Start-up problems with laptop. I want to boot from E:drive.

Computer repair Windows boot disc xp vis...
November 10, 2012 at 10:08:08
Specs: Windows XP Pro SvcPk 3, Intel Core 2 T5500 2G Ram
I have an old Dell Inspiron E1505 that I use for Skype calls and email. The hdd recently failed a Smart self-test. Internet search yielded 2 options; install new hdd or repair it. I know that hdd failure is an eventuality, but being "retired...with responsibilities", I've been hoping to forestall the inevitable. I used CHKDSK a couple of times, which worked until a power outage last week when my battery was low. The computer did not shut down correctly. Upon restart, there were repeated "Error loading operating system" messages. After many attempts with F12 (F8 no longer functions) BIOS does function, and I have use of the laptop.

During the power outage, somehow my system volumes became RAW, and CHKDSK cannot read or correct. I reloaded BIOS 17, but nothing has changed. I want to un-RAW so I can continue to use CHKDISC or system repair.

My D drive is not working. I cannot repair system from disk. I downloaded ARCDC system recovery tool, but I see no option to load it on external hard drive, only to burn a disk.

I've run TestDisk 6.13 windows Data Recovery Utility which says my hdd structure is OK., and is offering the following: "selection to CHANGE partition characteristics
x= Primary bootable P=Primary, L=Logical, E=Extended, D=Deleted
Keys A:add partition, L:load backup, T:change type, P:list files
Enter:to continue.."

I'm returning to the TestDisk webpage to study up on what I need to do, as I'm unfamiliar with
this terminology.

I don't know if I'm wasting my time, as I am literature geek and not a computer geek.
Maybe I'm just an old geezer trying to evade the ineluctable modality of computer life and hard drive death.

" Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot." James Joyce, "Ulysses".


Just now TestDisk reports "Can't open filesystem. Filesystem seems damaged."

Hmmm... OK. How to correct the damage?

See More: Start-up problems with laptop. I want to boot from E:drive.

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November 10, 2012 at 11:48:11
So let us recap what you have posted. You can't boot to WinXP anymore. Your CD drive doesn't work. What you are referring to as E: drive is an external hard drive?

Testdisk only works if you know what the original geometry of the hard drive was.

The specs for your unit that I gleaned show you have a 60GB SATA I hard drive. If that is correct then you may need to boot into the BIOS (setup) and see if there is an option to configure the hard drive as an IDE model.

The reason for that is that WinXP can't natively configure SATA controllers. So, either the restore disks or partition include SATA controller drivers or you must configure the SATA drive to be seen as an IDE drive. My guess is the latter.

Going to Testdisk. Your C partition should be the larger of the 2 that testdisk may have found. It would be both the boot and the primary partition. The other partition may have been hidden and not assigned a drive letter. Your file system should be NTFS.

If you have not yet made any changes using testdisk then I suggest you use a different utility. Easeus Partition Manager is easier to use and there is a free version. Get it at the link below.

I assume you know there is a recovery partition on the hard drive? I also assume you do not have any restore disks. Did you ever create a restore set?

WinXP media center edition for a dell inspiron is going to be hard to find. That said, if you could find another CD with that version on it, you could use it to re-install Windows.

I personally think you are wasting your time repairing the Windows installation on a failing drive. If the laptop serves your needs it may be worth repairing it. You can buy a hard drive and a new CD drive.

What is the issue with the CD drive? Maybe you can get it working again. Describe what is going on with it.

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November 10, 2012 at 13:04:18
The hard drive is SATA Hitachi 100GB. I got the computer as a hand-me-down from someone who up-graded for med school. It's had almost 7 years of use (15,000 hours on the hard drive). The disks it came with were not the correct disks. Lost?
Don't know, anyway, no back-up disks, but CD player isn't working, anyway. That is the reason I wanted to boot from E drive which is a USB port, and the external
drive, also Hitachi, has sufficient memory to receive all transferred files plus an install program...if I could get one on it, or on a flash drive. A process I'm not clear about.
I've been to BIOS setup many times recently, but do not recall seeing the IDE option. I'll check again later. After running the TestDisk utility with the response "Can't open file system. Filesystem seems damaged", I started looking into getting a cheap new or used laptop...but, at the moment the budget won't allow as there are higher priorities!
Thanks for your reply. It will take me some time to follow up on your questions and

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