Can't boot laptop with Dell Data Encryption

Have a laptop with Windows 7. The HD is encrypted with Dell Data protection Personal Edition.
Suddenly I cannot boot into Window anymore.  It starts Windows but stops before the login screen comes up. I am left with a black screen with a mouse pointer that I can move but nothing else.
This happens in safe mode as well. Not sure what I can do besides try to repair Windows.
My question is what happens to the data after reinstalling Windows. Will the encryption software still work or will I lose all my data. Perhaps there a way to decrypt the drive  using some sort of a rescue disk before repairing Windows?

Thanks.
ewarmanAsked:
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ewarmanAuthor Commented:
It was in my first post. Dell Data Protection Personal Edition.
Anyway finally got through to a Dell support tech that actually knew the software. He sent me the software and info necessary to decrypt the computer from the command prompt. So at least now I can copy the files I need and not  worry about them when I try to get Windows again.
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McKnifeCommented:
Hi.

You mean, you have no backup? That is really a bad idea.

What about safe mode - already tried it?
You should read the manual of your software to get an idea what rescue options you have. Usually, you will be able to take a rescue boot DVD by the encryption maker, mount the drive, save the data to a USB-connected drive and reinstall. You cannot expect to be able to repair windows at this point since there's no indication what the problem might be. Anyway, you should at least try to boot safe mode before anything else.
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flubbsterCommented:
Not sure what safe modes you tried, but I would try the following in this order:

Boot to the boot menu using the F8 function key.

"last known good configuration"
"VGA" mode
"Safe mode with command prompt"

Please report back with results.
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flubbsterCommented:
Do you happen to have a HIrens Boot CD or a UBCD4WIN CD available? If not, do you have a computer that can be used to create one of those CD's? The reason is that is Safe Mode with command prompt does not work, you can use one of those CD's to do a System restore to before the problem happened. This is assuming that the problem is not being caused by something that you did to the hard drive settings or BIOS. You might want to re-load BIOS defaults.
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McKnifeCommented:
You can, flubbster? Do these bootdisk recognize encrypted disks? I don't think so.
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flubbsterCommented:
No. However, they load a mini-xp that allows you to do a restore that may make the system bootable.
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McKnifeCommented:
No they don't. These disks cannot access the encrypted disk. They cannot modify it. They cannot make it bootable - nothing.
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joinaunionCommented:
Do you have repair computer as a option after tapping F8 at boot?

If you do follow this tutorial and use the command prompt for windows 7.
http://www.7tutorials.com/command-prompt-fix-issues-your-boot-records
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ewarmanAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your replies.
I tried all the safe modes with the same results. A completely black screen and a mouse pointer. It seems like Windows is running in the background. It even tries to go to sleep after a while but I cannot see anything besides the mouse pointer. Doesn't seem like an issue with a boot record since it does sorta go into Windows? Maybe a driver problem?

I can get to the repair menu but I can't do much with it except get to the command prompt. System Restore and Last Known Good are both incompatible with Dell Data Encryption and they don't work.
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McKnifeCommented:
Say, did you configure autologon? I mean, should there be a stop at the logon prompt or would it drive through?
Because the phenomenon blank screen with only a mouse pointer is well-known after logon.
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joinaunionCommented:
Did you do the commands in the link I posted?
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McKnifeCommented:
Well, why should he use bootrec or the like? The machine is already booting. That will not do any good (but maybe even make it only worse...)
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joinaunionCommented:
Actually it's not doing a complete boot.
It boots to a black screen with mouse pointer. Wich could point to a corrupt boot sector.

Exactly how would running the bootrec commands make anything worse than it already is? Just curious.
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McKnifeCommented:
Whar bootrec can influence is lying far deeper. He is next to the logon screen (or after it, see my question),not anymore at the mbr and preboot stage. And using it for no reason and maybe without knowing what one is doing with it can be dangerous.
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ewarmanAuthor Commented:
Autologon is not enabled. There is supposed to be a logon screen. I should note that it is not the standard Windows logon screen but a modified  one from Dell Data Protection that allows you to log in via fingerprint, etc.
Was a little nervous to mess with the boot records partly because I am worried it was modified by the encryption software and if I change them I might lose the ability to read the encrypted files.
Not sure if that is a legitimate concern or not.
Also, it seems this encryption is perhaps file level and not full drive. I was able to boot using a boot disk copy all the files from it. I just can't open any of them. Don't know if that helps at all.
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McKnifeCommented:
If you could copy the files but not open them, it will be file level encr. very likely. You should read about the exact DELL product that was used to make sure. If it is file level, read about the recovery process.
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joinaunionCommented:
Can you choose repair computer again then command prompt type in chkdsk /f
Please post results.
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ewarmanAuthor Commented:
I'd like to read about the product but I can't find much to read about it. The only recovery info I found is how to recover if you forgot your password. To top it off their Tech standard tech support people don't know anything about the software. Trying to get through to the "special" support that knows more about it but haven't  been able to get through.

I tried chkdsk and it found no problems.
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joinaunionCommented:
When you get to the screen with mouse pointer what happens when you repeatedly tap shift key? Does a sticky keys box pop up?
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ewarmanAuthor Commented:
No. Nothing happens.
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McKnifeCommented:
Maybe you can finally tell us what is the dell software called exactly? What do you see when you start your machine?
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McKnifeCommented:
Fine. That's good to hear.
That product seems to offer both ways, full disk or file level. Well, you and Dell solved it. The startup problem will have reasons that may stay hidden, if it is not possible to get diagnostic info (like an event viewer log), you should reinstall.
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
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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