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Windows 7: Win 7, Dell Inspiron Won't Boot. HD Failure?

23 Mar 2015   #1
Jedzi

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Win 7, Dell Inspiron Won't Boot. HD Failure?

Hi there,

I’m having a boatload of problems with my wife’s laptop. It’s a 5 year old Dell Inspiron 1545, running Windows 7 Pro. The sequence has been:

  • We started getting a BSOD, every few days at first, then every hour or so.
  • I managed to get a BugCheckCode of 41 (or 7A in hex)
  • I tried to run chkdsk, but for some reason it didn’t kick in when I restarted.
  • It then won't start properly, and got stuck at the ‘Starting Windows’ screen.
  • I ran the extended Dell Diagnostics. It stopped after about 30 minutes with the message “Disk Error”
  • I downloaded and ran Sea Tools, both the short & long scans came-up clean
  • I tried to run System Repair. It failed with the message:
Boot sector for system disk partition is corrupt
Repair action: Boot sector repair
Result: Failed. Error code = 0x490
Time taken = 187856 ms
  • I tried to do system recovery from an image on an external hard drive. It doesn’t find the hard drive.

The problem I’m having now is that when I turn it on it goes through the initial Dell splash screen, clears to black then sits there with a blinking cursor in the top right. It will go into setup if I press F12, it doesn’t now seem to go into F8 for Advanced Boot Options.

I'm at a loss what to do next, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Michael


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
23 Mar 2015   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Did you get any error code with the "disk error" message when you ran the diagnostics?

F2 is for the "setup" as Dell calls it, actually the BIOS.

F12 is for the boot menu and to access the diagnostics.

F8 is to access the Dell PC Restore (recovery partition on the hard drive).

Do you get any beeps when you first power it on? When its powered on the first thing it does is run a "POST" (Power On Self Test).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2015   #3
Jedzi

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks for the reply. Responses below

Did you get any error code with the "disk error" message when you ran the diagnostics?
Michael: I'm fairly sure I didn't. I can re-run to confirm if useful

F2 is for the "setup" as Dell calls it, actually the BIOS.

F12 is for the boot menu and to access the diagnostics.

F8 is to access the Dell PC Restore (recovery partition on the hard drive).

Do you get any beeps when you first power it on? When its powered on the first thing it does is run a "POST" (Power On Self Test).

Michael: No I don't get any beeps or noises. When I press 'on' it's black for a second, I get the Dell splash screen for about 3 seconds, then it's a black screen with a cursor flashing in the top left.

For info - the laptop has Disk Cryptor installed.

Michael
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 Mar 2015   #4
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

The disk cryptor is probably why the Dell recovery won't run and probably why you got the disk error during diagnostics. If the boot sector has been changed (or a different OS than originally supplied) the Dell recovery will not run and the only option is to reinstall using a disc.

As you don't get any beeps or error messages at power on suggests the drive is physically OK. Just that you will need to reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2015   #5
Jedzi

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks again.

Pls forgive my ignorance, but does that mean I need to:

1. Create a bootable Windows disk (LiveCD) with DiskCryptor (as per here)

2. Reinstall Windows 7. I was given this laptop by a relative and I've only got Win 7 on a USB stick. When I tried to boot from that I got a message that there was no bootmgr.exe on the USB.

Regards,

Michael
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2015   #6
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Why do you need to encrypt the drive? Unless you have a very compelling reason, then do not do that.

This may help in installing from USB.
HOW TO: Install Windows 7 from a USB stick
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2015   #7
gregrocker

 

Everything needed is here to Clean Reinstall Windows 7.

Since you apparently ruined what was already on the disk with the unneeded Disk Cryptor, I'd wipe the disk first from the Command Line in System Recovery Options using Diskpart Clean Command which clears all boot code.

Then if you will stick with the steps, tools and methods in the tutorial you will get and keep a perfect Win7 installation for as long as you do, just like 1.3 million others have done without a single complaint.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2015   #8
Jedzi

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks, I've now managed to re-install Windows 7, which is good.

I'm now trying to restore a backup I took a few weeks ago (using 'Backup and Restore') which is on an external hard disk. The problem I'm having is that when I use 'System Image Recovery' to restore that backup from the hard disk I get the error message:
"Windows cannot find a system image on this computer"
Although I'd moved the backup folders around on the external hard disk since I first took the backup (just to store them with other backups) based on threads I've read, I've tried to recreate exactly what the files where at the time of backup, but still no joy. I just keep getting that message and the backup I have got doesn't show up.

Any suggestions?

Regards,

Michael
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2015   #9
gregrocker

 

You must have the WindowsImageBackup file named only that, and it must be in the root of the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win 7, Dell Inspiron Won't Boot. HD Failure?




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