go to google and search for BART PE, and follow the instructions to make a xp pre install disk. Send the BART PE disk to your friend to put it into her computer and see if the computer can start up with it. Then use the a43 file manager to see if she can access the contents of the hard drive. 1, this will show if the hard drive is working and 2, she can access her files and save them.

BART PE also has a chkdsk feature, so if its just her registry is a bit messed up, it maybe able to fix it so windows can bootup.
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sun 17-Jul-11 20:41:45
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
First, thanks to all of you who have posted and offered advice / suggestions. I will try to respond to each.

In reply to a post by Anonymous:
I'm kind of confused with what the current state of the laptop is, first you it says it was resuming windows which means the hard drive is working, then Dell is saying the hard drive is dead.


- I did not say it was resuming windows. I said that it displayed the message "resuming windows" but not in the usual Windows style of display, and without at any time indicating that it was trying to load windows or displaying any of the usual Windows-style messages or indeed anything recognisable as anything to do with Windows. So this may have been a message from the BIOS or some firmware which the computer displays when it has tried to load windows but not suceeded That would, presumably, be consistent with a hard disk failure.

- Dell did NOT say the hard disk was dead. That is my whole gripe about them: at no time have they ever even mentioned the possibilty of a hard disk failure, which makes me worry about their competence.

Regarding your suggestion of sending her an XP boot disk: thanks, might need to do that later if necessary, but sounds complicated.

I am just surprised that there isn't some simple, straightforward basic diagnostic or test which can be run, even by an inexperienced novice (with suitable guidance), at startup before the computer starts trying to load Windows, which gives a clear indication of "HD not working at all" / "HD working fine" / "HD working after - a fashion - but appears to have soem problems".

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sun 17-Jul-11 20:49:23
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Re: Dell Help


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
If she wants to get the e-mails from the drive it might be best to stop trying to boot from the disk. I'd take the drive out and examine it on another computer (plenty of 2.5" caddies which will turn the drive into a usb disk). I'd get her to approach a neighbour for help.

Thanks, but taking the HD out is hardly a job for a novice. Surely there must be some straighforward low-level test which can be run to see if the HD is dead or not, without having to mechanically dismantle the computer?

And why should a neighbour be any help? Many neighbours wouldn't even know how to switch a computer on ...

Where is one going to find a 2.5" caddy? Only an anorak enthusiast or a computer repairer isl likely to have one of those. You might as well say "Go to a local computer repairer" which might indeed be the best sdvice.

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User john2007
(legend) Sun 17-Jul-11 20:57:25
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
I've only used Toshiba and HP laptops where it is easy to change hard drive, memory, and wireless modules. Usually only a screwdriver is needed.

If she keeps an eye on her machine during power-up it should flash up a press F1 (or similar) message to enter BIOS. The BIOS menus may well have a hard drive test and will certainly indicate if the drive is recognized correctly.

I have caddies for various drive sizes. Your friend may have a neighbour like me.

Why are people so reluctant to ask neighbours for help?
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Sun 17-Jul-11 20:58:47
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Titus:
I said that it displayed the message "resuming windows" but not in the usual Windows style of display, and without at any time indicating that it was trying to load windows or displaying any of the usual Windows-style messages or indeed anything recognisable as anything to do with Windows.
No, that is a msg. from Windows that it is "resuming windows" after forcibly hibernating the PC when the battery is near flat. It doesn't show any of the usual Windows-style messages other than this one until it resorts to the desktop that was current when it switched off. It does this "resume" from a file on the HDD, probably hiberfil.sys.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU BB => 2010: Orange 19 Meg Tweaked / 16 Meg Untweaked LLU BB
Standard User AEP
(knowledge is power) Sun 17-Jul-11 21:02:24
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Go to a local computer repairer.
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sun 17-Jul-11 21:07:40
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Anonymous:
If it is out of warrenty find a local independant computer repair shop.

Take her and her laptop to said shop and see what they say.

If it is inside warrenty you need to get it rturned to dell or get an engineer out, depending on the type of contract she has and get them to sort it.

I am very lucky my local shop doesn't charge for diagnostics at all and will tell you what parts to buy and then they stick them in for you and only charge £30 per hour.

Thanks. That sounds like good sense.

As I mentioned, it was bought in 2007 so is presumably well outside warranty.

I'm afraid I do not altogether understand the concept of "first line" and/or "second line" support. Does this imply that you get useful help from an Irish call centre if a Dell computer is under warranty, and a timewasting load of barely-intelligible script-reading from some Bogolese call centre if the computer is no longer under warranty?

My friend, having been extemely unimpressed by Dell's so-called "support" is now planning to take her computer to a local repairer, which is what several of you have suggestd.

As I have said elsewhere, I am just surprised that there does not seem to be some fairly straightforward basic diagnostic test which she could have run, to check whether or not the HD is indeed stuffed.

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sun 17-Jul-11 21:28:51
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Re: Dell Help


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by XRaySpeX:
In reply to a post by Titus:
I said that it displayed the message "resuming windows" but not in the usual Windows style of display, and without at any time indicating that it was trying to load windows or displaying any of the usual Windows-style messages or indeed anything recognisable as anything to do with Windows.
No, that is a msg. from Windows that it is "resuming windows" after forcibly hibernating the PC when the battery is near flat. It doesn't show any of the usual Windows-style messages other than this one until it resorts to the desktop that was current when it switched off. It does this "resume" from a file on the HDD, probably hiberfil.sys.

Aah! Thank you.

So why should it do that on startup, when connected to the mains? There has been nothing to cause it to hibernate - has it just got corrupted somehow?

Does this mean the HD is OK, or that it might be dodgy in some way?

If the machine persistentluy refuses to load Windows properly, is there any straightforard diagnostic test which she could run (particularly, to test the hard disk), before getting as far as loading Windows?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sun 17-Jul-11 21:32:52
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Re: Dell Help


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
... Why are people so reluctant to ask neighbours for help?

Because, in her case, she knows her neighbours well enough to know that most of them don't even have a computer.

Very few people are likely to be lucky enough to have a clued-up neighbour like you.

Why, otherwise, do you think she would ring a novice like me?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User ianXX
(experienced) Sun 17-Jul-11 23:06:44
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
"... There has been nothing to cause it to hibernate ..."

My desktop Dell's factory default setting is to hibernate after 1080 minutes of inactivity (or some number like that).

This Dell is running Windows 7 and the hibernate option is found at Start -> Control Panel -> Power Options -> "Change plan settings" -> "Change advance power settings" -> Sleep -> "Hibernate after".

Vista may be similar.

Ian
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Mon 18-Jul-11 00:08:56
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Titus:
So why should it do that on startup, when connected to the mains?
Perhaps I did not make myself clear. It does this "resuming windows" on the next start-up after the last shutdown that was forcibly hibernated when e.g. the battery is near flat. There are other events that may cause hibernation, as another poster pointed out.

Did she allow it enough time to resume Windows, considering it has to boot Windows itself, as usual, and then load everything else that was running when it hibernated?

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU BB => 2010: Orange 19 Meg Tweaked / 16 Meg Untweaked LLU BB

Edited by XRaySpeX (Mon 18-Jul-11 00:13:11)

Standard User Titus
(legend) Mon 18-Jul-11 01:00:38
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Re: Dell Help


[re: ianXX] [link to this post]
 
It hadn't been hibernating.

It had been operating normally the previous day, and was switched off overnight - not left to lapse into hibernation.

When she switched it on and tried to use it the next day (her usual routine), instead of loading wndows as it normally did, it just (eventually) went inot "Recovering ..." mode, and stayed there - however long she left it.

As I said, It had not been hibernating ...

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Mon 18-Jul-11 01:13:04
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Titus:
it just (eventually) went into "Recovering ..." mode
"Recovering" or "Resuming"? You said "Resuming" before, which pointed us at hibernation.

IDEA: If you can get into Windows Recovery Console, either built-in or from a Windows CD, you could try deleting (or rename) C:\hiberfil.sys. It can't do any harm and may prevent it thinking it is "Resuming Windows".

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU BB => 2010: Orange 19 Meg Tweaked / 16 Meg Untweaked LLU BB

Edited by XRaySpeX (Mon 18-Jul-11 01:19:55)

Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Mon 18-Jul-11 02:01:03
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
If you can't get hold of a Windows Recovery CD, you d/load Hirenís BootCD 13.2 (not v.14; I pointed out it's faulty and they removed the link). It's brilliant!

You burn it to CD; a burner prog is included (you may need to tick SAO).

Boot from it and choose "Run Mini XP". You will then see an XP-like desktop, which will be familiar to you, and you can Explore all your files and do what you like to them, just like in XP.

Then send her the CD with these instructions.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU BB => 2010: Orange 19 Meg Tweaked / 16 Meg Untweaked LLU BB
Standard User broadband66
(experienced) Mon 18-Jul-11 19:49:31
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Amazon, Maplin, PC World and most computer shops would be able to supply a caddy. Even removing the HD and giving it to someone with a PATA/ SATA cable connector should be able to access the info.

I have a Dell Studio 1555 and all that was required to remove my HD was a small flat screwdriver to undo the screws on the case bottom and my fingers to pull off the small cable. Voila!

Was Eclipse Home Option 1 & VM 2Mb
Now O2 standard
Standard User john2007
(legend) Mon 18-Jul-11 19:58:38
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Re: Dell Help


[re: broadband66] [link to this post]
 
I'd say somewhere between changing a light bulb and wiring a plug in difficulty. Much closer to changing a light bulb though.
Standard User Banger
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 19-Jul-11 02:34:07
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Re: Dell Help


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
You have a light bulb in your laptop?

Tim
ZeN & freenetname
recapped ST546v6 on 8 Meg Active
Check my bad boy speeds out on ZeN
Standard User broadband66
(experienced) Wed 20-Jul-11 19:43:09
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Banger] [link to this post]
 
Some even have LEDs to illuminate the keyboard to enable typing in the dark!

Was Eclipse Home Option 1 & VM 2Mb
Now O2 standard
Standard User john2007
(legend) Wed 20-Jul-11 20:08:30
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Banger] [link to this post]
 
How else can the mice read what I'm typing and squeak it down the intertubes?
Standard User ggremlin
(committed) Wed 20-Jul-11 21:04:17
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Banger] [link to this post]
 
You have a light bulb in your laptop?

backlights in laptop screens, (real pain to change), can cause symptoms like this-
see if its accessing the hard drive on startup, just not showing anything on the screen
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Wed 20-Jul-11 21:17:20
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Hello Titus,

Ok, im not so confused anymore. Windows is corrupt.
She needs to either try booting into safemode so she can do scandisk and fix all errors. or use BART PE to to run chkdsk or if she still has it use the recovery cd and do a non destructive restore if she can.

It's a pritty regular occurance with any windows operating system, it just gets messed up a bit when nobody bothers to do system maintenance like chkdsk/scandisk and defragmenting. or microsoft send it an update which doesnt work with you pc which turns it into a paper weight.
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Thu 21-Jul-11 00:09:22
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Anonymous:
It's a pretty regular occurrence with any windows operating system, it just gets messed up a bit when nobody bothers to do system maintenance like chkdsk/scandisk and defragmenting. or microsoft send it an update which doesn't work with you pc which turns it into a paper weight.
Not at all regular; very rare indeed.

A recovery disk such as Hiren's Boot CD will fix most boot problems.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 15.6 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 16.8 Meg Untweaked WBC
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 21-Jul-11 16:55:27
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
Last 18 months, I've fixed about 7 computers where the boot sequence was corrupt by using either bart or the windows install disk to run chkdsk and fix all errors.
For me it's quite regular. other regular faults are the master boot record, which can be fixed using the windows install disk. None of these computers belong to me, they are just people who come into the community centre.

Which county are you in Titus, in Kent libraries they have computer buddies who can show your friend how to fix the fault for free. Cant really say for other counties.
Standard User Titus
(legend) Thu 21-Jul-11 23:53:04
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Anonymous:
... She needs to either try booting into safemode so she can do scandisk and fix all errors ...

Quite. Which is why, right at the beginning, I asked if Vista can be booted into safe mode, and if so, how, and whether that would enable the hard drive to be checked, and if so, how.

So far, no-one has told me.

Suggestions of telliing a completely non-technical friend, over the telephone, to dismantle their computer, remove the hard drive and then somehow to acquire a caddy so that she could test the hard drive with another computer (which she does not have) are not quite so helpful.

She has no Windows restore disk and I have no idea if there is a hidden restore file on the hard drive or, if there is, how to access it.

As far as I can determine, either (1) the hard drive is knackered, or (2) the Vista operating system is corrupted so that it won't load.

Either way, it seem sensible to find out what diagnostics can be run using utilities which can be run before Windows tries to load.

Of course, if the firmware which runs the computer prior to loading Windows is corrupted, then I guess she has a real problem. How to determine if that is the case?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User john2007
(legend) Fri 22-Jul-11 07:49:15
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
I'd start by reading the replies you already have.
Standard User cheshire_man
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 22-Jul-11 07:53:41
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Titus:
Quite. Which is why, right at the beginning, I asked if Vista can be booted into safe mode, and if so, how, and whether that would enable the hard drive to be checked, and if so, how.

So far, no-one has told me.
During the initial boot sequence press F8 repeatedly, this should bring up the Safe Mode options menu.

Tony
Standard User broadband66
(experienced) Fri 22-Jul-11 09:09:10
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
One can get technical by reading and trying.

F8 and then safe mode as has been pointed out quite a few times.

Then a diagnostics prog by the HD manufacturer can be run but might not give correct information.

Google would give you all this information.

Was Eclipse Home Option 1 & VM 2Mb
Now O2 standard
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 00:45:03
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
I'd start by reading the replies you already have.

That's a brilliant idea - I never thought of doing that! Thank you ...

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 01:15:46
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by cheshire_man:
In reply to a post by Titus:
Quite. Which is why, right at the beginning, I asked if Vista can be booted into safe mode, and if so, how, and whether that would enable the hard drive to be checked, and if so, how.

So far, no-one has told me.
During the initial boot sequence press F8 repeatedly, this should bring up the Safe Mode options menu.

Thank you, but pressing F8 during boot up does nothing whatever. That was just about the first thing I suggested. Which was why I came here and asked whether or not you actually can boot Vista into safe mode, and if so, how.

The lady has been resourceful enough to try pressing all sorts of keys during boot up in an attempt to get into "safe mode". She has not suceeded. She scrupulously followed the guidance of two Dell employees and still didn't get into safe mode.

She got a page offering various diagnostic tests by pressing F12 and she tried all the tests, some of them lengthy. All reported "satisfactory".

A piece of sound advice offered here was "Consult a local repairer", which she did after giving up hope of Dell being able to cure the problem. She reports that he tried all the same things with the same lack of results, even after running all sorts of lengthy tests (just like Dell did), and he was just as baffled as many people here seem to be, so he kept the computer to work on it.

Latest reports are that he has now got it working and that the operating sytem had been badly screwed up and the registry corrupted, but no indication as to how or why. One day it all worked fine: next day, on boot up - no Windows. It seems the HD itself was OK physically.

If I find out anything more, I'll report back. Thank you all for your helpful suggestions and adivice so far.

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User 12eason
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 23-Jul-11 02:10:42
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
blah blah blah
In reply to a post by AEP:
Go to a local computer repairer.

Hoep you get ripped off too.

___________________________________________________________________
           Firenet - V21 - Fast4 - f·2·s - eclipseinternet - entanet - aaisp.net -
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Sat 23-Jul-11 07:57:06
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Well, that's that then!

Did you try the <F8> for Windows Boot Menu on your own PC first (it's standard Windows procedure) so you could guide her thro' it?

You were also advised on how to get free Windows recovery disks, which is most likely what your local repairer used. Now she's gonna have to pay for it.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 15.6 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 16.8 Meg Untweaked WBC
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 08:20:36
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: 12eason] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by 12eason:
blah blah blah
In reply to a post by AEP:
Go to a local computer repairer.

Hoep you get ripped off too.

Thaank you for your valuable contribution.

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User john2007
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 08:24:31
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
She could have gone to a local repairer from the start. You could have googled to find the information you actually used and told her straight away that you didn't understand enough to help.
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 08:39:08
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by XRaySpeX:
... Did you try the <F8> for Windows Boot Menu on your own PC first (it's standard Windows procedure) so you could guide her thro' it?

Of course I have done that, many times, on the half-dozen or so computers which I own and/or have built. It is the very first thing I suggested and the first thing she tried.

None of my computers used Vista and none of them were Dell, however, which is why, when pressing F8 did nothing whatever on her computer, I asked here for suggestions.

Can anyone confirm, please: in the case of a Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop, sold in 2007: can such a computer definitely be booted into "safe" mode, and if so, how? If this is supposed to be possible by pressing F8, what kind of fault is likely to stop this working?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User john2007
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 08:46:05
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Google it. You are wasting our time.
Standard User AEP
(knowledge is power) Sat 23-Jul-11 08:49:35
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Take it to someone who knows.

This has already been suggested several times, and you have accepted that it is the best solution. Messing about when neither of you really know what you are doing is likely to make any situation worse than it already is.

I'm afraid that if you don't know how to boot Windows into Safe Mode, or even know if it is possible, then you are not competent to advise someone, over the phone, how to repair the computer. Parroting answers given here will make neither of you more competent.
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Sat 23-Jul-11 08:56:30
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
As I stated earlier, <F8> for Windows Boot Menu is a standard Windows procedure and works on all versions, incl. Vista, regardless of PC manufacturer.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 15.6 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 16.8 Meg Untweaked WBC
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 09:15:28
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
She could have gone to a local repairer from the start. You could have googled to find the information you actually used and told her straight away that you didn't understand enough to help.

I have always made it clear to her that I was not an expert.

I suggested that she try booting into "safe" mode. Was this the wrong thing to do? It is what several people here have suggested. It is when she was unable to boot into safe mode that I enquired here, and also suggested that she tried contacting Dell who ought to know more about her computer than anyone else. Was that the wrong advice?

It is interesting that comments here range from "She coiuld have gone to a local repairer at the start" to "I hope she gets ripped off".

Which is right? Go to a local repairere straight away, or stay away from local repairers altogether?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 09:17:12
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: AEP] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by AEP:
Take it to someone who knows.

This has already been suggested several times, and you have accepted that it is the best solution. Messing about when neither of you really know what you are doing is likely to make any situation worse than it already is.

I'm afraid that if you don't know how to boot Windows into Safe Mode, or even know if it is possible, then you are not competent to advise someone, over the phone, how to repair the computer. Parroting answers given here will make neither of you more competent.

Agreed completely.

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 09:19:34
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by XRaySpeX:
As I stated earlier, <F8> for Windows Boot Menu is a standard Windows procedure and works on all versions, incl. Vista, regardless of PC manufacturer.

Thank you for a clear, explicit and unambiguous answer. Just what I was seeking.

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 09:21:58
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
Google it. You are wasting our time.

Google what exactly?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Sat 23-Jul-11 09:32:41
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Titus:
It is when she was unable to boot into safe mode
Pressing <F8> often requires exquisite timing to catch it. If she is unfamiliar with it, she might think it wasn't working when she had just missed it; one needs to persevere.

OTOH it might stop working if the Partition Tables are corrupt but there are ways to fix those with my recommended Recovery CD.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 15.6 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 16.8 Meg Untweaked WBC
Standard User Titus
(legend) Sat 23-Jul-11 09:43:17
Print Post

Re: Dell Help


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by XRaySpeX:
In reply to a post by Titus:
It is when she was unable to boot into safe mode
Pressing <F8> often requires exquisite timing to catch it. If she is unfamiliar with it, she might think it wasn't working when she had just missed it; one needs to persevere.

OTOH it might stop working if the Partition Tables are corrupt but there are ways to fix those with my recommended Recovery CD.

Thank you for a positive suggestion.

I know just what you mean - I find I sometimes need to need to persist, and press F8 repeatedly. That is just what I advised her to do and is what she did.

Thanks for the recommendations regarding a recovery disk. However if that is indeed what is needed, then I think it will be simpler, safer and certainly quicker for her to get that done through a local repairer.

Likewsie suggestions involving the physical dismantling of her computer. But again, thanks at least for some positive advice.

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Edited by Titus (Sat 23-Jul-11 09:51:21)

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