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Laptop Will Not Boot Into Vista


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#1 d. l. jemison

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 10:28 PM

My wife has a Vista Laptop from Dell purchased just over a year ago. When her laptop boots up, it hangs at the black screen where windows is loading, or on a black screen before. She cannot get into Window's safe mode either. Through a lot of troubleshooting, and running the diagnostic, it seems she has a MBR error, which Dell codes as 200-146, so that determined that the HD is damaged at the spot where the boot sector is located. The repair utility didn't work as its trying to repair on that bad physical part on the hard drive. Her business files are on here, and dell is sending a replacement drive for it since it is under warranty. We were able to use the command prompt from the cd's recovery tool and verify that her data was accessible, we just need a solution as to how to get it off. The only time we could hit safe mode was when, somehow, she managed to get to that options screen, but when safe mode arrives, it brings up the installation screen with no explorer option such as desktop or start menu. Is there a boot cd that can help with this? Or is there a way she can access and active the networking on here so we can move these files to our external storage drive?

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#2 usasma

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:10 AM

I would suggest pulling the hard drive out and using a USB enclosure to connect it to another system. Then just use Windows explorer to copy the data over.

FWIW - here's the tool that we for this at work: http://www.cooldrives.com/saandidehadr1.html
About $30 US
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#3 d. l. jemison

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 10:06 AM

Okay. So there's no way to just repair the boot record? What is the purpose of bootrec.exe /fixmbr?

I was hoping to be able to do this without having to spend any money, but if need be, so be it.

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 10:14 AM

Does your computer have a floppy? If so try downloading a windows 98 boot floppy here http://www.allbootdisks.com/ boot up and run fdisk /mbr then rerun fixmbr from windows vista recovery.

#5 d. l. jemison

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 10:58 AM

my desktop has a floppy. the laptop doesn't however. should i burn the 98 boot floopy to a cd then try it?

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 11:00 AM

my desktop has a floppy. the laptop doesn't however. should i burn the 98 boot floopy to a cd then try it?


Windows 98 Boot CD

#7 d. l. jemison

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 11:22 AM

all right. thank you. i'll give that a try, and update as i find out

#8 d. l. jemison

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 07:08 PM

I gave the boot disk a try. The laptop wouldn't even recognize it to boot up. Did I burn the .iso wrong or should I have opened then burn the contents?

#9 d. l. jemison

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 12:02 AM

it was a no-go on the 98 boot up. looks like i'll just have to get the transfer cage




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