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Dell C400 - will not boot

Posted on 2009-02-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have a Dell C400 notebook that will not boot.  The BIOS recognizes the hard drive, but when trying to boot from it, I only get a cursor, no messages no matter how long I wait.  What is going on?
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Question by:tru504187211
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by:Callandor
ID: 23638853
That depends on where the stall occurs - before the Windows logo, or after?  If it is before, you may have a problem with the boot order in the BIOS, or there is some component that is faulty and causing the hang, such as a bad network card.  Disconnect every peripheral, including USB devices, and try again.  You may also have a bad hard drive, and should test it with the manufacturer's diagnostic program which can be found on the Ultimate Boot CD.  This would also be a good test to see if anything boots the machine.

If it occurs after the Windows logo, then it is a Windows driver and you should try safe mode (F8) to see if that works.  You can fix corrupt Windows drivers by running Start->Run->SFC /scannow and have the OS disc handy.
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by:nobus
ID: 23640119
ubcd : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
you can also try darts : http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5D600369-0554-4595-8AB4-C34B2860E087&displaylang=en

and check if it sees your OS, and you can access the drive
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Author Comment

by:tru504187211
ID: 23700597
It will not boot of my external floopy or any usb cd-rom, so it is impossible to boot from anything but the network or the hard drive.  Two working hard drives will not boot even with MS-DOS installed, so I am going to boot off the network from my WDS install and use a generic XP image that I will setup following this guide...

http://koti.mbnet.fi/olljanat/guides/generic_wds_image_from_xp.php

Please post if I am doing something wrong...
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 23700622
notebooks from that time cannot boot from usb -  so you're stuck there.
your only other option is connecting the disk as slave to a working system, and repair it from there - or backup your data
you can then use the Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings  from :

http://support.euro.dell.com/support/topics/topic.aspx/emea/shared/support/dsn/en/document?c=uk&l=en&s=gen&docid=3E48AE3870775D64E040A68F5B2877D4&journalid=636B04BD0BA9C819E040AE0AB6E16DF7&Query=&SystemID=&ServiceTag=&contenttype=&os=&component=&lang=&doclang=&toggle=&dl=
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tru504187211 earned 0 total points
ID: 23954825
I ended up having to install XP over the network...  No other options would work...
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