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?

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?

  • 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? – AlexBrand 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 – AlexBrand Apr 20 '10 at 19:06
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    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

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

  • 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? – AlexBrand 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. – AlexBrand 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.

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    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. – AlexBrand 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 – AlexBrand Apr 21 '10 at 1:19

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