Dell Inspiron 1545
Windows Vista Home Basic 64-Bit SP2
I have the Vista Installation DVD, Dell Drivers and Downloads DVD, Dell Applications DVD, and my MS Word CD
I apologize if this is terribly long, but I want to include any info at all that may contribute to someone helping me. The only computer repair place near where I live is unable to get to mine for almost 7 weeks, and Dell just charged me $400 for my desktop for something I found out I could have done at home. I'm just going to throw it out there. I thought I could fix my Inspiron 1545 Laptop, but this obviously is not the case. After it repeatedly kept showing blue screen errors, locking up, and freezing, it finally came to a point where it'd freeze immediately upon start up. I tried to go back to a restore point, but every single one was suddenly gone, and after looking around find that things has slowly began to "disappear." I immediately took all of my pictures, documents, etc., and put them onto CDs to be able to re-add later.
I then did the Dell DataSafe Local Backup option to "restore computer and reserve my new or changed files (recommended)." I went to the Emergency folder on my desktop where it said it'd store my pictures, MS Word files, and anything else I chose on the first step. I backed that up onto a CD as well. After this process was done, and my laptop was "restored." I went through the entire setup, and then tried to re add the Emergency folder. It said that it was possibly damaged or lost. (DataSafe was completely gone, and I had to setup my account with them again, and my McAfee after the normal Windows setup when the computer restarted) This was the same for the CD, it wasn't there.
This is where it gets fun. Due to my time restraints, absolutely everything being gone, and my job riding on my laptop being fixed asap, I decided to start completely over with a reinstall since I was able to save my pics and MS Word docs that I needed. I used my Vista installation DVD, chose where to install (Disk0 Partition 3 OS) It let me know that the file may contain some old files from a previous windows installation, and that they would be located in the "windows.old." Installation finished, did setup, it did a performance check, and then I began on the drivers with the Dell Drivers and Utilities Installation DVD.
Before I added drivers, Backup and Restore Center created a restore point immediately after the Vista install, and before anything else was done. I added the drivers, at first in the wrong order, did my Window Updates, and then figured out what I did as far as drivers. The InstallShield Wizard started and said "the program features you selected are being installed," but I didn't chose any features? It said it finished installing successfully. Now, I've been trying to add my programs back, but half of them won't install, and Window Updates can't finish installing either suddenly (it successfully installed about 30 before this). I can't add my MS Word back either which is one of the main things I need right now. My DataSafe is completely gone, and so is my McAfee.
I don't know what I've done, but per the advice of someone else need to do something. I'm on day 4 and exhausted! Will going back to the restore point that was created immediately after the Vista install, and doing my drivers again in the correct order help?
My other question is this. A factory image restore goes back to the way your computer was when it was shipped to you correct? If I were to do this now (even after basically 2 installs of Vista) will this option still restore my laptop to "new out of the box." If it will I wouldn't mind just doing this, because everything has been wiped out anyways. I just need it running good again, able to reinstall my Microsoft Word, be able to do the Windows Updates, etc. Any help at all is appreciated, and you would be saving me my job. If you need any additional information, just let me know, and I'll immediately respond.
Your hard drive is failing. Backup your files and folders and replace it as soon as possible.
How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft® Windows® on a Dell™ Computer
Restoring Your Dell Computer to Original Factory Installation with Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0
What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it?
Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks
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#MicrosoftMVP - Windows Expert-Consumer April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015
You can try looking to see if you have a Windows.old folder...
Click on start, computer, C:
If there is a Windows old folder, the files will be there.
You can also try using Recuva and do a deep scan.
Remember the hard drive will need replaced soon.
Run the full diagnostics and see if you get any error messages. How to Run the Dell™ Diagnostics Utility
If no error messages, then the easiest methos is...
Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings This uses the recovery partition.
How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft® Windows® on a Dell™ Computer Longer method.
Thank you so much for replying so quickly! I will run the full diagnostics, and see if any errors are displayed. With restoring to factory settings, will it still go back to how my laptop was shipped to me even after having to make a recovery partition during the reinstall I just did?
Hopefully the recovery partition has remained untouched. If not, then the manual method is the best route.
Please make sure to install the drivers in the correct order. How to Download and Install Drivers in the Correct Order
As far I know the recovery partition hasn't been touched. What I was concerned about is that when I reinstalled, if that would make it to where I couldn't restore back to factory image. I've been trying to find out before I do it because at this point, it'd be the easiest option.
I received an error during the pre-boot system assessment:
Error Code: 0146
Msg: Error Code 2000-0146
Msg: Hard Drive 0-Self test log contains previous error.
Then I ran the full diagnostics and these were the errors from there:
Error Code: 0F00:065D
Msg: DISK-DST Self-test Read error
Error Code: 4400:011A
Msg: SCSI_0-000_DISK_Generic_Multi-Card-Target not ready
I have internet, and a few basics things back on my laptop, and was running decently. Suddenly I got a blue screen, and before I could write any of the information down, it was gone, and my computer was shutting down. Something about a "crucial problem."
When I tried to reboot, it never would go past the "Microsoft Corporation" loading screen. This went on for over 45 minutes and I couldn't boot in safe mode either, so I went to last known good configuration. That didn't work either. I turned my laptop off, and began searching for answers elsewhere. About 15 minutes later, I turned it on, and it booted right up. I used the OS Installation DVD to repair, was able to select a language, and then I got this shortly after it began to run:
"Windows Cannot Repair This Computer Automatically"
I'm at my wits end! I want to just start over fresh, but scared I can't even do that know due to not being able to find any ground evidence.
Hmmmm. I've tried these options, but on the advance boot options, I don't have an option to repair my computer, and that is how I ended up doing the manual install. This isn't out of the ordinary though. Since I first bought it (1 1/2 years ago) it's a gamble if the option will be there or not, and weeks to months later it'll suddenly appear again. I was trying to avoid going through this process again, but if it's what I have to do then I will.
This morning when I logged onto my laptop, I was looking around (not much to look at since all files and folders are gone), but to my surprise there are now 2 DataSafe folders, where as there has only been one. The one that said it was corrupted or lost (which couldn't restore my computer), and now this new one that is identical as far as contents, but it opens. The only thing I can do with it, is save it to a file on my desktop, but have yet to figure out how to open or even use this as a helpful tool (if I even can)? Through Dell, I've got DataSafe Local back on my laptop as well now, but again, can't figure out if this will even help, and if so, how. I guess if it comes down to it, I'll try the reinstall again.
Thank you for all of your input, help, and advice. It means so very much for you to take time out of your day to help me.