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Dell Studio 1737 Windows Hangs at 'Starting Windows'

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Old 08-04-2011, 06:32 AM   #1
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Hi Everyone
I wonder if you could help me, as i'm now officially stumped!!

I am trying to repair a Dell Studio 1737-6536 for a friend.

Specs:
Dell Studio 1737 1737-6536 Dual Core T3400 3GB Ram 250GB HD DVDRW WiFi 17” VHP

Windows vista was installed. The problem was that windows would hang at the ‘starting windows’ bit. I was able to boot into safe mode, so I was hopeful that I could solve it.

• I tried to restore to factory setting from the partition on the hard drive. This would again hang at the same place.
• I tried wiping the hard drive completely, in the hopes that I could reinstall vista from a disc. Again, it hangs at starting windows. So at this point, the hard drive is not completely blank.
• I tried it with a Windows 7 disc as well. Still hangs at the ‘starting windows’ bit.
• I’ve tried without the battery. Still hangs at the ‘starting windows’ bit.
• I’ve tried with just one memory stick, then with just the other one. Still hangs at the ‘starting windows’ bit.
• I tried with a different hard drive. Still hangs at the ‘starting windows’ bit.
• I tried the diagnostic tests available during start up. This highlighted a problem with the DVD drive, so I removed the drive. Still hangs at the ‘starting windows’ bit.
• I tried removing the CMOS battery & replacing it after a minute. Still hangs at the ‘starting windows’ bit.
• I tried turning off all the options in the BIOS for USB, WIFI, etc (everything that was possible to turn off, I did in case that worked, as I read a post that the BIOS settings could be causing the problems. Still hangs at the ‘starting windows’ bit.
• I’ve ran a number of tests from the Ultimate Boot disc on the hard drive & memory. Still hangs at the ‘starting windows’ bit.
• Reset BIOS settings. Still hangs at the ‘starting windows’ bit.

I am now at a loss and would appreciate any guidance, as I REALLY want to fix this for my friend and don’t wanna let it beat me. Obviously, if we find out what it is and it’s super expensive, then obviously we can’t fix it, but at least I’d know that I tried my best.

I look forward to hearing any of your suggestions & thanks in advance.

I.T.Girl

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Old 08-04-2011, 06:44 AM   #2
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Once in Safe mode click Start, Run, type msconfig and press Enter

Now select 'Diagnostic startup' on the General tab, Apply, Ok and then restart your machine and see if it hangs

Regards

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:03 AM   #3
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I can no longer boot into safe mode, as i said, i wiped the hard drive, so i can't get ANY OS back on to do so.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i.t.girl View Post
• I tried wiping the hard drive completely, in the hopes that I could reinstall vista from a disc. Again, it hangs at starting windows. So at this point, the hard drive is not completely blank.
Sorry, that should say the hard drive IS NOW completely blank.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:32 AM   #5
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I'm assuming you no longer care about the factory Vista install partition or have wiped it out already? If so, I would delete all partitions and wipe the drive using something like Killdisk or one of the utilities on the UBCD. Then use the Vista install disc and start over.

I'd also check the drive again for bad spots with a check disk like utility. There are a couple on the UBCD or try downloading a utility from the hard drive maker's website.

Memtest 86 is a great utility to run on the RAM to rule out a problem there
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:31 AM   #6
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No, i wiped the disc using kill disc last time of UBCD. I did it again last night.

I also ran memtest off UBCD and that didn't come up with any errors, although i did only run the first batch of tests, so i'll complete them this time.

I'll run memtest again and try & do a check disc as suggested.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:05 AM   #7
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Very strange, maybe you could try installing windows from a flash drive rather than using the cd rom
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:06 AM   #8
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I've done that already. I used each one on it's own to see if it was faulty ram. Happened both times.

The discs are fine, as i'm using a vista and a windows 7 disc. Both discs have worked on other machines...
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:09 AM   #9
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How long have you let it hang on the 'Starting windows' point? If not long I would maybe leave it for up to an hour+ seeing as you have tried so many other things
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:15 AM   #10
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Will do. Thanks George!

(Go Liverpool) :-)
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:17 AM   #11
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No problem, heres hoping that it is just slow to get past that stage for some reason!

Yes, go Liverpool indeed :-)

I think your the first person to recognise what lfc stood for in my name, congrats!
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:19 AM   #12
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It helps being from Liverpool i think! :-)
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:20 AM   #13
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Hehe sure thing, I will be over there in November :-) Cannot wait! Liverpool vs Man City.

Let me know how you get on with the problem
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:21 AM   #14
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I think my sisters going to that one, or it might be versus Man U!

I'll let you know & thanks for your help!
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfcgeorge View Post
I think your the first person to recognise what lfc stood for in my name, congrats!
Guess it wasn't Like Fixing Computers ? sorry.

To add to George's suggestion, when the PC is at the Starting Windows screen, keep an eye on the hard drive light. If it's lit, the computer is working doing something.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:01 PM   #16
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No it was not Fred ha ha ha
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfcgeorge View Post
How long have you let it hang on the 'Starting windows' point? If not long I would maybe leave it for up to an hour+ seeing as you have tried so many other things
Hi George

I ran it for about two hours and still nothing.

Any suggestions? Or should I admit defeat on this one?

Thanks
i.t.girl
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:50 PM   #18
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The only other thing I would have in mind is trying and take an image of a machine and copy it to the broken pcs hard drive

You can have a look at this

Building a Standard Image of Windows 7: Step-by-Step Guide
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:26 PM   #19
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IT, do you have a spare hard drive around that you could temporarily stick in this box and to try and install Windows?
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Garvin View Post
IT, do you have a spare hard drive around that you could temporarily stick in this box and to try and install Windows?
Hey Fred

Yeah, i've tried that once before. Think it's worth another shot?

Thanks
I.T.Girl

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