While corruption with installation media is not unheard of, it's hard to believe that both the Vista and Win 7 DVDs plus the recovery partition are all corrupt. While your computer hardware has apparently passed the Dell Diagnostic tests, maybe the hard drive and the memory should be tested more thoroughly.
Both procedures below require that you download an "iso" file and burn it to CD. This is best done an a different computer.
1.) Samsung was purchased by Seagate.
- To get a second opinion regarding your hard drive health, download the Seatools for DOS version by clicking the "Downloads" tab, selecting operating system (Vista), then "Download - accept license agreement. Burn the "SeaToolsDOS223ALL.Iso" image to a CD so it is bootable.
For reference regarding how to use Seatools for DOS see: SeaTools DOSguide.pdf.
- Don't know how or can't burn an "Iso" image?
- Download ImgBurn from here.
- Install the software then start ImgBurn.
- Select "Write Image file to disk" then under "Source" click on the "folder icon" to the right and select the "iso" file location.
- Click on this icon to "Start."
- Restart your computer with the Diagnostic Disk. (For how to set CDROM drive to boot first, go here)
- Run the Short test first and then the Long test.
- If given the option to repair the drive, allow it.
- Any reported errors in either test should make you suspect a failing hard drive.
2.) Test computer for bad memory:
A bad RAM (Random Access Memory) module can cause unwanted computer behavior such as freezing and BSOD.
Go to Memtest86+
and download the "precompiled Iso" file here.
- Unzip the file and burn the iso file to CD. (See how to:)
- Make sure your computer is set to boot from CD/DVD drive first. (See how to:)
- Boot the computer with Memtest86+ CD.
- The program will auto start. Allow it to run through at least 7 "passes" for minimal confidence; 12-24 hours for moderate-maximum confidence or until it registers any errors.
- The test can be stopped as soon as an error is reported (in red). Press the ESC key to reboot.
- To isolate the problem module should you have more than one memory chip, test each chip, one at a time, in the slot closest to the CPU. Take precautions to avoid static electricity when handling sensative electronic components.
- If a memory chip tests bad, then retest that chip in a different memory slot.
- Remember, any errors can mean a bad memory stick or bad memory slot on the motherboard.
- Download Pre-compiled EXE file for USB key (Win XP, Vista, Win 7), unzip file, plug in USB Flash drive, and run "Memtest86+ USB Installer.exe." Set computer to boot from USB drive first.
- Downolad Pre-Compiled package for Floppy (DOS - Win). unzip file, insert blank floppy (see Readme.txt for directions). Set computer to boot from floppy drive first.