Just before I spend time/money...

  Ian in Northampton 15:01 06 Jan 2015
Locked
Answered

My daughter's Dell E4300 has died. No surprise there, given the abuse she dishes out to it. It boots into BIOS, the disk light flickers briefly then stays on - and then nothing. No error message at all - and no Windows. I'm guessing/assuming that the hard drive has died.

I tried to load XP (only because it was the nearest OS to hand...) I was surprised it got as far as it did - it seemed to load all the necessary files - but then I got a BSoD with error messages that seemed to focus on the hard drive. I wondered if, as the laptop was never supposed to run XP, tat might be an issue - So, I found a copy of W7, and booted from that. Again, to my surprise, it loaded all the files and entered startup ("to my surprise" because I'd have thought, if the hard drive was bad, it wouldn't even complete the initial file load).

However, it's now been stuck in 'Setup is starting' for a couple of hours. Given the greater sophistication of W7, I'm surprised it hasn't returned an error message.

So, to my questions:

  1. Is there anything else I should be trying?
  2. Does it sound like a bad hard drive - or could it be something else?

I'm trying to avoid the hassle and expense of replacing the had drive if possible, so I'm trying to exhaust all other possibilities first.

  bumpkin 16:21 08 Jan 2015

Ian, that is what I would have gone for and it should be easy enough to fit and get up and running.

  Ian in Northampton 17:22 08 Jan 2015
Answer

Bris: yep, it was the lounge bouncing that got my attention. But in the end, I went for the safer/cheaper option. bumpkin: fingers crossed...

  Ian in Northampton 15:44 10 Jan 2015

Just an update.... The new disk went in (physically) with no difficulties at all. Thanks to all of you for the advice and, just as importantly, confidence. Between us, we've saved me the £80 the local repair shop wanted.

Unfortunately, the W7 install took me all morning... It was primarily an AHCI issue which I subsequently resolved, and then it played silly b*ggers about not being able to install Windows to the selected partition, which I also resolved. Then there was the touchpad driver... But now, it's all up and running, and I'm a very happy bunny.

Thanks again, forum.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:57 10 Jan 2015

so now its all up and running

use something like Macrium reflect to take an image of the drive, to an external disk - make the bootable disk to go with it and you can restore to same or new dive in a very short time.

alot quicker than reinstalling windows aupdating and installing all drivers.

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