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No-boot Dell with no working cd/dvd


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#1 familyRepair@drat!

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 09:05 PM

Niece just brought me her Dell inspirion 6000 which "was working great and then is just went crazy!"
Turn on and boots right up to where the desktop would show, then BSOD, 0000051 (?), which googles to "bad registry." Resolution would be much easier if the cd/dvd worked, but it hasn't since the rest of the machine dumped out. I see 3 scenarios and I'll try to make them brief. Assistance greatly appreciated!
1.) The hang-up always quits at the same place (duh!) If I boot in safe mode, the previous 35-40 items prior to lock up are always the same, which leads me to believe there is a master list which tells loader what to load and when. That would be nice to know since the listing I get from safe boot is the files which have loaded, not the one failing to load. In other words, I see "a"-"r" on the screen as sucessfully loaded, implying "s" is the object causing the problem. Where is the list to tell me the name of "s" so I can fix or delete it?
2.) This Dell is about 4-1/2 years old. According to Dell's site, that aged Inspirions have recovery partitions which contain iso's of the original configuration of XP and are supported by a Symantic "Ghost-like" restore device. With a partition manager I can see a partition which contains Dell drivers and programs. There is another partition with a couple of ISO's and a heck of a chunk of the individual XP files. The partitions are named 1: and 2: The normal restore procedure is to press <control> F8 at the same time as you would to go into BIOS. When I do so , I get "unable to load kernel." just that message and nothing else.
a. Is there an easy way to fix the "kernel" problem?
b. If not, how can I access partition named 1:\ and 2:\?? If I can get there, would I treat the ISOs as ISOs, or did the Symantec "Ghost-like" thingie encrypt them in Mandarin or something?
3. This dohicky doesn't have a functioning CD, whether software or hardware I don't know yet, so I'm working with a thumb drive and something called "Active@bootdisk" mainly because I tried putting together a bootable disk to access the drive and came as close as ever to being instutionalized! I'd follow one set of "usb bootable" instructions and get an error, the solution to which always wiped out something in the original build. If steps 1 or 2 are not successful, I'll need to load a new XP. I have a brand new MCE which I will sacrifice (early x-mas gift!) if someone can tell me how to get it onto a bootable thumbdrive without needing subsequent psychological help from following unworkable instructions.

Thanks for any assistance!

#2 amalux

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 11:02 PM

If not worried about losing data, factory restore is an easy solution (more info here). If you can create a boot disk like the ones described here, they can be booted easily enough from usb/ufd etc.

#3 familyRepair@drat!

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 04:10 PM

Thanks for the reply. I tried the reinstall from the partitions but, as I mentioned, I get the "can't load kernel" message. You wouldn't know how to fix that one, would you?

Or maybe where and what that 'load order' file might be? I suspect the list is entries in the registry, or perhaps a file loaded by a registry entry, but after that I'm lost!

Tks again

#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 04:42 PM

I tried the reinstall from the partitions but, as I mentioned, I get the "can't load kernel" message. You wouldn't know how to fix that one, would you?

I know that it is tricky business to understand each other from a distance :D, but "I tried the reinstall from the partitions but, as I mentioned, I get the "can't load kernel" message." does not mean anything useful on this side. :)

When you boot that PC do you have an option to press a F-key (it should be ctrl+F11 on Dell's) to restore the PC to "factory state"?
http://www.goodells....store/fixes.htm

Is this what you want to do? :D

Or you want to create a way to install that MCE from the USB thingy?

WHICH specific USB bootable thingy tutorial did you use?

WHAT other PC/OS do you have available to create a USB bootable thingy?

:D
Wonko

#5 familyRepair@drat!

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:04 PM

I know that it is tricky business to understand each other from a distance :D, but "I tried the reinstall from the partitions but, as I mentioned, I get the "can't load kernel" message." does not mean anything useful on this side. :) Over on this side it means the I pressed <Control> and <F11> and got the response "Unable to load kernel."

When you boot that PC do you have an option to press a F-key (it should be ctrl+F11 on Dell's) to restore the PC to "factory state"?It is not mentioned on the splash; only BIOS and Boot Order. I found the ctlF11 on the Dell site.
http://www.goodells....store/fixes.htm

Is this what you want to do? :DAs my second Choice, Yes. But, IF the ctl/F11 doesn't work, the ISO is there on the 3rd partition. First partition, below c:, is a bunch of Dell Drivers and programs and, apparently, includes the autoexec to the restore process. The third partition has the ISO and a lot of other windows files.
This part of the question is - how do I get to thoses two partitions (currently named 1: and 3:)?? If I get there, Is the ISO usable or did the symantec ghost-like thingy (the only usage of that word in the original post) encrypt or otherwise distort the image? Do I have to have that Symantec ghost-like thingy to retrieve the iso to disk?


Or you want to create a way to install that MCE from the USB thingy? If nothing else works, yes I do.

WHICH specific USB bootable thingy tutorial did you use?Bart's PEMaker,Win2usb, a thing I can't find now from Miles in GB.


WHAT other PC/OS do you have available to create a USB bootable thingy?OSs available are: xp home ed, XP pro and MCE. These are new OEMs in unsealed microsoft envelopes.


:D
Wonko



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 04:37 PM

Ok.

Now the message "can't load kernel" is not a "standard" one, it may be a particular "DELL's" one though.

Does it happen "immediately" after you press the Ctrl+F11 or after a delay? (just trying to understand if it comes from the MBR, the bootsector or something else)

Accessing the partition(s) should be not a problem, but getting the actual files on them working or however salvaging them somehow may prove tricky unless you have an USB bootable thingy with something like a PE.
In your case you can create a PE 1.x from any of the XP sources you have, provided that any of them is already slipstreamed to SP1 or SP2.
The easiest to build IMHO is UBCD4WIN:
http://www.ubcd4win.com/
to make a bootable USB stick from it there is an utility:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=9460
http://ubcd4win.com/...showtopic=11375

If the PC is 4 1/2 years old, most probably it has NOT SATA devices, but rather ATAPI/IDE ones, so you should need not to add any "special" driver.
In any case, in the BIOS there should be a setting for the hard disk to set it into "IDE compatibility mode" or something similar.

Plan of action:
  • salvage the whatever contents of the partitions on the hard disk
  • repair (if possible) the DELL recovery partition(s)
  • repair (if possible) the currently not working install
  • re-install (if possible) from the recovery partition OR re-install from the other OEM source you have

There is maybe an easier approach, which is to install (temporarily) another instance of XP (from one of the sources you have available) in order to be able to boot the machine and make the repairs, but this solution requires that you have enough free space (around 1.5 Gb if I recall correctly) and may overwrite data that you need to recover.
In other words if the machine was perfectly functional until it broke, and you are confident that there was no data loss, it is a possible path, otherwise the "PE" method is preferrable.

Do you have another removable storage media (like USB external hard disk) to store the salvaged data?
How big is the PC hard disk?
How much data does it contain?
How big is the USB stick you are using?

:dubbio:
Wonko

#7 familyRepair@drat!

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 05:04 PM

Ok.

Now the message "can't load kernel" is not a "standard" one, it may be a particular "DELL's" one though.

Does it happen "immediately" after you press the Ctrl+F11 or after a delay? (just trying to understand if it comes from the MBR, the bootsector or something else)It occurs after a delay of several seconds, maybe as long as 15 seconds. Once it is on screen, touching any key creates a new instance.

Accessing the partition(s) should be not a problem, but getting the actual files on them working or however salvaging them somehow may prove tricky unless you have an USB bootable thingy with something like a PE.
In your case you can create a PE 1.x from any of the XP sources you have, provided that any of them is already slipstreamed to SP1 or SP2.
The easiest to build IMHO is UBCD4WIN:
http://www.ubcd4win.com/
to make a bootable USB stick from it there is an utility:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=9460
http://ubcd4win.com/...showtopic=11375

If the PC is 4 1/2 years old, most probably it has NOT SATA devices, but rather ATAPI/IDE ones, so you should need not to add any "special" driver.Correct. It is IDE.
In any case, in the BIOS there should be a setting for the hard disk to set it into "IDE compatibility mode" or something similar.

Plan of action:

  • salvage the whatever contents of the partitions on the hard disk
  • repair (if possible) the DELL recovery partition(s)
  • repair (if possible) the currently not working install
  • re-install (if possible) from the recovery partition OR re-install from the other OEM source you have

There is maybe an easier approach, which is to install (temporarily) another instance of XP (from one of the sources you have available) in order to be able to boot the machine and make the repairs, but this solution requires that you have enough free space (around 1.5 Gb if I recall correctly) and may overwrite data that you need to recover.
In other words if the machine was perfectly functional until it broke, and you are confident that there was no data loss, it is a possible path, otherwise the "PE" method is preferrable.

Do you have another removable storage media (like USB external hard disk) to store the salvaged data? yes
How big is the PC hard disk? 80g
How much data does it contain?67g in use, 10g available, and 3g which the partition manager reports as "unassigned."
How big is the USB stick you are using?I have 2-2g and 1-4g
Thanks for the plan! I'll have to do this over several days, but will keep you posted.


:dubbio:
Wonko






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