DELL Inspiron boot problems

Posted on 2011-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi Experts...

Got a kid's DELL Inspiron running windows Vista.  Booting hangs shortly after the "Microsoft Windows" logo and animated side-to-side scroll bar appears.  It sits there for a minute, and the screen goes blank except for the mouse pointer.

Attempted to boot all of the safe modes and they all hang shortly after a message about loading CRCDISK.SYS.

Attempted Startup Repair but that seems to run through its paces and then restarts into the same hang situation as before.

Booted the factory reinstallation dvd looking for some repair functionality and found a "repair your computer" option, but that sent me right into Startup Repair again...  I watched it loop on  a screen saying "this might take several minutes" for an hour or so before a window pops that says "Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically".

I don't want to reinstall if that can be avoided - kid wants their data back.

Question by:_Scotch_
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Expert Comment

ID: 36573382
You can try to check the memory using Ultimate BootD for Windows. Let the memory test loop for at least 3 times.

If the memory turned out to be OK, you can check the hard disk for any errors, using the same CD.

Author Comment

ID: 36573427
Extra details... After closing the repair message I was able to see a log of the tests and repairs attempted.  Check for updates (success), system disk test (success), disk failure diagnosis (success), disk metadata test (success), target OS test (success), volume content check (success), boot manager diagnosis (success), system boot log diagnosis (success), event log diagnosis (success), internal state check (success), boot status test (success), setup state check (success), registry hives test (success), windows boot log diagnosis (success), bugcheck analysis (success), access control test (success), file system test (chkdsk) (success), software installation log test (success), fallback diagnosis (success)...  After all the success it prints:

Root cause found:

Unspecified changes to system configuration might have caused the problem.

Repair action: system files integrity check and repair
result: failed.  error code = 0x490
time taken = 1084722 ms


After I got through this I got to a window where I could run system restore and it said that "No restore points have been created" ... :(


Suggestions?  Thanks.

Expert Comment

ID: 36573817
I suggest to check your hard disk and memory with the Cd that I mentioned. These programs are checking the hard disk and memory on a different way then Windows does.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 36574861
You should get your data out. Remove the hard disk out and connected it to another machine via usb. If the machine is able to read the harddisk. Get as much of the data out.

If the above is not possible then you could go ahead and fix the disk with the Ultimate BootCd as suggested earlier by bright12.


Author Comment

ID: 36577267
Although I can't boot into safe mode command prompt only (it hangs) -- I can go through the repair process with the factory DVD and end up at a DOS prompt.

I'm trying to XCOPY several folders to DVD now.   I have the ultimate boot CD and it has tons of tools on it, but no documentation on how to use it.

For example, Bright, is there a recommended memory tester on that CD ?   I'm sure there will be several but its been two nights since I booted it.  

Asidu, other than testing the way discussed by Bright - how can I fix the disk with Ultimate Boot ??  I also like the idea of just salvaging the physical drive if that becomes necessary.  What do I need to do in order to connect the internal drive from one laptop to another laptop?   I assume there's a shoebox enclosure or something in which to install the (broken) HDD ?

Thanks Folks...
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

asidu earned 166 total points
ID: 36578106
To connect the internal drive to another laptop.
You have to take the drive out of the laptop.
Its quiet simple, make sure you remove the battery and power from your machine before you remove the hard disk.  
See the step by step instructions here.

Connect the hard disk into a USB casing before connecting it to a laptop.
You can see different type of casings at

Must have the right type of casing. Determine what type of hard disk you have SATA or IDE when you remove the hard disk.


Accepted Solution

bright12 earned 168 total points
ID: 36578512
When booting from the Ultimate CD you need to select MemTest86+ in the boot screen to test the memory. This program is a good for testing the memory.

Once you established that the memory is OK you reboot the PC and boot again from the CD, but this time select the Ultimate (or Windows) on the CD.

You can use Disk Check to check your harddisk for any errors.
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 36579910
i fear you have disk problems - so when you use the UBCD - boot from it, and navigate to the disk diagnostics section- select the diag for the disk brand you have (you can see the model in the bios)
post results
LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 37052252
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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