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Dell Inspiron won't boot

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#1 fionataylor


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Posted 24 July 2013 - 11:23 AM

Dell Inspiron. Windows Vista.


My computer suddenly died.

When I try to turn it on I get this message:


         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'.


         Other options:

         If power was interrupted during startup, choose start windows Normally.

             Safe Mode

             Safe mode with Networking

             Safe Mode with Command Prompt

             Last Known Good Configuration (advanced)

             Start Windows Normally



When I choose Start Windows Normally or Last Known Good Configuration, nothing happens.

When I choose any Safe Mode option, it says 'Loading Windows Files, Please Wait.' But nothing happens.


When I Insert the Windows installation disc and press' F12 Boot Options', and select Boot with CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive, I get to the Language Settings Screen.

I then have the options of Installing Windows Vista or Repair Your Computer.


If I select Repair Your Computer, and select Windows Vista Operating System to repair I get the message: ''This version of System Recovery Options is not compatible with the version of Windows you are trying to repair. Try using a recovery disc that is compatible with this version of Windows.''

It should be compatible as my laptop does run on Windows Vista.

I also have the options here to Load Drivers, and Insert the installations media for the device.


If I select Install Windows Vista I can choose 'Custom installation (advanced): Install a clean copy of windows, select where you want to install it, or make changes to disks and partitions. This option does not keep your files, settings, and programs.'

The option to 'Upgrade: Keep your files, settings, and programs and upgrade Windows. Be sure to back up your files before upgrading.' has been disabled (to upgrade, start the installation from Windows).



Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can keep my files?

Any help much appreciated!

Thank you!

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#2 GodfatherKing


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Posted 24 July 2013 - 01:36 PM

The installation CD you're using to recovery (Repair option) doesn't apply with the OS bit version or the CD got damaged.

To rescue your files, you can make with a working computer a Ubuntu Live CD:


More information: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/use-ubuntu-live-cd-to-backup-files-from-your-dead-windows-computer/

If you have received help from me and I don't have respond to you for almost >= 3 days, send me a Private Message.  :hello:

#3 dc3


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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:37 AM

There are six versions of Vista, you must have the disc which is for your version.


You can download a ISO file from Windows Vista Forums which can burned to a DVD to make a recovery disc.  There are good instructions for making the recovery disc and its use.


At the bottom of the tutorial there is a link to instructions for System Recovery Options.

Edited by dc3, 25 July 2013 - 10:41 AM.

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