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pbarnard
06-19-2009, 12:46 PM
Running a Dell that is 4.5 years old with XP laptop that was designed for Engineers and Scientists (but later the model was discontinued due to low sales).

My laptop died last night. I was synching my phone and itunes when I got the blue screen of death saying a *.sys file was corrupted. I restarted in safemode, than tried a restore and reboot, only to have a different sys file missing. Rinse wash repeat 2 more times, same results.


So looking/fishing for advice. Do I bother with a totally clean install of XP that came with the computer or do I just smash it into oblivion and start anew?

Darth Metalmute
06-19-2009, 01:25 PM
Check to see if you have the XP Operating System Disk.
If you do, place it in the disk tray and restart the computer. It should take you to a boot up menu. Run a repair on it. It should work. I just did it to my desktop two weeks ago with the same problem.

That being said, a laptop that is 4.5 years old has had a pretty good life. If you have the means, smash it and buy a new one. A complete reinstall might fix it temporarily, but your problem could be that the hard drive is dying.
Good luck.

Val Da Car
06-21-2009, 07:16 PM
Check to see if you have the XP Operating System Disk.
If you do, place it in the disk tray and restart the computer. It should take you to a boot up menu. Run a repair on it. It should work. I just did it to my desktop two weeks ago with the same problem.

That being said, a laptop that is 4.5 years old has had a pretty good life. If you have the means, smash it and buy a new one. A complete reinstall might fix it temporarily, but your problem could be that the hard drive is dying.
Good luck.

Also dells from that time were notorious to have a bad hd or two.

When the system boots (from a power off mode) do the Keyboard command Ctrl+D at the same time and run the hard disk diagnostics to let you know if the Windows error is because the file is sitting on a bad section of the hard disk or something else.

pbarnard
06-22-2009, 09:25 AM
I tried all that first. No go. So I'm stuck with a reformat, that was started 2PM yesterday and is only 64% done as of 8 AM today. *sighs* Looks like my new car fund will see a small withdrawl.

Darth Metalmute
06-22-2009, 02:05 PM
I tried all that first. No go. So I'm stuck with a reformat, that was started 2PM yesterday and is only 64% done as of 8 AM today. *sighs* Looks like my new car fund will see a small withdrawl.

16 hours?!? It's your hard drive. There is no reason for a reformat to take that long.

pbarnard
06-22-2009, 02:20 PM
That's pretty much my thought.

Time to run a poll...which sledgehammer should I use...

JediTricks
06-22-2009, 02:32 PM
What are the machine's stats? Some laptops are worth saving, although honestly I cannot imagine one over 4 years old being svelte or having good battery life at this point.

In any case, unless you're a smashing-freak, it would be best to send it to electronics recycling after removing the harddrive if it has personal data on it.

pbarnard
06-22-2009, 02:52 PM
Off top of my head 2GB RAM, Pentium M processor, 60GB HD, XP professional, 15" screen, DVD/CDR bay, IR, bluetooth, 4 USB, weighs about 4lbs.

Batteries are good because I've run it mostly off the power supply (and I have 2 batteries anyways).

JediTricks
06-22-2009, 04:35 PM
Sounds like a decent machine, actually. Depends on the processor speed for my final verdict, but off the bat I'd say it's worth saving. Hard drives are super cheap right now (for xmas, I got a 320gb for my old laptop that was well under $100) and if you can access them, very easy to replace.

pbarnard
06-23-2009, 10:33 AM
What's funny is I came home from work, and XP was installed. Now it's the hassel of going through and getting all the drivers, updates, etc installed.

JediTricks
06-25-2009, 10:07 PM
What's funny is I came home from work, and XP was installed. Now it's the hassel of going through and getting all the drivers, updates, etc installed.
Um, what do you mean it was installed? Operating System gnomes? :p

Ugh, it actually took me longer to download all the updates for Vista than to install the OS. And the stupid part was that most of the updates were in the Service Pack 1 update, but I couldn't update to that until I updated 80 other things first (even though they were IN IT!!!). Best of luck, let us know how it goes/went.

pbarnard
07-20-2009, 10:06 AM
Crashed again. Now my wife is insisting she fix it. She's taken it to the VA and probably handing it off to their computer people (so yep, the government is involved now!). Either way, we're breaking down and buying a new desktop since this is getting to be ridiculous.

Darth Cruel
07-20-2009, 10:31 AM
I will let you in on a little trick I discovered.

My laptop with Windows XP pro died the blue screen death. In order to not loose any infor, I replaced the hard drive and re-installed Windows.

Then, on a prayer (I had abuncha photos and music that I did NOT want to lose), I bought a shell/cable and made the old hard drive into an external back-up-type drive.

Plugging it in to the Windows XP laptop netted me a blank back-up.

Plugging it in to a Windows Vista laptop netted me an external hard drive with every file intact.

So if you ever blue-screen and need to save files...that is my recommendation.

pbarnard
07-20-2009, 10:47 AM
Luckily, most of the files, the pictures etc are "cloud saved" some place. It's just a hassel to download between picassa, photobucket etc.

JediTricks
07-20-2009, 11:56 AM
Wow, that's a bummer. I wonder what could be causing these failures.

pbarnard
07-20-2009, 12:52 PM
My wife feels guilty about this one. She promised me she wouldn't watch the female version of Chinese Idol (in China it's broken up by the sexes using provincial and finally national competition). Large streaming video is second on rate of failure reasons after corruption.

I'm told the re-install/repair is done. Now I get to do driver and program installation when I go home.

JediTricks
07-20-2009, 01:00 PM
That's crazy! I wonder if the video card on the laptop has gone bad, that could cause this sort of thing.

pbarnard
07-20-2009, 01:13 PM
The first time I was trying to Sync my phone to iTunes after downloading a podcast. The second time was this, so not really all that related.

JediTricks
07-20-2009, 01:26 PM
iTunes is the devil.

The common link between the 2 is the motherboard, unfortunately.

pbarnard
07-20-2009, 02:03 PM
iTunes is the devil.

The common link between the 2 is the motherboard, unfortunately.

Those can be decoupled...quite violently. :twisted:

Than recycling the pieces.

JediTricks
07-20-2009, 07:25 PM
Those can be decoupled...quite violently. :twisted:

Than recycling the pieces.
On a desktop, it's not that hard. On a laptop, it's the whole enchilada.