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Computer loses operating system


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#1 warcat

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 04:11 PM

I am working on a Dell Inspiron 15 3000 series laptop computer. For some reason, it keeps losing the operating system. I cannot do a restore or refresh because I get the message that the hard drive is locked and I need to unlock the hard drive to proceed. When it reaches that point, I go into Diskpart, select the disk and do a Clean command on it, and reinstall windows.

 

I have read that it has a CMOS battery in it, and I am wondering if a dead CMOS battery could be causing this? Has anyone had any experience like this before?

 

This is the third time I have installed Windows 8.1 on it, and once I can get it connected to the Internet, I would really appreciate it if someone could take a look at it to see if something else is causing this ongoing catastrophe.

 

Thanks in advance to the wonderful folks on bleeping computer who have never let me down!



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#2 usasma

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 05:14 PM

Most likely a dead CMOS battery won't cause this.  Can you get at the CMOS battery to replace it?  Does the system keep time accurately?

 

What do you mean by it loses the operating system?  What error messages do you get?  What symptoms does it display?

 

Did the system come with Windows 8 originally?


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 warcat

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 08:45 AM

When I start the computer, I get the message that it cannot find the hard drive. Then when I insert the install media and try to repair, I get a message that it cannot do so because the hard drive is locked. I've tried every method I could find to "unlock" the hard drive, but none of them work. The computer did originally come with Windows 8. As to symptoms, it runs very slow, with just the OS on it. When typing, you typically have to wait 2-3 seconds between each key press so you don't lose anything you are typing. It has an i3 processor, so it shouldn't be that slow. Also replaced the original hard drive, from 500 Gb to 320 Gb. What happened there was the retaining screw for the mounting bracket was missing, so the hard drive would come loose from the connector and ultimately led to the hard drive being damaged to the point that it was rendered useless. Of course, I replaced the retaining screw to hold the new hard drive on the connector. Right now I have reinstalled Windows 8 and am going to install the appropriate drivers from Dell that match the service tag for this machine. I am almost to the point of believing this computer is simply a "lemon", like some cars that just cannot be fixed.



#4 usasma

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 08:50 AM

I wonder if there was more damage than just the hard drive?

The simplest explanation is that the cable/plug connecting the hard drive to the computer was damaged also.

That would explain the slowness (as the system had to double/triple check itself whenever it accesses the hard drive.

Start with these free diagnostics:  http://www.carrona.org/hwdiag.html

FYI - the first 3 (antimalware, memory, hard drive) are bootable - so Windows doesn't have to be installed to run them.

 

Run the Seagate Seatools test for the hard drive (the long/extended test) - as that will also test the hard drive controller.

If you have trouble getting it to run, try the Windows version (if you can get into Windows).  If not, post back and I've got a 675 mB ISO file that you can boot to for running the Western Digital diagnostics (I'm trying to make it smaller, but don't have a lot of time to experiment).


Edited by usasma, 15 June 2016 - 08:55 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 warcat

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 09:02 AM

A visual inspection of the connector does not reveal any damage. Can I download the hardware diagnostic tools from the site to a flash drive, or does the computer itself have to be online and on this site?

 

Well, something else I have discovered on this computer. Evidently soda pop or some other sticky substance has entered the bottom of the machine. I powered it down, unplugged it, removed the battery, and found that it the inside of the hard drive bay was sticky, as was inside of the drive bay cover. This computer belongs to a friend of mine, so I am going to advise him to simply buy a new computer and to be more careful with it. I don't think any liquid was poured into the computer, (the keys still work very well) but rather it was placed on a puddle of soda, or the soda spill migrated underneath it. In any event, it is difficult to say what other damage this computer may have sustained due to this event.


Edited by warcat, 15 June 2016 - 10:19 AM.


#6 usasma

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 04:49 PM

I agree, it's time for a new computer. 

Good luck!


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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