Dell Inspiron 6000 problems

By Rhys
Jul 7, 2008
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  1. I've been trying to fix my wife's Dell Inspiron 6000 for a couple of weeks now. All we have is a backup from a few months ago, sadly (but at least we have the backup I forced her to do).

    The problem is she keeps getting the BSOD before XP completes booting. We get the black screen with the logo and the progress bar and that's all.

    I tried booting to Linux via a live CD but couldn't see the hard drive. I put the hard drive in a cheap ebay external caddy and it comes up as a RAW disk.

    Obviously the disk still works because I can feel it spin and the XP logo comes up. I am not sure what else to try...

    It's looking like the disk is encrypted or something at a hardware level although my wife has not set hardware encryption - maybe Dell has.

    Obviously this is a pain in the rear - it's most likely the last time my wife ever buys anything Dell. Since I have a working and unused Compaq it's likely that she'll use that instead (I went Mac about 3 months ago).

    Has anybody any suggestions?
  2. milky

    milky TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 107

    If it is due to problems with the file system you can try to repair via the Recovery Console.
    Do the following (can't hurt even if it is not the problem):

    1.Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.

    Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted. You may need to enter the BIOS Setup to change the boot device order (F2 on Dells)

    2.When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.

    3.If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you must access from the Recovery Console.

    4.When you are prompted, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.

    5.At the command prompt, type chkdsk /r , and then press ENTER. This will scan the Hard Disk for errors and repair any it finds

    6.At the command prompt, type exit , and then press ENTER to restart your computer.

    If this doesn't get windows to boot, then you may have a serious issue with the windows installation. Connect the HD to another computer and burn whatever files you need from it then put it back in the laptop, format the HD and reinstall windows

    Perhaps someone else can explain the best way to access the files on a laptop HD with another computer
  3. Rhys

    Rhys Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thereby hangs a problem - finding a 3-year-old installation/recovery CD for XP Pro. It had to be pro - all our other computers that take Windows use XP Home.
  4. milky

    milky TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 107

    there Are ways of dl'ing a copy from the internet.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,358   +167

    go through this thread for info on downloading/burning a CD with XP recovery console
  6. Rhys

    Rhys Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 16

    I found a Dell XP Home disk with recovery console.

    As the Dell (with XP Pro) has been giving a BSOD just after the XP progress bar has progressed for a few seconds, stating "unmountable boot volume" I tried "fixboot" and had the message "corrupt boot sector, overwriting with NTFS". I rebooted and got the same damned BSOD.

    Any suggestions?

    Personally I think this Dell is toast.
  7. milky

    milky TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 107

    what is the stop error # you are getting on the BSOD?
    were you able to get to a command prompt with the recovery console?
    did you run 'chkdsk /r' at the command prompt?

    Don't throw out the computer just yet. It sounds to me like a problem with either the HD itself or with the windows installation.

    load the recovery console again and run chkdsk /r rather than fixboot. if that doesn't get the bsod to go away and if you don't have any crucial files on there that need to be recovered, then, as a last resort, I would use the XP disc to format the HD (full, not quick) and try and reinstall a fresh copy of windows.

    First let me know the stop error #
  8. Rhys

    Rhys Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 16

    chkdsk /r produces
    "this volume appears to have one or more unrecoverable problems"

    This computer has produced a wide variety of BSODs over the past year or so. The last was "unmountable boot volume".

    The previous mishap before that was it lost the XP user profile.

    before that - various stop BSODs.
  9. milky

    milky TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 107

    Sounds like the HD is shot. you can pick up a replacement on ebay for less than $50.
    If BSOD's persist with another HD then the problem may lie with the Motherboard.
    If it's still under warranty, have Dell replace the MB for free.
    If not, either find a MB or another inspiron 6000 being sold for parts on ebay cheap
    or
    Part it out on ebay and get most of your money back.
    Sell the HD
    Sell the memory
    Sell the battery
    Then sell the rest (a working LCD itself is worth a couple of hundred)
  10. Rhys

    Rhys Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 16

    It's all choices. If my wife wants I guess she can have my Compaq since I now use a Macbook.

    With 2 chargers, 2 batteries and the laptop plus the memory, that should fetch quite a price then?

    In the end I decided to whip the 40GB Toshiba drive out of my largely unused Hyperdrive HD80 and put that into her laptop. Meanwhile I'm going to put her old hard drive into the freezer for a while to see if that helps any. That way I can at least recover the installation partition.

    Ok. My wife's laptop is now working. I can read the old hard drive using some software designed for reading bad drives. I can't transfer data/software because the software costs $70 and we don't feel it's worth paying that much for only 3 months data loss. I am trying to put a warez copy of Outlook on though. SHe had outlook before but it's on the recovery partition of the bad disk. In this case I have no problem with using an illicit copy. Damn these manufacturers that don't supply CDs!
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,358   +167

    oh. you may be in luck (tho sorry it didn;t occur to me till just now)

    Dell is allowing people who bought dell computers between certain dates who NEVER received CDs to now get one free set of CDs for their computer. Try searching through dell's website using a few good search key words. Or better yet, call Dell service and ask them about this program that allows customers to get one free set of installation CDs.
     
  12. Aolish

    Aolish TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 216

    the only way to know 100% for sure if its a hardware problem is to reinstall your xp. Do a clean format and reinstall with a fresh copy of xp. You want to exclude any easy to solve software problems before ruling out its a hardware issue and the only way of doing that is to do a complete format of your machine. Many dell machines come crammed up with so much useless crapware + customers that buy these machines fill up there own stuff into these machines..... in addition with all the malware or other surprise that creeps into the system during normal use. Mix all that together and you can have a real mess of applications conflicting with each other causing all sorts of problems. A full format is the only way to wipe any unknown potential problems that could be making your machine go bsod.
  13. Rhys

    Rhys Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thanks. I just now emailed Dell. We'll see what happens.

    It's a boot sector problem. I have fixed the boot sector several times with XP's installation disk to no avail.
  14. Ephraim

    Ephraim Newcomer, in training

    when i turn on my dell inspiron 6000 it says "disk read error", i tried to plug my hard drive in to a different computer as a external hard drive and it works fine. any suggestions with whats wrong.
  15. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,327   +49

  16. Ephraim

    Ephraim Newcomer, in training

    i just bout a new hdd 2 weeks ago and it worked fine and then this happend
  17. Rhys

    Rhys Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 16

    My problem was a corrupt boot sector. I rescued the data using PC Inspector and installed a new hard drive.

    For the latest poster, it sounds like a hardware issue. I had an old HP that died on me like that, refusing to read anything but the floppy drive. The hard drive worked just fine. I tossed that laptop in the trash since there was so much else that kept going wrong with it.
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