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  Can't get through to windows - some questions 
 Date Written 
Nas Nas Sep 17, 2012, 07:59am EDT Report Abuse
I'm currently doing all this from my old, almost 10 year old Dell inspiron 6000 laptop that zaps me whenever I try to pick it up to move it or rest my hands on part of it to type, so I'll try to include all details as quickly as I can. I've tried a few searches but don't really have much time, which is why I'm also asking these specifics...

Everytime I start up my PC, I get taken to the Startup Repair screen which scans and attempts recover for several minutes, restarts only to go back to the same thing. THe last attempts go through the Startup Recovery scan quicker than usual and end up with a message saying "Windows Cannot Remotely Fix The Problem" or something like that. For the past seven hours or so, I've been trying different ways to get through but without any luck. I've tried different settings within the F8 and F12 menu's but nothing seems to work.

Recently, I have had problems with my HDD and around 60% of the time I restart my pc, I go to the Startup Repair screen but it usually sorts itself out after a few tries. I've suspected something was wrong with my HDD for some time now and I've backed up most important files on my PC. Now that it finally seems to have stopped working, I'd like to know how I can replace it and what my options are.

SPECS: Dell E521 from five or six years ago. Vista Home Basic.
Original HDD 250GB - won't go past Startup Repair.

Backup 1TB internal drive with 113gb free space.

I also have a mouldy Dell recovery disk and can get my hands on other os cd's (wink, wink...), depending on what the best option is for bringing this back to life.

First - If I buy a new HDD, is it a simple matter of replacing the old one, inserting the new os disk and following the instructions to install? I've never installed from scratch before, I don't know if there are specific settings like bois stuff or if I need to remove the backup HDD before it will work?

Second - My backup 1TB internal has most of my files and stuff, it has 113gb free space remaining. Is there anyway I can install the new os in the remaining free space without risk of losing other files already on the drive.

Third - As far as the HDD with the os that I can no longer access goes, what are my chances of being able to recover the files within. I backed up most of the important files a few months ago but there are a few others that i have added since then, I would like to get.

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Nas Nas Sep 17, 2012, 08:50am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Can't get through to windows - some questions
A miracle - I kept at it a few more times and tried booting from the recovery disk, something I had already attempted and failed at least four times already but this time it worked and my PC is now operational in Vista once again.

I don't know how long this will go on for and if I will have more success next time it decides to act up. In the meantime, is there anything I can do from the OS to narrow down or make sure it's the hard drive and not anything else that's causing my pc to restart in Startup Repair mode based on the info I have shared? I'd hate to go out and buy a new HDD only to find out the problem still exists....

Naveen Goud Jan 28, 2013, 05:29pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Can't get through to windows - some questions

I get a similar problem with my windows 7 operating system loaded Dell laptop. This laptop is almost 4 years old and from the past 2 years, after i downloaded sugarsync onto my system, very often my PC goes to Windows start up repair. It takes almost 3 attempts to regain back the normal bootup.

It gives the same pop up as yours which says Windows could not recover and simply shuts down. Sometimes, it asks to report this error to the server and when i click yes it connects to the server.

After reviewing some windows OS books, i came to know that this feature was offered in vista and windows 7. If we make any changes to the hardware or software, then this type of startup repair option pops out. The reason for its pop up is that it tries to overcome any kind of incompatible changes by going for self repair.

But some of my tech friends said that all Dell laptops after some period start to offer a remainder of take a backup. If it is not done, then this sport of problems start to take place as some hardware and software changes are created, which make the operating system go for start up repair. Since, they do not give original OS CD, we are left in doldrums.

My best advice is to use an usb to sata cable and operate the same hard disk on a different pc as an external hard drive and then take a back up of the data. After that reformat the drive and then re-install the operating system, if you have a genuine copy on hand. This will not only get you out of the situation, without much trouble, but will also help you get rid on any kind of malware on the hard drive.

If you manage to boot up the system, may be after few more attempts, then go for a backup first and head for the above said procedure.




Keith Braud Jan 29, 2013, 06:10am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Can't get through to windows - some questions
Try to remove and then install again your hard drive. if it does not work then try to install new OS in it. Hope this will work but if it still dont work then may be you have to check it some computer specialist.

Nas Nas Jan 29, 2013, 06:23am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Can't get through to windows - some questions
Thanks for the renewed interest guys. This actually happened a while back and I remember I was able to run vista a few times long enough for me to transfer anything important. After that, I installed windows 7 which worked fine and continues to work fine to today. I think it had something to do with my linksys driver which when disabled, always allowed the computer to start up in safe mode which would fail shortly after enabling it. Win 7 seems to have sorted out whatever conflict it had with vista and I saved myself some money not buying a new hdd which wasn't the cause of the problem to begin with.

Rick Manson Feb 11, 2013, 12:05am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Can't get through to windows - some questions
First, stop walking across polyester carpet in your wool socks and touching you laptop right after.

Second, good thing you installed Windows 7, much better than Vista since Vista has a nasty habit of thrashing HDD's to death. I have heard from many that your lucky to get 5 years out of a good HDD on a Vista machine.

Third, you asked what you can do to check your drive and make sure it is good. Download UBCD, or Parted Magic and boot up to it. There are HDD diagnostic tools on both of these that can run tests and find out what health status your drive is in. Or as an alternative, see if the HDD manufacturer has such tools that can at least access the S.M.A.R.T. on your HDD and give you some indication of health.



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