Need someone with 1337 skillz to help sort out my laptop boot problem!

vbimport

#1

OK guys, so basically I had this guy’s problem:

I put my laptop into sleep mode, closed the lid and went to bed. When I woke up it was still, to my surprise- running. I quickly ran over and opened it to check if it was still on. I was met with a black screen. After about a minute I shut it down and restarted it, only to find that it couldn’t find C:/ and so could not restore the system. I have left it to cool down, but so far it’s still not reading the main hard-drive Is there anyone who knows what I should do?

(Original link: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/p/19456381/20138728.aspx )

I have the same model laptop and everything. Turns out that it WASN’T a hardware problem though, and he fixed it:

after some setup tinkering i managed to figure out that the setup was on the wrong settings. Then after another 3 hours i managed to restore and return the partition ( it was stuck on X:) using diskpart. First time i accidentaly booted the memory, forgetting the boot files. After a panicked 30 minutes i managed to boot it from a repair disk and return it to the boot partition. The computer then repaired some files and I managed to log on.

Luckily this time it was merely a system crash ( i think, because it booted as X:\ which appears to be a repair boot file?)

And not a problem with the hard-drive itself.

I First realised it wasn’t the hard-drive because upon checking the Setup i found it was listed, and it was still wirring.

I was ready to open up my laptop thinking it was a hardware problem and boy am I glad I didn’t. So, he solved his problem but unfortunately I don’t know exactly what he did, I tried restoring it via a backup disk that I made when I first got it but it tells me that my HDD isn’t big enough - this must obviously be linked to it trying to access the wrong partition (X as opposed to C?). So I need someone more tech-savvy than me to hopefully tell me what it is that I might need to do, and maybe learn something in the process too.

Any help gratefully received.


#2

Moving this to the laptop forum, I hope someone will be able to help SG!


#3

Ah, oh I thought it’d be better in general hardware 'cos the situation would apply to a desktop or laptop, therefore more people can see the thread and help that way.


#4

Ah apologies, but you still should get the best out of both worlds, as in the General Hardware Forum there is now a redirect to this thread/forum :wink:


#5

I would backup first all important stuff - you probably can boot into it via usb or an bootable CD or DVD first…

After backing up you’ll have at least NO data loss.

Isn’t there a kinda system restore option when booting up?!?


#6

chef, there is no way at all to access C. I don’t have a Windows DVD, the PC came with it pre-loaded. I had the option to create a backup disc when I first got it which I did, tried it out and it says I need a HDD bigger than ’ HDD GB’ (yes the blank space is intentional).

I can’t see it being the HDD dying as it’s less than a year old, and as my linked post says, this guy with an identical problem got his working.


#7

Oh…

I would pull out the hdd anyway, connect it to a linux computer and try some stuff to retrieve or at least save all important data.

Seems you have no other choice than such or similar?!


#8

OK, time for an update… I got hold of a Windows 7 disc and put it in, all of the repair options won’t work. Upon opting for the ‘command prompt’, I am given ‘X:\Sources>’, [B]just like this other guy said that I quoted in the OP[/B]. So the way to fix is clearly along the way that he did it - it is looking more and more like a drive partitioning error, and not a hardware failure - the fellow that I quote in the OP got his stuff working properly (also I have no linux computer that can take a laptop HDD anyway).

So… the nature of the problem seems clear now but I’m not skilled enough to know what to do - if someone can make sense of what he said (it’s there in the OP), I’ll be able to get back on track.


#9

Are you able to attach that harddisk to another computer? Maybe you could save the data on it.

After saving the precious data, i suggest a complete reinstall.


#10

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2651607]Are you able to attach that harddisk to another computer? Maybe you could save the data on it.

After saving the precious data, i suggest a complete reinstall.[/QUOTE]As it’s a laptop, I’m afraid not - but can anybody suggest the cheapest way to hook it up to a standard desktop?


#11

Seems that there’s something wrong with the partition table…you can try to recover with Easus Partition Recovery.
Install the program on another computer and create a bootcd from it,then run that bootcd on your laptop.
Parted Magic is another tool to handle partition issues…create the livecd on another computer and explore the repair options of GParted…:cool:


#12

[QUOTE=SG;2651670]As it’s a laptop, I’m afraid not - but can anybody suggest the cheapest way to hook it up to a standard desktop?[/QUOTE]

Unless you are dealing with an absolutely ancient laptop it has a SATA drive inside it.

SATA drives use the same connectors for both notebooks and desktops,
There are differences in power requirements, but since desktop drives require 12V that notebooks do not a Notebook drive will connect directly to both the desktop power cable and the data cable without issue.

that way you can save any data necissary IF the drive is recognized at all…

In any event whenever people have a problem I remove the drive and
re-install their OS on another drive that way I can proof their hardware.

“DATA recovery” and testing their physical drive are seperate issues.

a “Reinstall” IS often my “first resort”, but as the original system drive isn’t involved…


#13

[QUOTE=SG;2651670]As it’s a laptop, I’m afraid not - but can anybody suggest the cheapest way to hook it up to a standard desktop?[/QUOTE]

http://dx.com/p/2-5-3-5-ide-sata-hdd-to-esata-usb-2-0-docking-station-w-card-reader-113455?item=12


#14

Oh boy, I’m glad it’s not a hardware problem! When reading it I thought you might be fried for sure. Good luck in figuring it out, though, sounds like a puzzling problem.


#15

[QUOTE=SG;2651670]As it’s a laptop, I’m afraid not - but can anybody suggest the cheapest way to hook it up to a standard desktop?[/QUOTE]

There are convinient adaptors for that prupose like:


#16

Hi folks - thanks for the help thus far. I think the HDD is fried TBH.

When I get the money I think I’ll just buy a new HDD. This one is 500GB and 7200 RPM so I’ll make the replacing it worthwhile and get a 1TB one preferably with a higher RPM. [B]Can anyone who knows all about HDDs explain what the different speed categories are and what % of a jump in price I would be from going from a 1TB 7200 RPM to the next highest up, then the next highest, etc as I want this purchase to be worth it without raping my wallet - but also am willing to go as high as necessary to get even better (and possibly the maximum possible) performance out of this machine and for a few years to come[/B], so I also see it as an investment. It’s a 2.3GHz i5 CPU, 6GB RAM and a 1GB GFX card on Windows 7. Also, best brands - IIRC Western Digital are the bees knees?

In the meantime, does anyone kjnow of a mini version of Windows 7 that I could load from an 8GB USB drive? Or if more space is needed, an external HDD?


#17

Ok, if the “C:” partition is accessable at all with another computer
you can clone if to another device, personally I’d recommend cloning it as a “partition-to-partition”.

clone to another drive, connect that replacement back to the original computer,
the system WILL NOT BOOT, so don’t expect it to…

Then set the computer to boot from the optical drive, and insert a windows DVD,
and go through the procedure until you get to the pagewhere you have a choice
between installing or REPAIRING windows, choose the repair.

“Repair Windows” run from an installation disc has never failed me…

You can download CLEAN Windows7 ISO’s for all versions HERE:

If you do end up reinstalling from scratch…
These ISO REQUIRE a CoA to activate but I’ve personally used them with BOTH retail
and OEM CoA “Product codes”, without a CoA you get the usual 30 day "Trial"
period to activate.

AD


#18

So, any update on this?