STOP: c0000221 Unknown Hard Error \SystemRoot\System32\ntdll.dll

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STOP: c0000221 Unknown Hard Error \SystemRoot\System32\ntdll.dll

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I have a Dell Inspiron 910 laptop, 9 inch LCD with SSD hard drive, no CD/DVD, no Floppy, 3 USB.  Have had for 14 months.  For no reason we can identify, turned on the laptop and got "no operating system found" error.  OK, I've seen that before, the FAT (file allocation table) or MBR (master boot record) is corrupt and BIOS (basic input output system) can't find the op sys software.  I know, I'll just reinstall Windows XP Home!  Aaaaaaaaaaaaa, no, that won't work because as the install from an external USB DVD progresses, it gets to the point where the "STOP: c0000221 Unknown Hard Error \SystemRoot\System32\ntdll.dll" error occurs.  The Dell forum and the entire Internet does not have a solution for this problem.  Can't even guess how Dell initially installed the op sys, but they found a way.  Interesting that I'm 2 months out of warranty.  However, Internet research about this error is of little help, and the suggestions to overcome it are bizarre... like reinstall the op sys!  That's what I'm trying to do!  I'm guessing here and this interpretation of the error may be completely off, but here goes.  When the drivers are being loaded from CD (boot can be changed in the Dell Mini) and the system changes from memory (where the drivers are loaded) to the CD media to read the rest of the CD to install the op sys, it can't because the drivers for the external DVD being used for op sys install are not loaded.  Thus the error.

No one seems to know how to overcome this error and I don't either, and neither does Dell, or they won’t post it because they want me to send my laptop to them for repair… at a cost, most likely, equal to that of a different model laptop (the Mini 9 is not produced any longer).  I don’t want another laptop, I want to use this one!  Being held hostage this way is no different than Apple does with their products… we have to send everything back to them at a cost, so they can fix their own problems.  Why have the ability to boot from HD, CD/DVD, removable media, network, etc., if this won’t work?  I tried a network boot, but the system did not find the op sys media in another laptop on the network… maybe because I can’t “setup” the network without an op sys?

I’m chasing my tail and will continue before I realize that throwing this Dell Mini away is the only answer.

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  • This a common error if you Google it.

    I recall seeing this once, and I think that t at the time I thought the Dell OS CD disc was "bad". I tried another one that I had, and the install worked. You might want to try cleaning the disc very careflly.

     

    You might to also Google on how to install XP from a USB flash drive.

    my Dells:
    Precision M6300 - XP SP3 / Windows 7 / Ubuntu 12.04
    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7

  • Thanks for the response.  A common error without a common solution.  However, the Dell media disk is brand new, no finger prints, no scratches, completely virgin!  That’s not the problem.  Have Googled this error and read hundreds of pages with responses not unlike yours, which unfortunately do not address my problem.  Have even tried installing Windows XP Pro (an OEM disk) and found the same problem.  Maybe install from a USB drive will be better?  Gosh, now I’ll have to hope that someone explains effectively to my simple mind, how I’m gonna make the USB drive bootable, and how I’m going to copy a Dell install proprietary CD to it with all the files that Dell suppresses from being copied.  Good luck to me!

  • I Googled 'install windows xp from usb flash drive' and got quite few good hits and even two Youtube videos.

    my Dells:
    Precision M6300 - XP SP3 / Windows 7 / Ubuntu 12.04
    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7

  • Thank you!

    RDG