Posted 24 August 2010 - 03:38 PM
I'm working on a Dell Studio 1537 Laptop running Vista Home Premium (COA sticker further describes as "OEMAct"). I am almost certain it is 64-bit.
Attempting to Boot
Upon first boot, direct after POST, the following screen appears:
Windows Boot Manager
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."
If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.
Press ENTER and the following screen appears:
Windows Boot Manager
Choose an operating system to start, or press TAB to select a tool:
(Use the arrow keys to highlight your choice, then press ENTER.)
Microsoft Windows Vista (highlighted)
To specify an advanced option for this choice, press F8.
Windows Memory Diagnostic
ENTER=Choose TAB=Menu ESC=Cancel
Pressing ENTER or F8 with Microsoft Windows Vista selected takes me directly back to the previous screen.
Attempting to Repair
I do not have the original install or recovery disc. However, I do have a few burned Vista install discs, including 64- and 32-bit OEM install discs. When I boot to the 64-bit disc, select my language, and select the repair option, the installation window disappears leaving just a cursor over the blank installation background wallpaper. No repair window ever appears. I have waited overnight. The only thing I can do is hit ESC to cancel the installation and reboot the computer.
When I boot from the 32-bit install disc and choose the repair option, I am faced with a screen that shows me a list of installed operating systems, correctly listing only Microsoft Windows Vista on the "(C:) Local Disk" drive. I can select that and go into the System Recovery Options.
Using Startup Repair, it attempts to repair and then presents the screen, "Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically." Selecting Problem details shows the following:
Problem Event Name: StartupRepairV2
Problem Signature 01: ExternalMedia
Problem Signature 02: 6.0.6000.16318.104.22.168.0
Problem Signature 03: 0
Problem Signature 04: 65537
Problem Signature 05: unknown
Problem Signature 06: CorruptBootConfigData
Problem Signature 07: 0
Problem Signature 08: 1
Problem Signature 09: FixPartitionTable
Problem Signature 10: 1168
OS Version: 6.0.6000.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID: 1033
If I go into the recovery console command prompt, I have attempted the following commands, yielding the following results:
chkdsk C: /r /x
Tells me that "Windows has checked the file system and found no problems." Also, at the end of the results, I noted the line, "Failed to transfer logged messages to the event log with status 50." I don't recall usually seeing that with chkdsk.
sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows
Both tell me that "Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service." /scannow (without the additional parameters) takes longer to bring me that message, stalling at the usual "Attempting to fix bla bla bla This may take a while," line for a few minutes first.
Attempting to Install
You'll have to forgive for the less detailed description here. I'm doing this one from memory.
At one point, I decided that all hope is lost and I should just attempt installing over the top, because with Vista and beyond, as long as you don't reformat, you don't lose data. It just gets relocated. And a bootable system would at least get me to the point of being able to access that data. When attempting to install, however, a couple things go wrong. First of all, no matter what disc I use (32-bit or 64-bit), it rejects the product key from the COA sticker under the battery. Second, and I cannot recall for sure whether this happened on the 64-bit or 32-bit disc (although I want to say it was the 64-bit one), the install hangs at the Transferring Data step, the first of the actual install after the "Collecting Data" portion. It just sits there at 0%. I left it there a day and a half and it never moved. I eventually had to exit out and cancel the install. I'm somewhat concerned about what sort of limbo this may have left us in.
At this point I'm stumped. I cannot think of anything else to do with this computer. I'd say backup data, reformat, reinstall, but I've essentially already tried the reinstall technique, and that even failed. And I'd rather not lose all the programs, settings, and other non-user file stuff, if at all possible. What should be my next step?
Thanks so much,