Can this be done? Here is the issue: My sister brought me her Dell Inspiron streamline 660S (manufactured 2012) and told me that her operating system has totally disappeared. Dell told her it was due to a virus and that the hard drive was probably damaged and she needed a new one. Her company's IT department did a diagnostics and said the operating system was not present.
When I started the computer up, it went to a blue screen and said there was an error with nostkrnl.exe (parts corrupt or missing) and error 0x0000185 which is a very serious issue.
It gave me 3 options:
Enter to try again
F8 to enter set-up
Esc for UEFI Firmware.
The first is a no go and the F8 is also not possible. Under the UEFI the system's BIOS is keeping the date and time correct but nothing else can be done.
The system was installed with Windows 8 and was a gift from her fiance. There was no Windows installation disk that came with it but she will be sending me the disc with drivers and utilities.
6 months ago she updated to Windows 8.1 and had no issues until 3 weeks ago. So...
1. Its a possibility a virus/trojan corrupted the OS.
2. A recent Windows update might have caused the problem.
2. Its a strong possibility that the hard drive crashed but I don't know for sure.
So as my subject line has asked is there a way to diagnose this system, particularly, the hard drive in any way? Can I do it via Linux and if so what distro and any tutorials you can direct me to so I can see how it is done?