Freezing at boot

Dell INSPIRON 2200
July 15, 2010 at 11:14:39
Specs: Windows XP, 1 gb ram
Ok so my laptop has been working fine, well fine by my standards, for quite a while, this morning my mom was using it and it randomly froze and shut down (never happened before) and now when i start up the safe mode boot screen comes up, you know

safe mode
safe mode (with yada yada)
safe mode (with blah blah)

last good known configuration

Start Windows normally
Windows will start in :29

ok the problem is no matter which option i go to it freezes, and i have to restart, i tried letting the time to run out and it froze, and once i move the highlight bar thing off of "start windows normally" the counting thing dissapears. I have absolutely no idea what to do, please help

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July 15, 2010 at 11:56:57

There can be 2 problems
1- Check your RAM. It can be a problem with the RAM. Bad
sectors Etc
2- Check your Hard Drive. Maybe Its not booting properly.
(Sometimes my computer freezes at a black screen after the
boot up when it passes the bios. I just wait and after a few
minutes it starts responding. In my case its the HDD. Its
makes some sounds when this happens.
3- Check your BIOS. This is also a common problem. If the
BIOS is corrupted. The computer will not load.

Check these problems and report back.

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July 15, 2010 at 12:59:08
A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
This usually happens a long time after the ram was installed, but it can happen with new ram, or after moving the computer case from one place to another, and I've had even new modules that needed to have their contacts cleaned.

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

For a laptop, or netbook, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that.

For a brand name computer, see the Owner's or User's manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that - it may already be in your installed programs. If you can't get into Windows, it may be on a disk that came with the computer, or you can go online and look at it or download it - it's in the downloads for your specific model.

For a generic desktop computer, see the mboard manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that.

After you have done that, if you still get the same or similar symptoms...
If you have NOT been fiddling with connections inside the computer case just before this happened...

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

If you HAVE been fiddling inside the computer case just before this happened....

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

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July 15, 2010 at 22:12:11
ok do you guys have like msn, aim, xfire, anything we can talk on, im really bad with instructions like this, anyways i checked the ram and it is lifting a little (once i remove the cover) im not sure if when i put the cover back its pressed down , o btw (by the way) i am using a laptop, . So if thats the issue what do i do?,

the HDD seems to be perfectly intact, im not too smart with computers, but i removed it and check if everything was fine, and put it back in the same and it fit perfectly and the cover shuts over it, so i don't think that is the problem.

And how do i know if bios is corrupted, simply if it doesn't let me go into bios? because it does but i don't know what to do from there

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Related Solutions

July 15, 2010 at 22:14:37
ok, using this video, i opened my laptop up to check if anything was loose or misplaced and cannot find anything, putting it all back together it fit perfectly, only thing is it still gives me the same problem, so now what..

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July 16, 2010 at 08:05:57
All signs point to bad sectors on the hard drive. Boot from a Windows Systems disk into the Recovery Console and run a CHKDSK on your hard drive.

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July 16, 2010 at 09:13:12
so i have to get the windows xp cd before i can fix it? becuz i never had one , just borrowed it from my cousin, I'll check if he still has it. Or am i getting this wrong, because once again ill say it i suck with computers, so lemme know and then ill try, thnx for all the help so far

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July 16, 2010 at 11:42:19
You don't need a Windows CD to test the hard drive, but you will need one, or Recovery disks for the Dell model, if the hard drive is dying, to reload a replacement hard drive.

See Response 2 - make yourself a hard drive diagnostics CD on another computer, boot your computer with it, test the hard drive.

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July 16, 2010 at 11:45:04
Yes just about any Windows CD will work (for CHKDSK) but you should match the versions. Windows 95,98 and ME did not support NTFS and would not be able to scan the harddrive. If you have Windows XP try to get a Windows XP disk.

You can always down load an ISO from a bit-torrent and burn a new disk but if you can avoid that it would be better because you can get viruses from bit-torrents.

I am 90% sure that this will fix your problem.

If you need to reinstall Windows then you will most likely need to get the System Disk from the manufacture because you will need one that has matching driver for your system

If your hard drive is dieing however then this will only fix your computer for a little while. EITHER way I would do a backup of your vital files as soon as you can.

P.S. a diagnostic CD will work too. Any type of drive scanning bootable CD is what you need. Most people can get their hands on a Windows CD fairly easy and the Windows CD has drive scanning tools which is why I suggested but any thing will do.

Also, remember a disk scanner only finds the bad sectors marks them as bad so they don't get used again. It also trys to move the data that is at that sector to a good one but if it fails you may have to do a repair install of Windows to get the files back. Again, another good reason why you should get a recovery CD that came with the computer if you can.

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July 17, 2010 at 17:03:20
ok well if i decide to format it and wipe everything, will it reinstall the drives by itself, or do i have to do them? and also if i don't have an external HD where can i store all my important files

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July 18, 2010 at 07:41:12
You must test the hard drive first.
It must be okay, otherwise, it's a waste of your time trying to reload a defective hard drive that's probably going to become inaccessible eventually if it isn't already.

See Response 2 - make yourself a hard drive diagnostics CD on another computer, boot your computer with it, test the hard drive.

In any case....

If you have data on the hard drive you don't want to lose, you need to copy that to elsewhere. You do not need to be concerned about things you can easily download from the web again, or programs you have on disks that you already have that you can re-install. You have to either boot the computer with a bootable CD, such as a Linux one, and copy that data to an external hard drive or elsewhere (e.g. CDs or DVDs) , or you need to remove the hard drive and connect it to another working computer, via either an inexpensive laptop (2.5") to desktop (3.5") adapter on a desktop computer, or you could install the hard drive in an external enclosure and connect that to any computer.

If the hard drive is defective, you may not be able to copy all of the data you want to copy, or you may not be able to copy any data at all.

If the hard drive passes the long version tests, then you need either an OEM Windows XP CD of the same version, Home or Pro, whichever applies, or the Recovery disk or Recovery disk set that came with the computer , in order for you to be able to use the Product Key that's on the official Microsoft label on the outside of the computer case - that's usually on the bottom of the laptop, and also shows whether the XP version is Home or Pro.
(If the XP version is MCE, MCE does not fit on one CD, and it's extremely unlikely anyone you know has the OEM MCE 2 CD set.)

OEM XP CD = a regular Microsoft CD that has "For distribution with a new PC only" printed on it,

or - some Dell models come with a Recovery CD that says " Windows XP (Home or Pro) re-installation CD" or similar on it's label. The Recovery CD must be the one that came with the model, otherwise it's likely the CD will refuse to load Windows when you boot from it.

There are probably instructions on the Dell site regarding how to reload your computer.

If you use an OEM XP CD, some Dell models come with a second Recovery CD that has the Drivers and Applications (programs) on it - you must install at least the drivers after Windows Setup has finished. If you don't have that, you will need to load the drivers for your specific Dell model that are on the Dell site after Windows Setup has finished.

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