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Thread: Boot Failure--another one

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Boot Failure--another one

    My daughter called and said, "Dad, my computer won't boot. What do I do?" Now, you must understand I'm in California and my daughter is in Maine, on an island six miles out in the ocean. She does not have access to a repair facility or a knowledgeable person. She has access to me.

    The system is a Dell E510 desktop. The system, pasted in from the order form:

    Dimension E510 ,Intel Pentium 4 Processor 630 with HT Technology (3.0 GHz)
    1GB DDR2 SDRAM at 400MHz
    Dell USB Keyboard
    19 in (19 in viewable) E193FP Flat Panel Display128MB ATI Hyper Memory PCI-Express X16 (DVI/VGA/TV out) Radeon X300 SE
    160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
    No Floppy Drive Requested
    Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, English

    She bought it 4 years ago next month, so there is no warranty and no tech support without cost. At the time her sons were 5 and 6, and there was a husband less responsible than the boys. She cannot find the system disk which came with the system.

    When she tries to boot, it is unable, and asks about safe mode, last working configuration...and then goes to a BSOD which says "Unmountable_Boot_Volumn..." When she goes to safe mode she gets the same BSOD.

    She went to F12 and the Hard Drive Diagnostics. The first result was, "Drive 0 Maxtor 6L160MO--Fail, Return Code 7". She started the Partition Test, and did alright until she got to the Read Test and the Verify Test. There she received "Code 0F00:1A44 Message Block 32885449" and Uncorrectable data or read only media, or something like that.

    Remember, I didn't see any of this. I talked on the phone and wrote.

    She tried booting again, and went to Diagnostics by a much earlier route, hoping that they would be a different set of diagnostics. She received the same information, word for word.

    I see three possibilities, in order of probability: the hard drive is fried, there is a serious bad sector, or the boot file is corrupted.

    We need some help on this. Any takers?

  2. #2
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    Drive 0 Maxtor 6L160MO--Fail, Return Code 7
    The hard drive is bad. Not much doubt about that.

    She'll have to get the hard drive replaced. She can try ordering a replacement XP disc from Dell, but she could potentially use any Dell XP disc since it just checks for a Dell bios.

  3. #3
    Extreme Member! BipolarBill's Avatar
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    ...reinforcing the need for proper backups.

    Having one hard drive is putting all of your eggs in one basket.
    MS MCP, MCSE

  4. #4
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, there is no option available to order replacement disks for that model.

    Time to buy a Dell OEM Windows XP disk on ebay or order one while you are buying the new hard drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BipolarBill View Post
    ...reinforcing the need for proper backups.

    Having one hard drive is putting all of your eggs in one basket.
    Your admonition is only partially true and deserved. We sent her a MyBook backup unit this last spring. She backed up her pictures and music by the beginning of summer. There was no other data worth mentioning. She failed on two points, however. She did not do a full image backup, as I had instructed her to do, and she did not follow up with regular incremental backups. So, she has lost anything she has put on the system this summer, but not everything already there. That shows the necessity of regular backups.

    The new hard drive will come from either Frys or Central Computer, here in town. I'll have to mail it to her with instructions for installation. I doubt that either store will sell Dell OEM disks. I'll look on Ebay or Graigs List for that.
    Last edited by 4breezes; 09-21-2009 at 11:10 AM. Reason: additional information.

  6. #6
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4breezes View Post
    Your admonition is only partially true and deserved. We sent her a MyBook backup unit this last spring. She backed up her pictures and music by the beginning of summer. There was no other data worth mentioning. She failed on two points, however. She did not do a full image backup, as I had instructed her to do, and she did not follow up with regular incremental backups. So, she has lost anything she has put on the system this summer, but not everything already there. That shows the necessity of regular backups.

    The new hard drive will come from either Frys or Central Computer, here in town. I'll have to mail it to her with instructions for installation. I doubt that either store will sell Dell OEM disks. I'll look on Ebay or Graigs List for that.
    She may (I stress may) be able to recover the lost work from the drive if she can move the hard drive into a desktop PC (with an adapter of course) and run GetDataBack.

    http://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm

    The free download will tell you if it can cover any data (but it will not recover the data) before you spend the money and buy the full version that can do the data recovery. I have used this program on a drive that was not even seen by the BIOS, but I recovered the users Outlook PST files and his user documents. It depends on how much physical damage the drive has.

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    There's something here I think I don't fully understand. The system won't boot because the hard drive is fried. The diagnostics told us so.

    Where is the diagnostics program? Wouldn't it be on the hard drive? It would seem to be too large to be anywhere else. If that is the case, how is it running if the hard drive is fried?

    Can some one help me understand this, please.

  8. #8
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    Some Dells have a diag partition on the drives. Even if Windows can't boot, the diag partition might work. It could also be reading the SMART info off the drive.

    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/...esSMART-c.html

  9. #9
    Extreme Member! BipolarBill's Avatar
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    You can use a 3rd party bootable CD to run diags.

    http://download.seagate.com/seatools...f/eula/desktop

    Seatools will work.
    MS MCP, MCSE

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