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Dell Inspiron laptop won't boot and chkdsk freezes.

Posted on 2007-12-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-22
I have a Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop with XP Pro SP2.  I tried to boot it up the other day and it went to a chkdsk saying the volume was dirty, but when it got to phase 2 of the scan it froze at 3%.  I then tried running a chkdsk from the recovery console using the /r switch, but this time it freezes at 25%.  When I say freeze I mean I gave it a half hour and it never moved.  From there I ran the entire list of Dell diagnostics and all passed, so it does not appear to be hardware.  I did recently install Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite when my PC-Cillin 2007 ran out.  It did catch quite a few viruses when I first installed it which surprised me, but it did catch them.  Since it's not hardware, I'm wondering if a virus is the culprit.  Well I'm at loss on this, so I would very much appreciate any suggestions.
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Question by:Go-GBS
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bmsjeff earned 250 total points
ID: 20408760
I would pull the drive and attach it to another computer via a USB to IDE or SATA adapter.
See if you can see the data on the drive and attempt to pull it off.
You can run CHKDSK from the other computer but this may corrupt your data.
If the data is important I would run a recovery utility first.  Here are a few.

Get Data Back is also a great program.  
http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm

Some Free Programs
FreeUndelete        
http://officerecovery.com/freeundelete/index.htm
Restoration            
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html              
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 20410523
you can use other test programs, like :
http://www.pc-doctor.com/                                    PC doctor
www.tufftest.com/tt01-lite.htm                        free      TuffTest lite

also, you can boot from a bootable cd, and try to access the data from there, or run chkdsk :
ftp://ftp.uni-kl.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V5.1.0CD-2006-12-30-EN.iso      Knoppix      
www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/                                     BartPe
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by:Go-GBS
ID: 20410918
Anything software out there that I can boot to disk with and check for viruses?
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by:nobus
ID: 20411034
try this : http://housecall.trendmicro.com/                               online scan for trojans
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by:Go-GBS
ID: 20411398
I can't get to the online scan as my computer won't boot up.
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by:Go-GBS
ID: 20412305
Anything I can run from the recovery console, or it is possible that the chkdsk could stick at one point for an incredibly long time?
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by:nobus
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 20412361
i would connect the disk to a working pc, and run scans from there - you may need an adapter like this :  http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?InvtId=USB2IDE-25-35&cpc=RECOM
http://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTech-com-Hard-Drive-Cable-Adapter/dp/B00006B8C2
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by:Go-GBS
ID: 20412612
Yeah, that's looking like what I'll have to do, hopefully I can get my files off at the very least.
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by:Go-GBS
ID: 20412634
Let me add one other thing, I did run adaware recently and it removed some things out the registry, I'm wondering if that could be the issue.  Is there anything I can run from the command prompt to check or fix the registry?
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by:Go-GBS
ID: 20413065
Well I have an update, it seems the chkdsk is running, but taking a very long time.  It took about 2 hours to get past the 25% point, but it is running and currently up to 53%, so I'm hoping this fixes the problem.
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by:nobus
ID: 20413299
>>  Is there anything I can run from the command prompt to check or fix the registry?   <<  not that i know.

>> so I'm hoping this fixes the problem.   <<  crossed fingers here too
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Expert Comment

by:ina_don
ID: 20419849
did you have System Restore ON on the PC? The guy who pointed you to BartPE... follow that, one you have loaded you can do a manual restore to a point where the machine was booting albeit with some amount of error since some of the files for the PC Cillin would be missing. From there you could work you way up again reinstalling your zone alarm and then taking great care as to what will be deleted by Virus scanner or spyware scanner. If you need instructions doing manual restore look at this MS link

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

If its confusing I can put it in simpler terms for you.
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Author Comment

by:Go-GBS
ID: 20419940
It turns out the chkdsk fixed the problem, it just took an extrodinary amount of time, something like 4.5 hours.  I guess I should have just let it run from the start, but when it sat at 25% for an hour, I thought something was definetly not working.  But anyway, it booted right up and seems to working fine.
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