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I have a Dell laptop with an i3CORE processor, I don't know much about the other specs. Over the last period of time, it sometimes freezed during start up or during working on it, restarting the computer always resolved the issue. Yesterday, my computer failed to boot, I inserted the Windows 7 Disc and booted from it. I had 2 options, "Install now", and "repair". In the repair menu: I launched the "start-up repair" and it said it wasn't able to resolve the issue. Other options in the system repair are inaccessible (I do not have a previously saved image of my computer).

I got access to the command prompt from the repair menu, the computer only detected 2 drives: X and D (which are both related to the DVD I am booting from), which made the command prompt useless for me.

After all, I decided to try the install option, although it might cause loosing my data. The first step in the installation was "where do you want to install Windows?" and I had no drivers visible in the list. I tried to browse to look up my drivers, and I only found the X and D drivers again. Does that mean the hard drive is broken? or it just cannot be detected? or does that mean something else?

I am really lost, not sure where to start from. all options are open to me, including solutions that would delete my data.

Appreciated,

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Can you see you hard drive(s) in the BIOS? press F2 on start-up to access the bios –  Jesper Jensen Jul 24 '13 at 11:55
    
what do you mean by "which are both related to the dvd I'm booting from"? –  M.Meintjes Jul 24 '13 at 11:56
    
Yes I have access to the BIOS, and this is how I changed the booting preferences to launch from the Windows DVD –  Error404 Jul 24 '13 at 11:56
    
But can you see any hard drives found on start-up or in the BIOS? –  Jesper Jensen Jul 24 '13 at 11:58
    
@MrSeed, The X and D drivers aren't the drivers I had on my computer, they are new to me, the X- Driver is called "boot" and it has the icon of a hard disk. the D has the icon of a CD drive and is called "GRMCPRFEEO_EN_DVD". The folders inside them are called "boot, efi, support, upgrade" and so on –  Error404 Jul 24 '13 at 11:59

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Taken from the information given in the comments above, then I would qualify your HDD as dead.

One thing you could try though, is to take the HDD and plug it in to another computer and see if you can get anything out if it their.

You could also try Hiren's BootCD, which have tools to diagnose, analyse and repair HDD's.

  • Just download it and burn the .iso file to a CD
  • Then boot on the CD/DVD drive and you'll see a text menu, with alot of topics
  • Choose Had Disk Tools you'll find plenty of tools to try with your HDD.
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Thanks for following the problem with me Jesper, I'll do my best! cheers. –  Error404 Jul 24 '13 at 12:53
    
I would also suggest using the hard drive manufacturer's specific tool for hard drive testing/repair if you don't have success with Hiren's BootCD. Seagate offers Seatools, Hitachi offers Fitness/Align tools and Western Digital has their Lifeguard diagnostic tools, to name some of the major manufacturers. –  Moses Jul 24 '13 at 19:53
    
@moses all manufacture specific tools are on the Hiren's BootCD –  Jesper Jensen Jul 25 '13 at 11:43

Do a system restore within the startup repair. With my experience it always comes back as it fails. If thats the case restart, do it again, wait till it fails and then startup your pc. This way you won't loose any data just software or drivers you may have installed which could've caused this issue in the first place.

Oh and the system restore is accessable after it does the start up repair. Just click advanced options (or something like that)

You may need to burn off a windows 7 disk with if you can't access it. It must be the same version of windows too.

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I launched the start-up repair again and it failed, but couldn't find an option called "system restore". It brought me back to the system recovery options menu, and I have 5 options "startup repair, system restore, system image recovery, windows memory diagnostic and command prompt". When I choose system restore it gives me an error saying "TO use system restore you must specify which Windows installation to restore. Restart this computer, select an operating system and then select System restore". I cannot undertand what to do, restart then what? got o BIOS? leave it to work? how to boot? –  Error404 Jul 24 '13 at 12:18
    
Try what it says, restart windows. You'll be prompted what to boot into, and then i think it will give you an option to perform a system restore –  Ash King Jul 24 '13 at 12:20
    
can you see my last comment above please? I would like to choose system recovery, but I am unable to reach a point to choose anything. –  Error404 Jul 24 '13 at 12:24

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