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Dell Inspiron 1525 - Vista Home Prem 32 bit - Fixed one thing and now a BSOD

OK, I'm really going to need some help here (who doesn't these days with Vista).  Background:  Dell Inspiron 1525, 3gB RAM, large disk is 25% full, used mostly for browsing, viewing and handling pictures, very simple basic stuff.  Vista Home Premium 32 bit updated to SP3 plus all windows updates.  I only have the Dell provided "Reinstallation CD" so doing an Upgrade install isn't an option at this point.  All windows updates were done before the audio got fixed - please keep reading.  Once upon a time the main issue was there was no audio and via this EE thread was able to help solve that:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_Vista/Q_26413366.html

I went to boot it one more time this morning to ensure it would come up fine.  After a few seconds of normal boot activity it proposed to check the drive.  I approved and it ran chkdsk /scannow (which I didn't ask for yesterday) so who am I to question.  It found quite a few files and fragments that it claimed to have readjusted.  Rebooted and after some load time came to a BSOD.  It states:
STOP:  c0000021a {Fatal System Error}
The verification of a KnownDLL failed.  system processing terminated unexpectidly with a status of 0xc0000012f (0x941083d8 0x00000000)
The system has been shut down

Man, was I devestated by this given all the effort I've been through for 2 weeks.  So here's what I've observed and managed to do so far:
- Last Good Working:  Fails with same BSOD.
- Safe mode:  System BSODs reliably with an invocation of any Safe Mode selections.
So there's no way to attempt a restore point using this copy of Vista.
- {Deleted, rindi, EE ZA Storage}
- Now I have succeeded in the past to ressurect an XP Pro system using resotre points that were manually extracted from an RP structure and copied into the boot-up registry hives.  Question:  In Vista is that technique still possible?  Again, I just do not know Vista that well and I'm just not sure if these Vista registry structures are tightly knit into the fabric.  With XP I could pretty much do what I want.  This is another world.
- If a manual restore isn't recommended, would any of you experts have some other ideas I could try?
- I'd like to run chkdsk again but of course cannot without the core operating system up and running.

So, now I'm stuck.  I have the data (or most of it) preserved offline.  That's the good news.  The bad news is, I'm now faced with a monumental job of reinstalling the OS, the drivers, MS Office and most importantly 80 bazillion post-SP1 updates including SP3.  I have this nagging fear too that whatever Hotfix knocked out the audio will of course reappear once it's applied.  There's not much you can do about that, I guess.  We do not know any point in history where the audio dll problem first presented.

Would there be any other ideas on how to go about bringing this back from the dead?

Would the manual RP replacement be a good option?  I found this reference:  http://forums.techarena.in/vista-setup-install/1043253.htm which looks close to and similar to the XP procedure.  Note one poster seems entirely against such an idea.  I would prefer to trust EEfor it's been able to help me so much in the past.

Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to whether or not this is indeed being caused by avrt.dll (see thread cited above)?

I don't understand why the filesystem is still "locked" even when using a different OS?  Is this locked file problem an NTFS "feature"?  Is there a good way to defeat it so I can in fact get the entirety of "Documents and Settings" copied off (so I don't chance missing anything)?

Thank you all.  I'll be staying fully engaged during the process.

Deleted illegal CD from Question.

EE ZA Storage

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5 Solutions
Tom BeckCommented:
I can speak to the recovery of the files at least. Buy an adapter that allows you to plug the hard drive into a USB port on another computer. The device I have was maybe $30 and takes full size IDE, laptop IDE , and SATA drives. It saved me a number of times. With Vista files, you will have to take ownership before it will let you copy them. While it's plugged in, you can run chkdsk or sfc /scannow on the drive.
Take ownership by right mouse clicking the folder and going into security tab.
then go to advanced and then to OWNER.
Change it to your user name and then log off and on again after wards for safe measure.
i would then reload the os and start again. Install all the drivers and then install SP1, then SP2.
Make sure you do a backup after you have installed sp2. Not sure where you got SP3 from, for now i can only find SP2.
Hope you get it working next time around.

whftherbAuthor Commented:
@TommyBoy - please - what's the name or brand-name/model of that adapter?  I have to know just a little more in order to Google it.
@pinascode - This is not Vista running but a PE (pre-install) XP environment.  So "take ownership" applies to Vista and Win 7.  XP doesn't have it.   I'll try it and see but I'm not hopeful.  I did say SP3 when I should have typed SP2.  And I know, it's not chkdsk /scannow - the result of deep depression setting in....  I can't run sfc /scannow without the Vista core.  

Or can I using this nifty little boot CD thing?

I do wonder if any other expert out there could chime in on replacing those reg hives?  I have the sinking feeling that whatever corruption crept in over the running of chkdsk has basically hosed the whole install and it's not just a reg hive corruption but something else more along the lines of Vista's files are just junque now.

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A few things you can try. If you have a desktop with SATA ports, you can take the drive from 1525 and just plug it in to your desktop system. From there you can extract the files using the permissions advice from earlier posters. You could also run a HDD diagnosis to see if the drive is actually worth the effort.
You say you have the Dell Install disk? Is a Repair install an option there?
I recently upgraded a Dell Inspiron from XP to Windows 7 and it is working great. I used a new HDD and cloned the old drive to it and then upgraded from there. There is cost involved but the result was worth it.
The gadget for connecting referred to above could be this:

I have this model and it works well enough, but for SATA I just connect straight to my Desktop Motherboard, with the small drive just hanging out.
Tom BeckCommented:
This is the one I have ($30)

Here's another ($35)

I'm sure there are others, they are common.

You can run chkdsk on a drive that's plugged into one of these, I've done it.
whftherbAuthor Commented:
OK, thanks one and all for the advice and for the links.  I diid not even know these devices existed.  Now, I do.  I'm ordering one right now!

I'm going to stick in the Dell supplied "Reinstallation CD" and see what's offered.  I'm betting this just returns it to an off-the-assembly line state.  Same as would happen with invoking the Dell Recovery Partition which is what I might use to get it started again - from square one unfortunately.

From what I've gathered there is no way to run chkdsk again on this drive, right?  Not without the OS (Vista) being the active op sys, right?  

Will be back in a day or so with some results.

Tom BeckCommented:
You can run chkdsk on the drive with the USB adapter.
since chkdsk found provblems on the disk, i suggest :
-1 backup your data first
-2 run the proper DISK diag on it, to now it's status; it can be dying;  you can find all diags on the ubcd  :       http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
i would also test the ram -  just to be sure about the basics. (before reinstalling)
and if you want to be sure about the rest of the hardware (and test the sound), run from a live cd, like Knoppix (you can even use it to backup data to usb, or access the net) :
whftherbAuthor Commented:
OK, I inserted the Dell Reinstallation disk (hold breath) and booted from the CD.  As much as I sometimes criticize Dell and MS, this reinstall CD has MS System Recovery tools built in in addition to the factory image.  I ran the Startup Recovery Fix tool from the CD.  This actually runs a battery of diagnostic tests on the major subsystems to include chkdsk /r in a minimal GUI.  After one reboot, it stepped through the diagnostics a second time including chkdsk but this time through is provided a nice summary table of tests that were applied which all returned with code 0 (test passed) except....  Right at the end of the table are the fatal words, "System Volume is corrupt".  The GUI reported that "This procedure will be unable to restore your system".  I pretty sure that means it's toast.  It's time to run the reinstall from the Recovery partition on the HDD as I'm reading that using the CD OS reinstaller will totally wipe out the HDD including the hidden recovery partition.  If you use the HDD recovery partition image, then that hidden partition is preserved.

I was able to take of most of the user files - but what a struggle that was even though I tried taking ownership of the folders.  I got as much off as I think I can.

Am I going in the right direction?  I think so but...

I'm a little confused because in your original post you said it was vista home premium machine.
Yes you can run sfc /scannow on a xp machine:click start run then type sfc/scannow
If you have vista cd put it in run setup you will get to a point where it says repair my computer(lower left)choose that then comand prompt then run:
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot
whftherbAuthor Commented:
Although I received great help and advice, the laptop /Vista absolutely BSODed with no hope but to do a complete restart.  I could figure no other way to do the points here.  Sorry, experts!
tx for the feedback
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