Dell Latitude D610 will not boot up.

Starts OK, Dell screen appears briefly then a blank screen with blinking cursor in the top left corner.

Replaced faulty battery and upgraded RAM (which it detected) but I am now stumped.  Any help appreciated.

Have tried battery only, adaptor only, both and neither!

Thanks
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Colin BrazierAsked:
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David SankovskySenior SysAdminCommented:
Can you boot into BIOS?
If so, can you detect any hard drives?
Michael-BestCommented:
Boot UBCD ... put CD in drive restart PC & press shift key to boot CD
If the CD did not boot on startup you should change the boot order in BIOS
At the first text on the screen or when the Dell logo appears, tap F2 until the message Entering Setup appears.
http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN114872/EN

Run hardware diagnostics to locate the problem.
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Yes, I can boot into BIOS and it detects the 30GB HDD (which incidentally I have put into a caddy and looked at from my other PC, but not changed anything).

Not heard of UBCD, I have downloaded a zip file on my desktop PC.  How does it work, do I install from the zip and then burn a CD from it?
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Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
OK understand how UBCD works now, just downloading it.  Downloaded ultimate boot CD by mistake and that wouldn't install.  Have the right one now.
Michael-BestCommented:
Good luck.
UBCD has great diagnostic free software that work well with Windows.

FYI:
Guide to burning UBCD with Nero 7 Ultra Edition
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/nero7.html

For older Nero see:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/nero5.html

Install Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) to a Flash Drive in Windows
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install-and-boot-ultimate-boot-cd-ubcd-from-a-usb-device/
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
I'd suspect either a failing hard drive or corrupt Windows installation (could be malware).

Test the hard drive and also the memory with the UBCD (memtest on the CD for memory and you should find the appropriate hard disk util on the CD).
If it passes (I'll presume you've tried F8 and safe mode to get into this computer, and did run chkdsk over the disk when it was in a caddy and did run a virus scanner over it when it was in a caddy) you may need to think about a reinstall.
One last option is to consider replacing the registry files with their backups (if they exist) in case there is a corrupt registry.
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
You shouldn't presume anything...I'm a database guy not O/S!

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm having issues with UBCD already (cannot find source files??)

Cheers
IT-ExpertCommented:
Hi,

Out of interest, have you tried booting the laptop WITHOUT the hd installed?  And if so, what happens?

I'm sure I've come across this one before, and thought it was to do with the boot order, but might be getting wired crossed.
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Hmm...no.  Will get back on this tomorrow.
nobusCommented:
here is how to use UBCD :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD

go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick

for completeness -here's how i handle disk problems : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Just to be clear..are these two one and the same?

http://www.ubcd4win.org

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
nobusCommented:
NO - ubcd4win is a windows 98 live cd
ubcd is a DOS based diagnostic cd
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Ok then I'll redo the CD!!

So far I have:

1.

run the laptop w/o HDD...Dell page lingers for a while then tells me there is no HDD!

2.

run chkdsk using the caddy...no bad sectors found.

3.

currently running a virus check on it.
nobusCommented:
>>  run the laptop w/o HDD...Dell page lingers for a while then tells me there is no HDD!  <<  that seems normal; but with the HDD connected - do you see the disk in the BIOS?
you may have to hit Del, or F10,F2 key
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Yes, BIOS shows the disk.

Chkdsk: -ve
Scan: -ve

Now running comprehensive Fujitsu HDD test from the boot CD.

I'll do the memory too.   Which other tests should I run?
nobusCommented:
what does this mean ?
Chkdsk: -ve
 Scan: -ve
unknown to me
Michael-BestCommented:
"Which other tests should I run?"
Run all until you find the problem.
If no hardware issues are found then you have a corrupt OS or a virus.
Use system restore to go back to an earlier point before you had problems.

Use a free online virus scan:
I prefer panda.
https://www.pandasecurity.com/japan/homeusers/solutions/activescan/

If you suspect malware:

Download these free cleaning tools.
Boot the PC in safe mode then run each of these free cleaning tools until the problem has beed removed:
 

1. Malwarebytes http://www.malwarebytes.org/

2. Combo Fix http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/search/?keyword=combofix

3. Rogue Killer http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/roguekiller/

4. Hitman Pro http://www.surfright.nl/en/hitmanpro/

5. TDS Killer http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/tdsskiller/

6. SuperAntiSpyware www.superantispyware.com
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Chkdsk was negative i.e. showed no errors, same with virus scan.

The HDD passed both the quick and full diagnostic tests.
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
I think I have tried all the menu options, no errors found.

I cannot boot in safe mode, but I can put the HDD into a caddy and run those scans off my desktop PC.

The scan I did run was Zone Alarm AV scan.

Cheers
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Last option before you do a new Windows install is to try a registry restore.  You haven't specified which version of Windows you have but guides are available for that.
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
It's XP.  Don't think I have backups of the registry.
Michael-BestCommented:
Try a system restore to when it was working OK
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Registry restore

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/307545

Note you could probably do this with the drive in a disk caddy and attached to another computer and use Windows Explorer.
nobusCommented:
try a repair also : http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm            Repair install  XP
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate your time on this.

A quick question...in the caddy I can see some of the data folders (containing jpg files) are encrypted.  That means they were encrypted when in the laptop, right?

I'm away this weekend, will report back Monday.
Michael-BestCommented:
"That means they were encrypted when in the laptop, right?"
Correct.
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Let's see, where are we...?

If it wasn't for those encrypted files I would go straight ahead with the reinstall.  

Of the other options (registry repair, system restore and windows repair), which would keep those files and their encryption certificate intact? If any?
nobusCommented:
you need to de- encrypt the files -  so you can back them up first - then re-install
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Copying them off using the caddy would be OK as a backup?

And the reinstall wouldn't wipe the encryption key?

Sorry if I appear dense here, but I want to be sure!
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
How were they encrypted?  You should be able to copy them but you need to know the encryption method used so you can decrypt them once they come across.
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
I have absolutely no idea.  It's a friend's laptop and he was surprised to see them encrypted.  He would have loaded them in direct from the camera.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Try copying the encrypted files to a FAT32 disk.  Then try opening them.  If the encryption has gone then you have no problem.  I'm assuming that these are EFS encrypted and copying them to a FAT32 disk should remove the EFS encryption.
nobusCommented:
what i do when repairing apc, is make an image of the drive first - so i can always return to this state, or use it to copy missing files from
you can use the free paragon soft : http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/download.html
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Try copying the encrypted files to a FAT32 disk.

Access denied, as per attached.
CaptureDenied.JPG
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
you can use the free paragon soft : http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/download.html

Thanks, actually that was going to be my next EE question, I can't get my Windows 7 backup utility to work.

So I'll try this out.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
>>  Access denied, as per attached.

Are you logged in as Adminstrator?  And you may need to take ownership of the folder concerned.  See https://technet.microsoft.com/en-nz/library/cc753659.aspx
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Please see my previous question...

http://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28706449/Unable-to-remove-Account-Unknown-getting-error-You-can't-remove-Account-Unknown-because-this-object-is-inheriting-permissions-from-its-parent.html

I have tried lots of changing properties and ownerships, so when I realised the files were encrypted I decided to go down the route of getting the original laptop working.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
OK.

I'm unsure of what encryption is on this machine.  But try booting from a Live Linux CD such as Ubuntu https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD and see if you can access the files.  You might be able to open them or copy them.
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
I did a successful backup to virtual disk using the Paragon software and the disk caddy.

I tried Windows XP repair but the repair option wasn't available so I aborted.  I only have XP Home, and it may be an XP pro install that's the issue there?

Registry restore scares me tbh, especially as you have to run Recovery Console and the Michael Stevens article warns against that.

So I'm close to admitting defeat on this one.
nobusCommented:
yes, you need the same version for repair
if you have the cd - often by editing the ei.cfg file, you can use all versions
here autility to remove it :  http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/ei-cfg-Removal-Utility.shtml
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the lack of update on this.

I'm waiting for the owner of the laptop and also trying to get hold of a bootable copy of XP Pro.  Should have that soon.
nobusCommented:
no problem, take your time
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
I bought an XP Pro disc.  I cannot find the ei.cfg file, does that mean it has been removed?
Michael-BestCommented:
XP has no ei.cfg file
Wiindows 7 and Windows 8 disc's have an ei.cfg file
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Ah!  Thanks.

I went into "boot options" and found diagnostics, which I am running now.  No issues found so far.
nobusCommented:
the diags from boot are not conclusive
use the ones i mentioned in the start - from ubcd
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
It passed the ubcd tests I tried but I'm trying them again, maybe I missed one or two.

Registry restore

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/307545

Note you could probably do this with the drive in a disk caddy and attached to another computer and use Windows Explorer.

I did part one, copied the system, software, security, default and sam files from the repair folder, but it still wouldn't restart.  Actually, there wasn't a system file in the repair folder, there was one called system.bak, so i renamed that and used it.  The machine still wouldn't boot.

I bought an XP Pro CD but the machine won't boot with that either.  

I can see plenty of Windows update files $nt...etc.

I'm seeing the owner tomorrow so this will be concluded then.  My recommendation is for me to take it into a pro repair shop and explain the issues, and get them to tell me what it was (if they can fix it).  but I'm not sure the owner will OK the expenditure involved.

Meanwhile, back to UBCD!

Cheers
nobusCommented:
ok - this is become a long thread - so can we summarise where we are now?
i believe the ram and disk diags were ok - right ?
and we are trying to repair the XP
>>  I bought an XP Pro CD but the machine won't boot with that either.    <<   what happens?
>>  I can see plenty of Windows update files $nt...etc  <<  when ?  from what did you boot to see these ?
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Yep, the diags were fine, we are trying to repair the XP without losing the encryption keys.

It ignores the CD.  I bought two on eBay, the supplier assures they were both tested OK, I made a boot usb stick from one but it ignores that as well.

I saw the update files while I had the drive in a disk caddy while copying the system, software, security, default and sam files from the repair folder.

Spoke to the owner and he doesn't want to spend any cash, but having bought a new battery and upgraded the ram I'm tempted to pay for it myself!
nobusCommented:
here the repair wen t well
maybe the discussion holds something of value for you :
http://blog.nirsoft.net/2010/07/27/how-to-configure-windows-to-create-minidump-files-on-bsod/

and yes - the owner does not want to spend any cash.. but they did encrypt it -  or not?
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Repair went well, using a CD?

Thanks for the link.

They did, but don't know how.
nobusCommented:
no - but if they say the repair went well - that means to me that you don't have to do anything specific - i mean other than mentioned in this repair article  :
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

you said "it ignores the cd"   what do you mean with that ?  does the pc NOT start from cd - or what ?
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Well, I tried the CD again, and it did boot up!  So I took the option to install, leaving everything unchanged, and it did a full reinstall, so I have lost all the files and programs.

So I guess that's it!
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
I rebooted without the CD.  There are two XP options to boot into.  The top one, presumably the one I just loaded, gives me a clean XP install, all working as a fresh install.

The lower XP option (the old install?) gives me a clear blue screen with the arrow cursor, nothing else.
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
The lower XP option (the old install?) gives me a clear blue screen with the arrow cursor, nothing else.

First of all I get the XP screen for ages, then the screen goes black, then blue, then the cursor appears.

Same when I tried to boot to the last known working configuration.

I tried safe mode, and just get a black screen with "safe mode" in the corners.

Will report back this evening.
Michael-BestCommented:
Going way back:
"OK understand how UBCD works now, just downloading it.  Downloaded ultimate boot CD by mistake and that wouldn't install.  Have the right one now."

UBCD if used correctly should have lead you to a solution long ago.

Wiping the drive with a fresh install of XP was a mistake?
At worst a repair of XP with the XP disc you bought should have worked fine.
nobusCommented:
i never suggested a clean install - i wonder why you tried thatdid you follow the link i posted for a repair ?
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Wiping the drive with a fresh install of XP was a mistake?

I think the answer is yes.  An honest mistake.

I obviously didn't use UBCD correctly, because I didn't find any errors with it.
nobusCommented:
i don't know  what went wrong with ubcd - since i posted how to make the cd
and use it
if you have questions about it  - just ask
Michael-BestCommented:
@ nobus
Please do not try to take credit for the the first post / advice to use UBCD
I posted UBCD first (the second post to this question)
Quote:
Your Comment 2015-09-16 at 22:33:23ID: 40979837

@ nobus
Hey dude ... this is not about points as we volunteers  do not get paid .... play by the rules set by EE or take a vacation.

Have a nice day,

Regards,
Michael
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
I still have the backup I took before I wiped it!
Michael-BestCommented:
Use the back up to go back to zero to resolve the problem....
As per your testing is seems that you have no hardware issues...
You may have made some errors given the wide range of advice from EE advisers ... not all of us are experts... best of luck.
Regards,
Michael
nobusCommented:
Michael - i have enough points - so get off my back
i'm only trying to help him - if i can't do that by giving additional info  - we better close EE
that's all

anyway restarting from fresh - seems the only way out left
you can do this by using the restore partition or restore media from dell -  or any os CD
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
I rebooted without the CD.  There are two XP options to boot into.  The top one, presumably the one I just loaded, gives me a clean XP install, all working as a fresh install.

The lower XP option (the old install?) gives me a clear blue screen with the arrow cursor, nothing else.

Putting the drive into the caddy shows I have installed side by side two XP Pro instances.  There are two account names under Documents and Settings, the older of which still has the photos in question in My Pictures.  But of course that is the instance that I can't boot up.

So deleting the second clean install should put me back to square one - agreed?  Then I can try the repair install.

So how do I delete the second install?

Thanks,

  Col
Michael-BestCommented:
Two OS's on one PC indicates there are two versions of OS's.
Meaning that the original OS is not XP pro.

"I still have the backup I took before I wiped it!"

Wipe the drive withDBAN on UBCD
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/dban.htm

Migrate the backup to the drive,then use the XP pro CD to run the Recover Console directly from the CD

The steps are given in this MS link:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/307654
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Meaning that the original OS is not XP pro.
 But when I boot up, there are two options for me, and they are both "Windows XP Pro".

I did the backup using the caddy and Paragon. So presumably I'd have to install Paragon on the laptop to restore it?  and that would have to be from the second, working, install of XP Pro?
Michael-BestCommented:
"But when I boot up, there are two options for me, and they are both "Windows XP Pro"."
Probably two XP pro versions one with and one without SP updates.

Try the Recover Console directly from the CD  on the original OS and if recovery is not possible then the only option is a fresh install = loosing all data and third party software.
As for the backup... the data is still usable if you can find the encryption key and what, why, how it was encrypted.
Could the PC have been a victim of ransomware?
 https://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/mmpc/shared/ransomware.aspx

If the owner is not willing to spend on professional recovery service, and you cannot supply a solution with EE help / advice then it is time to give up and buy a new PC.
Windows XP is outdated and has discontinued support from Microsoft....
I like XP and have $ of XP software, also I can work around XP failings thus I still use XP as my prefered OS.
Most of my PC work is still on XP OS ;)

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Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
OK.  

By the way, the CD bootup offers me Automated System Recovery but from what I have read this is not suitable and should only be used as a last resort.

I don't think ransomware had been invented when the PC last worked.  The owner copied the pictures from the camera card to the laptop.  He has no idea how they could be encrypted - he wouldn't know how -  but it's not just the pics, all kinds of folders around the documents and settings are green font and therefore inaccessible.

The laptop is from the owner's old employer (all above board, they no longer wanted it).  Is it possible they put a timebomb or something in there?  I'm just thinking aloud here.
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Probably two XP pro versions one with and one without SP updates.
I booted into the old version, safe mode, and it says it is SP2.

Not sure I get a repair option with this CD, so will do a clean install tomorrow.

Cheers
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Clean install done.

Well, it's been quite a marathon, thanks for all who contributed, I've learned a hell of a lot.  The owner is happy to get a working laptop back even though he has lost his photos.

Cheers,

  Col
Colin BrazierAuthor Commented:
Unable to achieve the primary objective but in the circumstances the solutions definitely deserve an A.  Thanks again all.
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