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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I took home a family members Dell laptop since they have no clue what to do about it. They can't get it to boot at all and it gives the missing NTDLR (sp?) error on bootup. So I went into the recovery console for XP from their XP CD, yet the C-drive is completely empty, there's nothing there. I did a chkdsk and it found no errors. I started the installation procedure for XP to see if it would detect a WindowsXP installation, but no, all it detected is a 38154 Mb c partition (38088 Mb available).

What are my options now? There's no recovery cd's or anything else with the laptop.

Reinstallation of windows without getting the data is not a good option.
 

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Re: Empty C-drive on Dell

Take the drive out and attach it as a slave to a working pc . . you will have to use a usb adaptor or a external drive enclosure. See if you can recover any data.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Re: Empty C-drive on Dell

I put it on another machine. But there was nothing to recover, it was gone it seemed.

Though its doing something odd now, I can format it fine on the other machine, but in the laptop I can't install windows, I can make the partition alright, but when I click to go on to the formatting option I'll get a blue screen of death :(

It happens every time...any way to fix that?

The error code is STOP: 0x0000008E (0xC0000006, 0x8090FEA7. 0xF8107F3C, 0x00000000)
 

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Re: Empty C-drive on Dell

I put it on another machine. But there was nothing to recover, it was gone it seemed.

Did you try GetDataBack?

Though its doing something odd now, I can format it fine on the other machine, but in the laptop I can't install windows, I can make the partition alright, but when I click to go on to the formatting option I'll get a blue screen of death :(

It happens every time...any way to fix that?

The error code is STOP: 0x0000008E (0xC0000006, 0x8090FEA7. 0xF8107F3C, 0x00000000)
That may be a memory error . . you can click on the Memtest link in my signature to test the memroy.

If not the memory, it may be a motherboard failure. . any history on the machine that you know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Empty C-drive on Dell

Memory checked out ok, not sure whats wrong with it. I don't have any history of the machine at all sadly. It only seems to be malfunctioning under windows install, not sure whats up there.
 

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Re: Empty C-drive on Dell

The first thing I would do would be to reset the BIOS settings to factory defaults.

Does your hard drive sound abnormal? I would buy SpinRite and let it crunch away at it. Hopefully that will fix it for you. Even if it does not fix it, try it on other computers you or family members own. It works as a preventative measure as well as a diagnostic measure. :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Re: Empty C-drive on Dell

Ok, hit a snag there. Apparently there's a password to the administration part of the BIOS and noone remembers what it is :(

Really wish people would write such things down *sigh* Any way to completely reset the bios on a dell?

Going to try spinrite, thanks :)
 

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Re: Empty C-drive on Dell

If you unplug the computer, push the power button to discharge the PSU, and remove the battery for 30 seconds, the BIOS should foget the password.
 

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Re: Empty C-drive on Dell

Just try to turn on the PC with the power plug out. The PSU fan will spin a little and run out of juice. I think some motherboards use juice from the PSU and resort to the watch battery when juice from the PSU is not available. This results in a longer battery life. (I guess this is how it works)

Be sure to ground yourself if you are going to be opening it up. It sounds dumb, but it will save your computer if you accidentaly touch something and hear a sparking sound. I have never killed anything yet with static but you never know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Empty C-drive on Dell

That may be a memory error . . you can click on the Memtest link in my signature to test the memroy.

If not the memory, it may be a motherboard failure. . any history on the machine that you know?
The machine seems to test out fine otherwise and it can boot into barts Windows with no problems.

It just won't install windows, it keeps stalling with the same error every time I select a partition or try to do anything with the harddrive in the install process.

Any suggestions or ways to install windows in an alternative manner?
 
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