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Startup repair loop - Reinstall Windows or get new hard drive?


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#1 Frowenat

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:19 PM

Hello,

I have a Dell Inspiron N41110 that ran like a dream for the whole 13 months I've had it--until last night, when it froze, I forced a reset, and it got stuck in the Startup Repair loop.  At first Startup Repair said the problem was a corrupt registry, but now it says it can't figure out the root cause at all.  I tried this tutorial, but the computer couldn't copy a couple of the files due to an "I/O error," so it's still stuck in the loop. System Restore wouldn't work--it told me there were no restore points.  Then, after spending hours getting my personal files off with Paragon Rescue Kit, I ran the Dell diagnostics from the boot menu, and the hard drive failed the test with error code 2000-0142.

 

Finally, I decided to run chkdsk for the heck of it . . . and it's been stuck on "Correcting error in index $130 for file 4897" for four hours now. 

 

What should I do now?  I'm not especially technologically savvy (obviously) and this is my first encounter with the startup repair loop, so even though I've now read tons of threads and articles on it I still have no idea what to do with my computer.  I've read a lot of stuff that says reinstalling Windows 7 is the only way to fix it, but now I'm wondering if the hard drive is the root cause and can't be fixed.  Is there any way to tell for sure what's going on, or should I just get a new hard drive and be done with it?  (I'm definitely not happy at the prospect of needing a new hard drive on a year-old computer.)

 

Thanks in advance for any help!  I'm really losing my mind here.


Edited by Frowenat, 10 May 2013 - 11:20 PM.


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#2 noknojon

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:32 PM

ERROR CODE :2000-0142 from the Dell Forum - Also From Dell
Your worst fears are true. HDDs can last 1 year or 15 years, I have found it is just luck and care that makes it longer or shorter.

 

Have you dropped or crushed the unit, as this can also shorten the life -

 

Thank You - and Sorry -

 



#3 Frowenat

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:58 PM

Oh, ugh.  I googled that Dell error code earlier and saw people mentioning that those diagnostics don't always indicate an irreparable hard drive--hence the reason I did chkdsk afterwards.  Wishful thinking, I guess!  No, I haven't dropped it; the first indication of any problem whatsoever was when it suddenly froze on a web page last night, and when I turned it off and back on it was in Startup Repair.

 

Thanks, though.  So I guess there's no point in seeing if it will finally finish "correcting error in index $130" . . .  Is replacing a hard drive something best left to pros? I've never had a failed hard drive--although I have replaced CMOS batteries and hinges and RAM in other computers (and hard drives in a couple of Tivos, too, now that I think of it!)


Edited by Frowenat, 11 May 2013 - 12:26 AM.


#4 noknojon

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:20 AM

Hi -

You can Google your Make (Dell) and Model, and quite often they have a Tutorial on how to remove and replace the HDD with little or no fuss.

If you feel OK about doing these things, it will save you many $$$ but take a bit longer than sending it to a repair shop.

 

My Toshiba has a very good and detailed instruction tutorial on replacing most items, but I will leave that choice to you.

If the chkdsk is still jammed at about Stage 2 then you can also do more damage by trying a hard reboot from there.

If it reached Stages 4 or 5 then there is virtually no damage to anything -

 

A sfc /scannow check may have been the better first option to see if any files were damaged, but that is now hind-sight -

 

Posting in the Hardware area of the forum may give you some ideas, but here we just use basic diagnostics and that is about all.

 

Thank You -






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