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Dell Inspiron N5040 - Safe mode only


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#1 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 05:41 PM

I got handed this laptop today - it belongs to the daughter of one of my bridge partners - and I cannot get it to boot into anything other than Safe Mode.

 

It appears to have something of a checkered history. It was built by Dell with Win 7 HP installed, at least there is a Dell COA sticker on the bottom of it, but it is now running Win 8.0 Pro. She says it was taken to a repair shop in the town, about whom I know nothing, and they said 'We've put 8 on it'.

 

I managed to get to Control panel/Recovery and do a restore to the 12th October and I was then able to get it to connect to my router. I installed Malwarebytes, it updated and ran a scan which showed 1012 entries for PuPs and 2 instances of Rogue.Multiple. All appeared to be properly quarantined and a second scan, after a re-boot, came up clean, but it still will not boot into anything other than Safe Mode.

 

I am beginning to suspect that either the Win 8 install was botched or it is a pirate copy. On Control panel/system, the product id comes up as 'Not available', and there is no 'Windows update' section on the control panel.

 

If it is a legitimate copy, how do I get it to boot normally ?  There is no recovery partition.

 

If it is not a legitimate copy, since it has a Win 7 COA, what is the easiest way to revert it to Win 7 ?  Data isn't a problem, there is very little on this system and I can recover what there is.

 

Chris Cosgrove



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#2 Agouti

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 05:54 PM

I'm almost 100% sure the Win8 on the machine is illegal.  Since there's no recovery partition but there's a COA I'd say to download the correct version of Win7 from here and do a clean install. 



#3 Budapest

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 05:56 PM

You can order recovery disks from Dell.

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN127718/en
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#4 Plumber

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 06:41 PM

For what it's worth,for ha ha's,try typing msconfig in the run box.When it opens up see if it is set to boot in safe mode only.Just a suggestion cuz I have seen it before.



#5 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 07:09 PM

Thanks for the opinions and suggestions.

 

Plumber's was spot on the nose, unticking safe mode let it boot to the normal desktop, but I still have reservations about the OS on this laptop.

 

Going into Programs and features show virtually no software on this computer at all - particularly it shows no instals of any version of Visual C++ or SQL compact unlike a known good laptop running 8.1 under my control. And although MBAM consistently shows the computer clean now, I am still getting re-directs in the two browsers installed.

 

I have spoken to the owner and told her that I intend reverting it to Win 7 and she is quite happy with that. So unless any of you come up with any brighter ideas it's an on-line trip to Dell for the drivers, back-up any data on it and an attack of Boot and Nuke before re-installing a known good OS.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 08:10 PM

The final installment.

 

This computer has now been reverted to Win 7 HP, its original OS. Boot and Nuke failed due to hard drive errors. The long Seagate test showed 8 in one particular area, but more worryingly for the long term reported that the HD had on at least one occasion reached 70C !

 

Thanks to DigitalRiver, Win 7 installed without any problems, security is installed, and a working set of software. On top of that, the owner sounds delighted at the prospect of getting it back tomorrow. Good thing I am not trying to do this on a professional basis - a lot of time and sweat for a bottle of gin ! It's actually quite a nice little computer now it has a properly installed OS.

 

But again, thanks for the advice.

 

Chris Cosgrove






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