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My boss's laptop is unable to boot. He told me it had hard crashed so he removed the battery. After inserting the battery again and turning on the machine it gets past POST ("The Toshiba Screen") but I just get a flashing white prompt then it disappears and sits there.

I don't have the original CDs. What can I do? I do have a Ubuntu CD and a few other Linux CDs like Gparted and Clonezilla.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It sounds like you're not even getting beyond the BIOS Post processes. I would first pull up the BIOS and see if the hard drive is recognized. If not then that is probably your culprit and not Windows.

If you need to test your drive, I suggest using UBCD which has a ton of hard disk testing tools.

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Yeah the BIOS is passing post, I am able to get into the BIOS setup and stuff. Also it boots from my Windows 7 64-bit disc I just found around. The problem is that did not fix the boot problem. – ianc1215 Feb 10 '11 at 22:54
This only reconfirms my thinking that this isn't a windows issue but rather a hard drive failure. – KronoS Feb 10 '11 at 23:01
@ Solignis, Post your model of Dell and I can point you to a Dell hardware diagnostics CD – Moab Feb 10 '11 at 23:54
No no, The machine is question is a Toshiba, I was just saying how my Dell has the integrated restore option – ianc1215 Feb 11 '11 at 2:34
Hmmm how can I test for a dead disk? See if I can read data from it with Ubuntu Live? – ianc1215 Feb 11 '11 at 2:34

Some PCs have a Windows recovery environment partition on the hard drive, you would use F8 at the bios splash screen to access the Advanced Boot Options screen, then select repair your computer.


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That was the first thing I was thinking, cuz my dell has that option. I cannot even get to F8. I just does nothing – ianc1215 Feb 10 '11 at 22:30
@Solignis it's not you dell it's the windows boot loader. All Windows installs have this option no matter the computer model. – KronoS Feb 10 '11 at 22:34
really? I thought that was more of a new thing that not all manufactures did. – ianc1215 Feb 11 '11 at 2:35

Try loading from some live Linux cd/flashstick. If it's ok, I think you can try using ms-sys.

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ms-sys? what is that? – ianc1215 Feb 11 '11 at 3:22
It's a program that writes MBR of a selected Windows version to the disk. If you have yours damaged, it may help. Just make sure it's the correct version, for Windows 7 you may need to download the latest version of the program. – Alexei Averchenko Feb 11 '11 at 4:56
I will look into it – ianc1215 Feb 11 '11 at 5:20

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