Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Yesterday, my mom dropped her laptop to the floor and got the blue screen of death after trying to boot the system.

I was able to start a Fedora live CD and get some of her stuff off the hard drive, but I cannot seem to be able to install Windows on it. The installation starts loading files and then the computer turns off.

I am thinking that she might need a new hard drive.

Any ideas?

Edit:
I actually was able to boot the Windows XP installation but it is saying that no hard disk is detected. How can this be possible if I was able to mount the drive on fedora yesterday?

share|improve this question
    
Did the harddrive make any weird sounds? Also, have you tried "fully" reformatting it and checking if it has bad sectors? –  Earlz Apr 20 '10 at 19:02
    
Haven't tried that... What tools would you recommend to perform sector checking? –  Alex B. Apr 20 '10 at 19:03
    
I am actually starting to think that it is also an overheating problem... was running diagnostics and the computer suddenly turns off –  Alex B. Apr 20 '10 at 19:06
1  
yeah, the sudden power-off could be an overheating problem. possibly the drop knocked a heatsink loose. time to disassemble the laptop and inspect the innards for damage. –  quack quixote Apr 20 '10 at 22:51

2 Answers 2

If the laptop got dropped, I wouldn't be surprised if there's damage to the motherboard.

share|improve this answer
    
There could be damage to anything and everything - unless it's been ruggedised. –  ChrisF Apr 20 '10 at 20:34
    
but, if the computer is turning on and I was able to use Fedora Live and get some stuff off the hard drive.... What could be the problem? –  Alex B. Apr 20 '10 at 20:40
    
Not all damage prevents a computer from booting. As @ChrisF said, it could be just about anything. The power supply would be my next suspect. Is it still under warranty? That may be your only hope. –  Velociraptors Apr 20 '10 at 20:46
    
Gotcha... It's not under warranty... I can format the hard drive using Gparted Live. However, when I use the WIN XP installation, it says that no hard drive was detected. –  Alex B. Apr 20 '10 at 21:47

Hey, no panicking just yet. Here's a very likely possibility. Since you said you are using Win XP, it could be that the motherboard hard drive controller isn't supported and therefore you need a driver before the hard drive can be accessed. This happens a lot.

Check Dell's website for your computer and look for SATA (most likely) driver. Get this driver, load to a USB device and try and rerun the XP installation. During the installation process, there will be a point where it says to press (F6?) to load a disk driver. Do so, load the driver from USB. Then see if it will continue the installation process.

share|improve this answer
    
The computer worked before, and now after dropping it it doesn't work. I don't think this is a driver issue. -1 –  Earlz Apr 20 '10 at 23:13
    
This actually makes sense since the computer was previously running on Vista. I will try installing Windows 7 after getting it. –  Alex B. Apr 20 '10 at 23:41
    
@Alex B. - Based on you comment, you might consider up-voting this answer as the person who down-voted it seems to have been a bit hasty. –  Xavierjazz Apr 21 '10 at 0:46
    
Allright. Windows Vista installation did recognize the hard drive. I installed and is working. But still has the overheating problem –  Alex B. Apr 21 '10 at 1:19

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.