Can't boot into windows

November 26, 2009 at 16:52:37
Specs: Windows XP
I was reading in yet another Locked Topic advice from a Dell Professional that stated the following:

Have you tried to run the Dell diagnostics on the system? There is a series of diagnostics loaded onto our drives and you can access them by hitting <F12> when restarting the system and selecting the Dell Utility or Diagnostic Partition.

If the drive itself has failed you can run the diagnostics off the Dell Resource CD as well. Just place that into the CD drive and hit the same <F12> key when restarting, but this time select the option to boot from a CD ROM device.

You can run the diagnostics on the full system (which can take a couple hours) or selected devices. In this case I would recommend just running them on the hard drive itself to test that first.

I was wanting to ask why this does not work for me.. I cannot boot from a Dell Reinstallation CD or access any Dell Diagnostic utilities from the options that are available.

It's a Dell Dimension 2400, the rest of the information I cannot access to tell you. It's infected but worked before it was passed to me to fix. I haven't been able to boot it up.
Please help.

See More: Cant boot into windows

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November 27, 2009 at 02:59:21
forget the Dell diagnostics - you need to give us more info. Like
how will it not boot - what actually happens? Does Safe mode
work? Its infected? With what? Have you got an XP install CD -
have you loaded recovery console if so? Do you have a Bart PE
CD? Diagnostic disk for the hard drive manufacturer?

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November 27, 2009 at 10:55:07
The computer is infected with malware/trojans or something that someone got when clicking on a viagra ad and began getting porn pop ups immediately. Instead of seeking help then, they logged out of windows XP Home and in as another user. All was fine for a while until it soon became infected to the point they could no longer access the internet. When he came to me for help, I could not boot the machine into windows, safe mode or any other boot option.

When boot attempted to windows, After XP Home screen, blue screen reads "A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer...', the technical information at the bottom says 'STOP: 0x00000024 (0x00190203, 0x83398828, 0xC0000102, 0x00000000)

He only has a Dell Reinstallation Disk and Drivers Disk with his Dimension 2400 and it will not run and I can't boot with it.. It works fine on other machines. When I attempt to boot to Utility Partition, Windows XP screen appears, then same BSOD.
When I attempt to boot to IDE CD-ROM device, (with the reinstallation cd in) then it flashes and makes noises and nothing ever happens.
When I attempt to boot (f12) to system set up, I enter the bios settings, I've changed boot sequence every possible variation with no success. Click off Diskette and HD and leave only CD ROM etc.

Turned Fast Boot Off.

Nothing in System Event Log etc.

When I click on Esc from the Bios settings I've tried hitting Enter & saving changes and I've tried with no changes and I get a black screen with blinking cursor after a little hard drive activity, but no prompts and nothing works.
When I boot to the menu and select IDE Drive Diagnostics, I get:
Drives: Primary IDE Drive 0 WDC WD800BB-75fjA1-Pass
Drive 1 - no ide device.
Secondary IDE, Drive 0: Samsung CDR-RW SW252S Diag not supported.
Drive 1: No ide devices.

At this point, I'm not sure how I accessed it, but I've attempted to boot into safe mode w/ variable options, none of which worked. I don't seem to get the Safe Mode Options any longer when I use F2, F8 or F12.

I've read through creating a UBCD4Win and others, but was advised that I'd probably end up with a BSOD and that REinstallation disks create problems using that process.

I was advised to install the hard drive into a different machine where the HD was slave, which I was researching and do not understand what the difference would be there.

That's all I can think of right at the moment.
Thanks for any input.

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November 27, 2009 at 15:04:43
"I was advised to install the hard drive into a different machine where the HD was slave" That advice was probably given so that you don't lose all of your documents, etc, and so that can acess your files and copy them to CDs, DVDs, or an external hard drive.

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Related Solutions

November 27, 2009 at 15:28:38
slave the HD to another PC and do various virus scans on it, removing the infections. You can find some real good free ones that are fully functional on one page in the red link of my signature.

Then pop the HD back into the problem machine and try a repair install:
That should work for you.

It sounds like you may have a rootkit installed in your MBR.

Some HELP in posting on plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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November 27, 2009 at 16:17:38
Thanks for your suggestions. It sounds like slaving the drive to another PC might be my only... or the best option.

If I can get it done. I was just thinking that a bootable floppy to get me into a command prompt or into the system enough to run malwarebytes or chkdsk or something might be the answer. I guess there is no way to do that. I'll give the slave thing a try tomorrow after a little break.

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November 27, 2009 at 19:40:03
You could try running the recovery console from an XP CD-then do fixmbr. That MIGHT work.

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November 27, 2009 at 19:47:41
I''ll see if I can beg, borrow or steal one from a friend... ;-)
Give it a try.

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November 27, 2009 at 20:05:40
I just noticed, though, that you wrote "When I attempt to boot to IDE CD-ROM device, (with the reinstallation cd in) then it flashes and makes noises and nothing ever happens." Maybe you should reseat the cable or try a new one.

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November 27, 2009 at 20:33:12
But when I inserted a Windows XP Pro Install CD, it told me it was the wrong operating system... so I believe it would work with a bootable cd.

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November 28, 2009 at 06:48:55
..."But when I inserted a Windows XP Pro Install CD, it told me it was the wrong operating system... so I believe it would work with a bootable cd."...

My own experience is that booting with a Pro CD when the installed version is Home... doesn't utusally matter or make any difference.

One issue that can (often) arise however is to do with vintage of XP disk used...; specifically with regard to the SP included on that CD. If the CD has an earlier SP than the installation to be addressed etc. (and likely this will be the situation for many) especially (specifically?) when hoping to run a repair routine via a CD boot-up, it (the repair routine) will likely not find the installation on the HD. One has to have a CD with an SP that approximates/matches the level of SP on the damaged installation. either one gets a more recent version CD or creates an XP CD that has SP2 or SP3 slipstreamed as appropriate.

Remember that a typical XP/SP-1 installation will more than likely have been upgraded - either piece-meal or via a full SP-2 installation - to SP-2; and similarly maybe even to/towards SP-3 in part/totally...?

Not "everyone" has found this issue of the SP etc. to happen for them. However more than a few have; and there are "hits/references" on the www to this effect as well.

I suggest you go as per XPuser... and run a full scan etc; either slaved or as the alternative method(s) I suggest immediately below. Once scan etc. complete... follow the M$ KB repair installation routine; but of course you will need a full version (or Upgrade) disk...?

Another and more detailed (than M$-KB) Repair Installation guide is at:

Presuming the repair installation is successful... one has to re-apply all updates etc..

If you're not able to install the drive in another system (as slave)... you might either connect it to another system via a usb adapter and then scan it for everything nasty - both via that PC's utils, and also an on-line freebie (Trend Housecall comes to mind). The usb adapter is useful piece of kit to have; and costs not many £££/$$$. Wise to get the one that will handle SATA and EIDE - not just one or t'other.

Likewise you could boot up with a Knoppix/Ubuntu CD/DVD (Linux variants) and then scan on-line (Trend Housecall) via that OS?

If possible (and regardless of which method you use to access the problem drive) - FIRST safeguard (copy) all data to optical media; and verify those copies are truly accessible on at least one other system; all this before attemtpting any actual recovery processes/routines.

Most durrent Dell systems have a built-in recovery partiton at the start of the first HD? and I think one way to access it is:

Crtl + F11

This brings up a warning screen etc and suitable instructions. It is usually a single option - which is in effect a "destructive" restore to factrory-gate/deleiver state... All data etc and any additional apps/utils not installed when delivered as new are lost...

If successful it restores to delivery state; whereas using a Dell supplied "recovery" CD doesn't apparently do quite the same level of restore and one has a bit more to afterwards...?

The Dell recovery partiton option (if still exists/works here) would most definitely mean that FIRST you "must" safeguard all data as above; and again it's wise to do this regardless - before going "any" further with resolving the current problems.

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November 28, 2009 at 09:30:19
Are you saying that one of these should work?

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November 28, 2009 at 10:19:25
Yes: there are several makes/models - some are EIDE only and others both SATA and EIDE. The price difference is usually not very significant and I suggest the dual version.

I have used the one I have with great ease/success...

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November 28, 2009 at 10:58:22
Well, looks like I'll have to get one, there is no extra plug in on the strap for the damaged hard drive in my alternate computer to slave it to. If I go to Radio Shack, they'll probably be able to help me with what I want to do.

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November 28, 2009 at 11:18:59
This is not bad for that price, if it works. I assume that I would leave the damaged hard drive set up as Master instead of Slave in this situation.
Couldn't hurt to try for $10.

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November 28, 2009 at 11:19:26
Ooops, forgot to post the link.

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November 28, 2009 at 11:31:20
mmm - for that price for EIDE only... I'd go for it; good price/value.

How dun you find that one?

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November 28, 2009 at 11:53:40
Just Googled it and started shopping. I read a lot of negative reviews, but it appears that most of them do not explain why, and there seems to be a lot of people who do not change to Master instead of Slave, and a lot who are attempting to burn CD's & DVD's through it. (Why not just copy the files first)
One guy says something about it will fry your hard drive immediately, because the power adapter is 12 volt and it's supposed to put out only 4 volt or something. Isn't that what an adapter is for?
I don't have a lot of choice but to go to Radio Shack, get one and try it.

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November 28, 2009 at 12:23:34
As long as the psu (power supply) delivers the "correct volts" for the drive... and the PC can see the beastie once all is connected correctly (and it will appear as standard usb device) can't see any problems.

The one I have is bit more cash; and works perfectly.

Just ensure that the psu is delivering correct volts to the drive (as in read what it says on the psu itself for volts out; and also in any "instructions)?

If in doubt get a better make - likely slightly more cash of course...?

Incidentally the cheaper models may only be usb-1; the more expensive usb-2?

This is one off the www - and a US based supplier, which presumably is where you are - as you're mentioning RadioShack (aka Tandy in the UK and now pretty well defunct here)?

I'd be inclined to go for one like this as you get a lot more for the slight increase in price...?

This is like the one I have (in the UK at present). has at least one; and the usual sites likely so as well...; e.g. there's this one:

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December 2, 2009 at 16:16:06
Update: I purchased an adapter for IDE USB, successfully connected the corrupt hardrive via USB to my laptop, accessed it and attempted to run Anti-Virus on it, no luck. Tried to run CHKDSK from a prompt and no luck. I was able to right click on the drive and am running Malwarebytes, but it looks like it might take forever. I was hoping I could run CHKDSK /r.
If I can't get anything done with this, is there anyway I can insert the Dell REinstallation disk and run it on that drive? Do you get an option as to what drive to repair? If that fails, should I just format it from the My Computer | Manage Drives?
I wondered if there was another way to run CHKDSK on it.


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December 3, 2009 at 05:55:49
Dell restore disk will only work with that drive in its own PC; or another PC that is identical to the problem one (and with that drive installed therein). If you can start the faulty system to boot up (its drive re-installed course) and get as far as the blue line/screen dispaly... press:

Crtl + F11

and this (hopefully) will take you to the Dell restore to factory gate status menu option.

Presuming you do/can and it does... then you will simply follow on-screen prompts etc. and system will restore itself to delivery state... Be very aware that "ALL" data etc. will be lost in the process... So ensure that (via that adapter or similar) you have first accessed and transferred all data off the drive to opticial media (and verified those copies are truly accessible)...

Other way to do this is use the Knoppix/Ubuntu boot up and access drive that way (drive in its own PC of course); and then copy data to optical media...

Once you are sure that everything you don't want to lose is safely elsewhere... then remove the Knoppix/Ubuntu disk, reboot and go the Ctrl + F11 routine as above.

Using a recovery disk doesn't do quite the same as the Crtl + F11 route; there are slight but noticable diffenreces in the end result; and (likely) you will have a few other items to acquire/re-install too - by all accounts... So try the Crtl + F11 path first.

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December 3, 2009 at 06:46:45
I cannot access anything with the drive in it's original computer. Will not boot to the Dell REinstall disk. I tried every way that everyone suggested. That is why I purchased the USB to IDE adapter, to try & access the drive another way, as a slave, to diagnose or repair, but I can't even run CHKDSK on it. So, what your saying is i could go ahead and Format the drive via the USB adapter, then find another way to install WIndows XP on the wiped hard drive?

It seems like since the OS was purchased on a Dell machine, that Dell would provide a way to reinstall the OS when the machine cannot boot into windows or you can't repair. I certainly will never buy another computer without a WIndows XP CD.
Thanks for your help.

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December 3, 2009 at 09:12:46
Now I'm really confused.

Model Number: WDC WD80 0BB-75FJA1
Unit Serial Number: N/A
Firmware Number: 3G14
Capacity: 80.00 GB
SMART Status: Not Available
Test Result: PASS
Test Time: 11:12:28, December 03, 2009

The drive passed the WD software test, but I still can't access or read the drive.. or write to it.

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December 3, 2009 at 11:39:47
Dell and other manufacturers currently provide either a recovery partition approach, or a recovery disk set. Some provide both; some provide the recovery partition and advise you to make a recovery disk set too asap after delivery. (Acer go this latter approach.)

I am a little suspicious that you can't see/address the drive in its own PC...

Did you run the WD test with the drive in its own PC; or was it tested via another system?

If in another system, then re-install the drive to its own PC; boot up, enter setup (or whatever it's called on that system) and verify that the drive is detected and shown in bios settings.

Perhaps too (before re-installing the drive) ensure that the drive is both set correctly if using jumpers (Master/Slave - this occasion it will be Master - no Slave unless you have another drive present?). If using CS (Cable select) ensure jumper is correct; and that drive is on connector on end of ribbon.

Also verify that all connectors on the MoBo and the drive itself are secure; presumably you can see the HD light active, and also hear the drive spin up (even if only for a short while) when in its own PC?

That you can scan this drive via a usb adapter etc.. sugests the drive is essentially OK; and this is confirmed by WD tests too?

It may be that the HD controller on the PC MoBo has died a death; not unknown but not all that common either... IF the drive isn't detected (and you will see itf it si or not in setup) then it may be useful to borrow a plug-in HDD controller card and see if that finds the drive? Such cards replace/by-pass the on-board HDD controller - as long as you connect the HD to that card of course.. Then see if drive appears in the bios settings?

Back to the XP disk issue.. I tend sympathise a little with your feelings re' no true XP disk etc...; but if the user had made a recovery set as usually advised.. that problem might not exist here? Likewise if one contacts Dell support they will often provide such a disk - particularly if the HD itself dies and thus one cannot access the built-in recovery partition options...

From what I understand a recovery set provide by Dell will have both the OS and drivers and other apps/utils provided at time of purchase. One reinstall the OS and then sets about re-installing other stuff of a separate disk? The recovery partition approach has it all there - as delivered and setup etc... - and thus rebuilds a ready to go system in one move. The Dell recovery set means you have a little more work to do to get it there... Personally I tend to favour making an Acronis image (v.11 is the Acronis version I like) of a working system asap; when I have it set up as I want it... That image is then easily restored at any time - independent of Dell (or other manufacturer's) disks etc.

But first see if the drive is listed in bios settings; and correctly so. It if it then consider a controller-card test?

If it isn't there, can't be made to show itself and thus detected etc., yet can be found/addressed in another system (via usb etc..) then it does tend to point to its mother system as suspect?

I would NOT reformat this drive until absolutely sure that the home system is truly OK; that that system can perhaps find/detect another hard drive (installed as Master - no slave) and list it in the bios setttings. Also perhaps try another ribbon connector too...; not often they fail - but again not unknown. And be sure you get one that is appropriate for the system and drive in question - refer to the link I posted above for more erudite discussion (and definitely more knowledgeable than I) on this issue.

Again do NOT reformat otherwise "tweak" this drive - yet... Verify other avenues as above first? Some Dell models have a history of less than "purrfekt/reliable" motherboards..; and any motherboard can go down at any time...

Likewise until you approach Dell re' a set of disk.. don't go reformatting etc; see if you can get Dell to provide?

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December 3, 2009 at 12:32:01
I could not do anything in the original computer, which is why I used an adapter to USB. Can't run anything on it there either, except the WD Hard Drive Data LifeGuard Diagnostics, which it passed. I don't recall, by now, if I could see the hard drive listed in the BIOS or not, just a prompt to do other things, which it could not. It's been so long since I had it in there.

I'm not a technician and have spent way-too much time on this already, that's why I just wanted to Format it and try to get Windows back on it. Dell has nothing for me without paying for it. I already have a set of Dell Disks that came with the computer, one of which says it should boot to it, but it doesn't. I can't figure out any other way to access it.

The computer Hard Drive was not configured as a Master, it had the little white chip in it, and it worked before as it was supposed to. I guess they set the CD ROM as the Master, I have no idea. I had to remove that clip to make it Master in order to connect to it via USB/IDE adapter, as per the instructions.

I'm sure there might be another hardware problem, but with my limited time & knowledge, I need to try what is easiest to accomplish, which I think would be to format it and somehow get windows back on it... and hope it works.

The Dell Disks that are included say they all contain software that is already installed on the computer. One of them says it's a utility disk or Resource CD and that it should be bootable.

I have never had these problems with my machines, I'm just unlucky enough to be the one everyone asks for me to look at it, because I enjoy it and I usually am able to fix my own problems... to a point.

I'm just not sure I understand the implications and options for formatting a drive. I guess I should take the time to reinstall the drive to it's rightful place and attempt it from the bios, but it seems like I already did that, so I'd be duplicating failures.
Thanks for your array of options and considerate input.

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December 3, 2009 at 14:35:34
Don't give up - just yet...

Understand the phrustrayshuns etc...

I note from rereading your initial post in this thread that you could see the drive at one stage - when it was set as Master in its own PC. You also report that you can access etc. the drive in another system (via usb); and also the WD tests confirm the drive is OK… This points “either” to the MoBo in the PC itself; or a connection thereon…?

You seem to suggest in an earlier (initial) post that the drive appears to spin up briefly – then stops? If this is so… verify power connection is OK; that volts are OK on the psu (power supply) too. There is at least one Dell model/series that is notorious for failing psu… It is seriously overrated and incapable of delivering adequate power – deliver 250 watts when more like 350watss is required…!

You also seem to say you have the Dell recovery disks?

Reformatting the drive in another system and re-installing it in its own PC and attempting to use those to rebuild etc. is likely a waste of time/effort; as you cannot access the drive in its own PC? So I wouldn’t reformat etc… Leave the drive as is…

Similarly you will not be able to use the Dell disks in another PC to rebuild this drive. And even if you managed it, when you restore it to its own PC – either it will still not boot up (as is highly likely); or if it did the installation wouldn’t work any way – without further work…

Have you tried to reset bios to defaults by chance: it’s a very long shot – but who knows?

The problem with Dell and other similar diagnostics is that presumably you have either a working system and can possibly run them from within a booted OS; or that you have the diagnostics on a floppy and that is a bootable item... If by chance they come on CD then that too must be bootable? So do you have the Dell diagnostics on a bootable disk; and if so can you run them that way? If still no joy and drive isn't detected.. again it points to the MoBo in some way; and likely the controller etc...?

Overall I’m inclined to the view that the problem is NOT the drive itself; but something on the parent MoBo…

A bit difficult to see just how an initial malware attack took out the board.... but then – I did have thought…

Bios itself had become infected… Not something I’ve come across in the past… but nonetheless have heard of it… So I dun a trawl and found a few references (and very current overall): this is just one…

Seems to the only way to get rid of that is a new bios; or at least flash/update…? And to flash you need a bootable floppy or CD/DVD – usually floppy… Dell do provide bios flash updates for their systems and with full “how to do it too…” Possibly worth a vist and see if that is possible here?

I used the string:

how to remove virus in bios

to trawl Google… and got more than a few hits; and as I say the one above is just one.. Perhaps do your own trawl too? Likewise again check Dell for Flash bios update routine? But first try resetting bios to defaults and see if it does anything useful?

Incidentally can you boot up this PC with a known to be good (and obviously bootable) CD/DVD? If not then it pretty well says it's something within the that PC; and likely either the psu or the MoBo itself - and just possibly the bios???

Try a bootable CD/DVD - without the drive installed... Set CDROM as Master and first boot device? Maybe even use a Knoppix/Ubuntu disk?

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December 3, 2009 at 15:01:22
Well, for some strange reason, on the 10th attempt to run CHKDSK from a command prompt on that drive, it worked.
Perhaps I didn't enter it right? I think I did.

Checked & fixed errors, grabbed a few files from the Dell Resource CD that I had accidentally left in my CD Drive, and opened up a folder to view all of the files on the hard drive. Amazing that if finally worked as planned! I've now run Avast Anti-Virus on it, removed 18 Trojans, and am currently running Malwarebytes so far with no hits. I thought of tryng to run SFC on it, but doesn't seem to want to do that. Wouldn't this be the prompt?
sfc /scannow E:
Either way, I now have high hope of installing it back to it's original tower and booting into windows. I certainly deserve it! ;-)
Thanks for all your great suggestions.

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December 4, 2009 at 02:39:41

are useful aide-memoires for sfc...

I'm happy for your sake it appears now to work... But do have some concerns as to what/why etc. prevented it from doing so earlier? I'd be very inclined to check "all" connections etc on the MoBo etc. as suggested a little earlier; and also to encourage user to keep regular copies of all data etc. on optical-media; and be prepared for a possible rerun of drive failing to boot up?

Incidentally when it's all working again... go on-line and run the Trend Micro Housecall freebie (full) scan. It may also find a few irritants - although Avast is pretty good overall (I've also used Avast for a few years and very happy with it.) But a second opinion/view is useful at regular intervals (I do one about every two/three months).

You sound very similar to me in that you don't give up easily...; so again I can appreciate the relief and satisfactions at this stage of events...

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