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Dell Inspiron Laptop won't boot after video driver update

Posted on 2009-12-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
We have a Dell Inspiron 1526 laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium. Yesterday, I was on the Dell website and noticed that the video driver for its ATI Radeon X1270 video hardware was newer than the one that was installed. I downloaded the driver software, which included ATI's Catalyst Control Center software, and installed it according to the posted instructions.

After installation, however, the laptop won't boot completely. The boot process begins properly, goes through the "scrolling bar" part of loading the OS, the mouse pointer comes up (and is operational); but at this point everything stops. I tried booting in safe mode but the process stops at the same point. I also tried booting from the recovery disk and started a repair of the operating system; but the repair process told me that nothing was wrong. I also tried to go back to an earlier Restore Point, but the message came back that no restore point exists.

I know I could just start a new OS install, but I would like to try to undo the video driver and get things back to where they were, if possible. Is there any way to get the old drivers back and fix this computer without "wiping it" and losing everything?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Question by:thphoenix
5 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Lieven Embrechts
ID: 26123159
- boot to safe mode with F8
- go to device manager, select video driver and click rol back driver.
  (you could also uninstall from add/remove software and reinstall the correct working driver in normal boot mode)
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 1000 total points
ID: 26123883
you can boot to a live cd, and delete the driver from there :
ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.0.1CD-2009-02-08-EN.iso      Knoppix
http://www.ubcd4win.com/
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LVL 52

Assisted Solution

by:Jackie Man
Jackie Man earned 1000 total points
ID: 26124251
You need to download a Vista Recovery Disk or use your Vista Setup Disk to start your PC and launch system restore to go back to a restore point before the update of the video driver.

URL: http://www.vistax64.com/general-discussion/146356-download-vista-recovery-console.html

A downloadable version of Vista Recovery Disk is as follow.

http://coblitz.codeen.org/neosmart.net/downloads/guides/Vista_Repair/Vista_Recovery_Disc_x86.iso

(I assume that your computer is of Vista 32 bit.)

A tutorial of Vista Windows Recovery is in the URL below.

URL: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial142.html

When a problem appears in Vista and there are no clues from google, it seems to me the last resort is to use system restore as Vista is much better in system restore than the system restore in XP. System Restore in Vista is just like a time machine to go back to the exact state when the problem does not exist. But the drawback is that it consumes a lot of hard disk apace and it will restore the applications that you have removed and old version of document on desktop,

So, before your use System Restore, make sure all user data has been properly backup as it is just too powerful if Vista thinks that the path you stored your data is part of the system folders.

In a nutshell, System Restore can reduce the time of troubleshooting (except the problem is caused by hardware failure) but it must be used with due care.
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Author Comment

by:thphoenix
ID: 26131514
Thanks for all the comments.

Lieven, Your suggestion is, in fact, what I was trying first, but I can't get to Safe Mode. As I stated in my question, the boot process stops in Safe Mode in the same place it does during a normal boot. The mouse cursur shows up but nothing else happens after that.

Jackieman, I tried to boot using my Setup disk and use System Restore to go back to before the driver update. However, when System Restore starts I get a message that says there are no previous restore points, and the System Restore function stops at that point.

I have not tried creating a recovery disk as suggested by both nobus and jackieman. Because of the holiday travels I am now away from that computer. I will try that when I get back.

Thanks again for all the comments.
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Author Comment

by:thphoenix
ID: 26508219
I agree with splitting the points. The question was never resolved. We could never find a solution to the problem without just completely re-installing the operating system.

YOu can close this question as requested.
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