Dead Dell

  jimforrest 19:40 17 Oct 2009

Hi - I have a Dell Inspiron 1525 running Vista Home Premium and won't boot up properly.
It started by just refusing to boot and giving a message saying BOOTMNR missing.
I downloaded the recovery .iso and now it boots up to the desktop - but with no icons except the Recycle Bin.
There are no programmes on the Start menu - even all the basic Vista ones - completely blank!
What I have noticed is that it doesn't blink the HD light at all during booting. Nor can I load any progs on it because Explorer isn't there.
However, if I press F2 at startup and look at devices it shows the HD. I have another HD and it correctly sees that too (different size).
It looks like the comp sees the HD but Windows doesn't.
I tried loading XP from CD but it says no hard drive is present.
Any ideas?

  rawprawn 19:45 17 Oct 2009

Have a look here click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:23 17 Oct 2009

XP CD probably cannot see the hard drive due its being a sata drive you would need to load the sata drivers from a floppy at the F6 prompt during install.

Vista Repair
If no repair options are available your PC manufacturer may have replaced the tools or customised them. Check your Computer Manual before proceeding.

1/ Start your PC

2/ If your PC has one operating system Press and Hold the F8 key as your PC starts. If the Windows Logo appear you will need to start again

3/ If you have a dual boot system a Boot option menu will appear. Highlight the Vista operating system and Press the F8 key

4/ In both cases, if all has gone well, an Advanced options screen will now appear

5/ Highlight the repair Your Computer option and Press Enter

6/ Select a keyboard layout, and then Click the Next button

7/ Next select your user Name and Enter your Password, then Click OK

8/ The recovery options should now appear
* Startup repair - This automatically fixes problems that are preventing Windows from starting
* System Restore - This will Restore Windows to an earlier point in time
* Windows Complete PC Restore - This will completely restore your entire PC - programs, system settings and files - from a back up that you have previously created (Available in Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions only)
* Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool - This checks your computer's memory hardware for errors
* Command Prompt - This opens a Command Window

9/ Click on the Option you require and follow the onscreen prompts

  jimforrest 22:05 17 Oct 2009

Sorry chaps - the .iso I referred to is a CD disc image that gives the repair/rebuild functions you refer to. I've done all that and got it to the desktop - but there's no 'Windows' behind it (meaning that it's loaded either from memory and/or from the image).
The real problem is that the C drive seems to be invisible. Motherboard failure; controller corrupted; lost driver?
As I said - at no time does the comp blink the C drive light - even during boot up.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:38 17 Oct 2009

If c drive ded then I wouldn't epect you to get as far as a desktop.

* Command Prompt - This opens a Command Window

chkdsk /f


  jimforrest 23:14 17 Oct 2009

Ran chkdsk/f and it reported completed successfully. Trouble is it also said No of drives=0 !!
I took the drive out and put it on a disc reader on another laptop. I can see the drive and its contents - so it is readable. I can even see the Repair.exe file. Trouble is the Dell can't.
Is there any other way I can connect the C drive to the comp? If I can then perhaps I can run the Repair prog.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 23:18 17 Oct 2009

Check BIOS that drives are enabled NAd IDE and SATA controllers are enabled.

You can run the repair on the drive if you have i attached to anothermachine But the drive letter will be different.

  jimforrest 00:23 18 Oct 2009

Bios says drives are AHCI (default)
I tried changing boot sequence to USB storage device and put the drive on the USB port - but it didn't work (possibly the USB isn't powered up or, because Vista isn't really running, it can't run the drive).
Now, is there any way I can copy the complete repair image onto a CD using another comp and then run that via the CD drive?
I'm a bit out of my depth now so instructions should be simple.

  jimforrest 00:37 18 Oct 2009

Also just ran the diagnostics - it's thrown up an error message 2000-0142. HD1 self test unsuccessful. Staus 74.
Any help to you?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:16 18 Oct 2009

You cannot boot into vista from a USB drive (not without a lot of work anyway :0()

"2000-0142. HD1 self test unsuccessful. Staus 74."

The drive is failing badly, you need to replace it. With the drive as slave or in a USB caddy attached to another machine, backup all your data before it fails completely.

If you can borrow a VISTA DVD you can install vista on your new drive using the serial number on your machine.

  jimforrest 13:36 18 Oct 2009

I have an XP Pro CD complete with Serial number - but if I put the new drive in and boot from the XP CD it says 'no C drive present'. I expect a Vista CD will do the same.

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