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Possible BIOS problem


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DellXPS DellXPS is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
12-Jun-2012, 12:28 PM #1
Exclamation Possible BIOS problem
Hi, please pardon if this is in the wrong thread. I'm not entirely sure where to place it.

The last month, whenever my laptop would go in standby mode, a blue screen would appear when it was woken back up. It was a system diagnostic, I believe. Something about a physical memory dump, checking for problems with an abrupt start/re-start. I would let it complete but it would always bring the screen up again, regardless (upon standby).

Last night, the computer went into standby mode. This morning when I pressed the power button, it did the blue screen diagnostic. I cancelled, then it went through the DELL loading screen to a black screen: "Error loading operating system."

Laptop is an XPS M1710.
MXG061 series
BIOS revision
A02 - 7/29/2006
Service tag -
Windows XP

I did some research and read it could be a BIOS problem. I checked DELL and the newest drivers have not been installed on the laptop. I downloaded and burnt to a CD (currently using a netbook), but not sure how to run the program to get it to boot on my XPS.

I've played around a little with the settings and did the F12 systems check. All came back normal and no change. I know messing with BIOS can be tricky, so I wanted some advice. Not even sure if that's what it is exactly. I'm fairly competent in fixing my computer with basic issues, but this is a little more advanced than I'm used to.

If at all possible, I would like to save the data on the computer. I have some important academic files and papers. Also, I do NOT have access to any of my disks/manuals at this time. I am living overseas in Germany for the summer.
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etaf   (Wayne) etaf is offline
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Location: Surrey, UK
12-Jun-2012, 02:20 PM #2
to get the data off try this

UBUNTU Stand Alone CD
It may be possible to boot from another Operating System
This will at least test the Hardware and also see if you can see the Harddrive and possibly get data off.

If you have another PC with a cdwriter and spare CD
goto and download the ISO

You can also run from a USB device now - if the Machine supports booting off a USB Stick

full details are here (Note this is for version 9 - so the start up options are slightly different )

click on the image "download ubuntu"
Select a location
then begin download
Save the file onto your PC – remember where you saved it – so you can find it again to create the image bootable CD.

You do NOT copy the ISO file onto a CD - you have to use the ISO to create a bootable CD
The CD creator software you have on the PC may have an option to create an image from an ISO
If not - use this free program
you can use this stand alone ISO Burner to burn the ubuntu onto CD

When the UBUNTU CD boots - you will see a screen - with Language on the left panel and two option images labelled

== > Try ubuntu
== > Install ubuntu

You can try Ubuntu without making any changes to your computer, directly from this CD

Use OPTION 1 "Try ubunto without any change to your computer" ONLY this option this will run from the CD and not install onto your harddrive - be careful, if you do install onto the PC - you will wipe the data and software OFF your hard drive.., so repeat only use option 1

Now you should see a UBUNTU desktop
This at least proves the main parts of the PC are working

You may see your Harddrive on the desktop - if not have in look in the places on the tool bar at the top of the screen.

If you can see your harddrive – see if you can find the your datafiles –
XP look in “documents and settings” under the user name you had on the PC
Vista/Windows 7 look in “user” under the user name you had on the PC

Now if you have a USB flash drive or external harddrive – you should be able to copy your data from the harddrive onto the USB device

Version 11.10
to see the harddrive
on the left hand side menu
look for the
Home Folder
the icon = Folder with a house image
click once

at the top of the window that opens you should see
click on the icon of a drive
Now all your folders should open

to find all your data files
XP look in “documents and settings” under the user name you had on the PC
Vista/Windows 7 look in “user” under the user name you had on the PC
Please let us know what the final solution was to any problem posted
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