Dell Vostro 1400 Windows Error Recovery issue

Posted on 2011-03-22
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a DELL Vostro 1400 that was running slow so I reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled the Windows Vista Home Edition that I had on it before.  After installing and doing over 100 Windows updates, when I restarted it, I see the main DELL Vista screen for a few seconds, the screen flickers and it goes to the Windows Error Recovery screen.  I've tried doing last known good configuration, all of the Safe Mode options and Starting Normally, but whichever option I choose, it always reboots and takes me back to the Error Recovery screen.  

I ran the diagnostics and found no errors so I tried replacing the RAM as I was planning on increasing that anyway and also replaced the hard drive with a faster (7200rpm) drive thinking there may have been a virus on the drive.  I could get Vista installed again but again after doing updates, I started getting the Error Recovery screen.  I did notice that the BIOS was old and downloaded the latest version and managed to get that installed by trying to boot from USB which somehow made the system fully boot up again, but after updating audio and bios and rebooting, I'm back to the Error Recovery screen.

I've also tried repairing from Vista CD as well with no luck.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated as I'd really like to get this up and running again.  Thanks.

Question by:jvolz
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Expert Comment

ID: 35195553
When you are doing updates are you updating any drivers?  it might be a bad windows driver that is causig the issue in windows update.  Can you get to safe mode if not where does it hang?
LVL 91

Accepted Solution

nobus earned 300 total points
ID: 35196539
try a repair install :      repair Vista
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Expert Comment

ID: 35197719
is that not what i posted??
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Assisted Solution

Hutch_77 earned 200 total points
ID: 35198213
I don't think a repair install is going to do much good since he has done 2 clean installs and ended with the same issue.

I am more wondering if safe mode is accessible and if it is then most likely it is a driver.. and possibly a bad driver that windows update is pushing.. if it doesnt where it halts would give more clue as to what to look at.

Also if you can get to safe mode you can look through the event log and it ma give you the exact piece causing the issue.
LVL 91

Expert Comment

ID: 35199573
and i think it can be the soltion to the problem he has now - the updates "fixed" something in the OS

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35231027
I believe I had a bad Vista disc.  I tried using a different installation disk and no longer had the issue.  I split points because I appreeciated Hutch's efforts but nobus received more as 'repair Vista' seemed to be the ticket although I didn't use
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Expert Comment

ID: 35232433
tx for feedback

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