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Master Boot Record ? Gone in Dell Vostro 2510 Vista OS


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#1 mike0921

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 04:43 PM

:huh:

A friend gave me a Dell Vostro 2510, he replaced. He said it didn't work, he thought it was a hard drive failure or motherboard fried, but he replaced it and gave it to me with the words, If you can fix it, it's yours...

I have spent hours reading forums, at Dell and Microsoft, and trying to recall the old DOS commands I learned years ago, etc... I have the factory disc's that came with the machine. When I try to re-install or repair the Vista Business OS 32 bit, it gets as far as "Load Drivers - insert disc" and then it just stalls there. The progress bar bar keeps "moving" but the machine just stays there at that window and does nothing. I finally stumbled onto the command prompt from there. When I move up in directories, I get to "X" drive. When I run a dir on that, it lists a dir that looks like a Windows OS directory but here I can't seem to do much. I can see 2 drives I think "root" directories ".." and "..." (am not at the machine right now, but as I recall, in every DOS system structure there are two directories listed as "." or "..") etc..? Then a dir for Windows. In Windows there is what looks like all the files you would expect to find. I haven't itemized the list yet... I asked him later and he finally confessed that he did a reinstall, screwed it up, he reformatted the disc, installed the OS in one partition, seems he used it for awhile then he said it "told me it was full... and I couldn't get it to reinstall or work anymore." More or less his words. I can't seem to find any partitions on the drive, or any other data.. Could this be a Master Boot Record failure??

This is where I sit now. I can't seem to make a System Boot or Repair or anything disc from it. How can I reformat, partition, or whatever I need to do to reinstall the Windows Vista Business 32 bit OS from the original factory disc's? Once I get it up and running, I may upgrade to 7 Home Premium 64 bit like my 2 HP's or leave it. I don't know of the advantages that I would get keeping the Business Vista but will look into that later. First, to get it working!!

I have a variety of tools on a USB stick, I know how to find others and download them if you ask me to, or any of the ones here... I do have somewhat of a "beginner's Intermediate" to "Intermediate" understanding of computers. Due to health I had to give up my Hobbies and such for the last 10 years or so, but it does come back as I use it and am reminded of things by others. I have and am, doing a major repair job on my HP Pavillion 6815, and am working from/using a new HP G62 now. All these systems have dual core, 3GB ram specs, and the Dell is probably 2?? years old.

Much gratefulness in advance :dance:

Mike :busy:

Edited by mike0921, 25 February 2011 - 04:45 PM.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 06:44 PM

I think I'd just contact either the person who gave it to you...or Dell...for the appropriate disks...or replacements.

Louis

#3 mike0921

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 08:38 PM

Well, that's the thing, i have the replacement discs, the problem is that the machine can't read them or can't find the place to write them on the drive... that's why I think it's the MBR... but I don't know for sure what to do next. Just reformat, the entire drive and install the OS, if so does the install create the partitions necessary ( I read somewhere awhile ago that there are 4 partitions that Windows uses... does the factory create them and Windows fill them???)

Or Reformat and Partion it for the recovery partition and let Windows OS do it's thing???

Thanks for taking your time to read and reply
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#4 Broni

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 08:47 PM

he thought it was a hard drive failure or motherboard fried, but he replaced it

Replaced both?

If you're using recovery CDs, MBR doesn't play any role there.

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#5 mike0921

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 09:52 AM

Okay, so what do I need to do to reinstall Vista Business on this machine? It reads the factory discs, begins the process, but hangs;
either after clicking on Repair, it asks to identify the drive, then it asks to insert the factory disc to load drivers, and then it just hangs there with the progress bar moving indefinitely.. well, I have let it run for as long as 15 minutes, and it just hangs there. When I try a fresh install, it asks for the factory disc drivers disc to install drivers from it, and then hangs again. I tried after a while to replace the driver disc back with the Windows OS disc and click next but it asks for the driver disc again, or just hangs there with the progress bar moving...

Help?
:woot:
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#6 hamluis

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 02:37 PM

Dell Support at http://support.dell.com/support/DPP/Index.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=anavml&SystemID=VOS_N_2510 .

Louis

#7 Broni

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 05:52 PM

he thought it was a hard drive failure or motherboard fried, but he replaced it

Replaced both?

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#8 buddy215

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 06:20 PM

Broni---the way I read his first post is that his friend replaced the entire computer....not the HDD or mother board.

mike0921---Have you thought about using a live Linux CD? Such as Ubuntu?
The live CDs do not install themselves on the HDD. Run only in RAM. You can mount Vista and poke around to
see what is there. You can also reformat the drive and other things such as expanding the partition that Vista is on.
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#9 mike0921

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 07:54 PM

:thumbup2:

Hey all,

First, hamluis, thanks for the link. The machine I have is out of warranty and I am not the original owner anymore... but it did lead me to a Dell Volunteer "Army" support site that I may end up going to. Although, I am using BC here and don't want to violate the TOS or requests by the Guys, to not post and take advise elsewhere to prevent confusion and cross directions.

Broni, he replaced hi Dell Vostro 2510 which he gave me... with an HP of some kind.

Buddy215, after digging in it as far as I did, I think it would rest me easier to just wipe everything he did, or didn't do, clean the drive and do what I have to do to put a clean drive back together, fresh. From what he said, and what I can see from the DOS prompt, he installed the OS in a small partition, and between his own operations, and the OS's restore points, backups whatever he was having it do or try, the thing just "fubar-ed".

Two out of three laptops I have are inoperative. The other I still am doing well on and it is progressing. This one I'm at the point where the lesson experience so far has been really valuable to me, but I think I would like to go from here to learning to reformat and partition the drive, or whatever steps I need to take, to put the drive back at a factory good state, and do a clean install of the OS. I still have an HP desktop, that was given to me DOA, that I haven't even touched. I'm trying to rekindle some of what I learned in the 80's and 90's, pick-up where I left ten years ago, and continue on with my learning. Once, I'm comfortable I would like to spend time here offering whatever I can to others, while I find other locals that might want to pay a little for me to help repair their "babies". Which is what I was doing when my health gave out ten years ago... 'tis amazing what you can forget in 10 years, but some of it is like the bicycle thing. I just need to be reminded and prodded a bit... my health led me to disability years ago, and now at 60, am effectively "retired" and my love of computers goes back to the mid-80's. Am now healthy enough to part time this hobby and replace at least part of my disability check with honest wages :busy: and some good old volunteering.

How do I want the Vista OS to "find" the drive when it starts? By that I mean with two partitions, C and D, C being the larger User space and D being the system recovery space? My 2 HPs have about 30GB for the recovery partitions ( D drive), and the one with 160 GB has 130 GB for the C drive, the other with 320 GB has the other +/- 280 for the C drive ( C being the User partition). Seems pretty standard...

Is that how I want the OS to find the "empty" drive? It has a 320 GB drive... Whatever the requirement is for Vista Business 32 bit OS?
30 GB partition, D drive, for the recovery partition, and 290 GB for the C drive, the User partition? Or just a big formatted drive that the OS will partition itself for it's proper installation with a System Recovery drive D, and a User drive C?

I guess more simply put, once re-formatted, (NTFS), does Vista partition the drive as part of the installation, or do I need to partition the drive for the installation? Last ime I was doing any of this was with "95", which along with my remembered knowledge of my DOS learning isn't too helpful.

Thanks,
mike0921
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#10 hamluis

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:11 AM

Any need for partitioning...is determined by the method of attempted install.

Genuine MS Vista CDs...as will all MS CDs...will partition/format before installing the O/S.

OEM systems (Dell, Lenovo, eMachines, etc.) will vary. Some use restore/recovery CDs, some use recovery/restore partitions, some use a combination. Each of these system manufacturers...provides their own method dealing with system installation and you would have to review the documentation at the correct respective website...to know which method is applicable on any system.

In any case...there should be no need to partition a hard drive...before attempting a legal, proper install of Windows with proper media or by properly designated means.

There is no similarity at all between what the procedures used for installing Win 9x...and those for installing any later Windows O/S...other than the possible use of a CD/DVD.

Louis

#11 mike0921

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 01:54 PM

Thanks Louis,

That, I guess was the information I was looking for in regards to how to set the hard drive up for the reinstall. As well as it has triggered other information from those years ago that makes me more comfortable proceeding. I will go look for the applicable info for Dell over at the Dell sight you posted above.

I guess, the only question that remains in my mind centers on why the OEM OS and diver install discs would hang up partially through the process and not give me an error message? Is the 15 minutes or so that I mentioned above; letting the progress bar "move" for fifteen minutes after placing the Vostro driver disc, long enough? Was it busy preparing the drive and that was the "delay" I acted on?

Should I go set it up to install, replace the disc when it asks me to and give it a couple of hours? I don't want to screw up the machine, it is a pretty good machine on the surface, have never owned a Dell, or used Vista Business. But, not having encountered this I'm unsure. I've had to re-install Vista Home Premium 32 bit several times this past year on my other HP and it was pretty cut and dry.. time consuming, but pretty painless.

So, what about that time thing, and Vista seeming to "hang". Should I give it more than 15 minutes to continue on, and, if something is in fact going "wrong" shouldn't I get some kind of an error message? Or would it be best to just sit there with the progress bar continuing to move green colors across the bar and wait?

Thanks Louis, you've been really helpful.

Mike
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