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Inspiron 6000, blue screen, can't read hd

By stevie1under
Mar 14, 2008
  1. Howdie,
    Fixing this Inspiron 6000 for a friend. Screen went black awhile ago, so can just barely see the "pattern" of the wording, but when it boots (in any mode) it ends up with a blue screen error, but it's not clear enough to read.
    Took the hd out and hooked it to my laptop through an enclosure. My XP (through computer management only) can see the drive, with the correct size etc, but drive letter. Explorer can only see a small partition (about 45 mg) that has some extraneous files and one folder (named Dell). The o/s and data reside on the main partition which can't be accessed. Also, hidden is the Dell recovery partition.
    I tried partition magic, and about 5 data recovery programs and none can see the o/s partition.
    From posts on the net, I get the impression that I should be able to see the partition by using my computer.
    Anyone with a little insight for me?
    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Do you get a bright, clear view when you boot to SAFE MODE (cold boot then press the <F8> key repeatedly once per second after you press the on button), as that bypasses a lot of potential video graphics problems.
    Reporting what you get in SAFE MODE helps us get a bit closer to a fix.
    It can be a hard drive, video graphics driver, LCD screen inverter burned out (a likely cause), and some other issues.
    Also, is your Inspiron 6000 a Celeron or Pentium? What is the age, and what has been the usage, of the hard drive?
     
  3. stevie1under

    stevie1under TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thnx for the quick reply!
    There is never a bright screen, it's so dark I fooled with it for ½hr before I noticed there was printing. Apparently for awhile, my friend could hook to an external monitor, but then not even that.
    Safe mode boots until MUP.SYS lists as loading(ed) and hangs there.
    This is Celeron, about 2 years old, and I think low/normal usage ... a few photos, and some spreadsheets, docs and email.
    Friend has alread purchased a new one before telling me about the problem, so I'm really just trying to recover photos and a couple of spreadsheets. Should I normally be able to access the system partition using an enclosure and hooked up to my computer?
    I'm thinking there are multiple issues, the display and the hd. I'm not familiar with Dell, but from reading on the net, I'm getting the idea that it's unusual.
    Thanks again,
    Steve
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    I suspect the inverter for the monitor has gone bad. We see a lot of these failures in Dell Celerons... It is about $17 to $25 to buy on eBay, but difficult to install because you must take the screen apart. Easier for you, than a technician where you will pay as much as $150. The trick is removing the screws, the sticky stuff, and then putting Humpty Dumpty together again... Actually the trickiest part is making the screws look good again once repaired. We buy screw covers on eBay for under $10 a set.

    Search for Inverter for Dell Inspiron 6000. I'll bet there are several listed.
     
  5. stevie1under

    stevie1under TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for that advice. They are indeed readily available at a reasonable price.
    Assuming that I get the screen working ...
    What are the chances that I will be able to get talking to the HD again? I know it's impossible to tell for sure without knowing which blue screen error, but it seems to me I've been able to recover from some before. Matter of fact, I believe it may have been the same hang spot (mup.sys) and it turned out to be the file that was trying to load next that was the issue.
    Anyway, does anyone have experience with a Dell hard drive and can tell me if it is normal NOT to be able to access the system partition when the drive is hooked up as peripheral to another computer?

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  6. stevie1under

    stevie1under TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Are you suggesting that replacement of the inverter could resolve the unknown blue screen error?
     
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    What you describe is a Windows issue, and how it happens depends on how it was connected "as a peripheral."
    You can save the data by connecting it as a slave to another computer (use an adapter if using a desktop) But are likely going to need to reformat and reinstall Windows.
    The inverter replacement will only repair a dark screen, which has had the inverter burn out... a common problem with that model, and thus why there are so many for sale on eBay.
    Blue screen could be a failed hard drive, or video graphics driver, or other hardware or driver error.
    You are sort of screwed now... with possibly a hard drive failure, or a Windows error, combined with a possible inverter error.
    Do you have the Dell recovery disk set (one maroon disk and several blue disks) that came with the Dell?
    You can buy a new hard drive (40 GB for $44.90, or 60 Gb for $53.90) to test your system... you will need it anyway eventually... Then use those disks to install windows and drivers, followed by a download of the latest BIOS and drivers from Dell.
     
  8. stevie1under

    stevie1under TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Raybay .. thanks a heap for sharing your experience. I think I've got a handle on it now. I'll check with friend about the recovery disk set. One final clarification and I'm good ... I've connected the questionable HD to my laptop computer using disk enclosure connected through the USB port. Windows explorer sees a small (45 mg) partition only. When I look for the drive using 'computer management' tool I see the whole drive, showing 2 partitions that have not been assigned letters and the small partition which has been assigned 'F'. Do you think if I install the HD in my desktop with an adapter, as a slave, that I will see and be able to access the whole HD?
    Thanks again!
    Steve
     
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    I don't know what to think. This is a bit strange.
    45 Mb in one partition, but it is not the primary or secondary partition, so it cannot be accessed. And who would have partitioned it so? The friend who owns it?
    Was this a used or refurbished computer when he or she acquired it?
    Something caused this. I wonder what?
    Has anybody else had hands on this computer?
    How important is the data that is supposed to be on that drive?
    It may be that a reformat and reinstall would fix it, if he or she does not need the data.
    It would be useful to sit down with the owner and find out what sort of diddling and other help he or she had before it was turned over to you.
     
  10. stevie1under

    stevie1under TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Raybay
    Thanks for all of your help. I've bought an inverter on ebay, should take a couple of weeks to arrive. Once I can see what's happening maybe I'll be able to sort out the problem. I'll post again when it's done.
    Steve
     
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