BSOD on Dell mini XP

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Rueberry

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Hi, I hope someone can help.
I have a Dell Inspiron mini with a BSOD issue: The error code is 0x0000007B (0xF79E8524, 0xC0000034, ....)
I can’t start up in Safe Mode. The HDD is Seagate, I have run seatools/DOS which gives the all-clear. I have run all internal Dell diagnostics, all OK. I have tried both repairing and reinstalling Windows (running XP) from the original Dell disc supplied, from XP pro and home. When trying to do a new installation I can’t get past the F8 to agree screen, F8 does nothing so left with no choice but esc to disagree/quit. When tring to repair installation as soon as I have pressed R I’m then taken to a screen which tells me to type exit at the prompt, and can’t get any further.
I now have no idea whether this is a hardware or software issue, any advice or ideas will be much appreciated.
 
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Well, just for fun, can you burn a dvd or a cd of some form of linux? try installing that and see if it works ok.
 
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Will it go to the Advanced Boot Options by tapping the F8 key as soon as you switch it on.

If it does then Select "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" Select the operating system to start, use the up and down arrow keys to make your selection and hit Enter.

Enter your password if asked and hit Enter. Wait a minute or two and the cmd.exe box will appear. At the prompt type fixmbr and hit Enter, type Exit and hit Enter.

Then hold down these three keys Ctrl, Alt, Del, Task Manager will open, click on Shut Down on the top of the box and select Restart from the drop down menu.

As Long as a damaged MBR was the only problem Windows XP should now boot normally.
 

Rueberry

Thread Starter
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Thanks for everyones comments and suggestions so far. This gave me a bit of confidence to pursue the software option. So, I finally managed to get going on the Windows reinstallation. Had to press ‘Fn’ at the same time as F8, don’t know why as all the other F keys had been OK. Formatted the HD to do a complete clean installation. So far so good. After putting in the product key the installation started coming up with missing files, for example cmprops.dll, mofcomp.exe. By the way this was a genuine windows CD, XP Home SP2. I did try copying the System directory on to a flash drive using my other PC in the hope that the installation would then find those files but the drive wasn’t picked up. So I just carried on with the installation having got that far. Rebooted OK once the installation was finished but obviously there are problems. At first glance the main problems with the installation seem to be with Internet Explorer but I haven’t had time to check everything.
Does anyone have any idea why the installation missed these files? Is it worth me trying with a XP Pro SP3 CD? Or how can I repair the current installation? I have already tried, since the installation, inserting the CD without booting from it and trying to install additional features, no luck.
I am so grateful to anyone who has already replied to my post. Due to lack of time to try things out it does take me a day or two to respond.
 
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For files to come up as missing during a clean install this would suggest a minor fault with the Windows CD, the CD drive or possibly a RAM error. It would also suggest a possible hard drive error but that seems unlikely as you have run Seatools, but did you run the full extended test?

At this point I would run Memtest to check the memory, I appreciate you ran Dell diagnostics which does do a test on the RAM but Memtest will be more thorough.

Preliminary checks
You should first check the model of RAM stick that you have on the manufacturers site for the recommended voltage setting and then make sure it is set correctly in the PC's Bios. An incorrect voltage setting may be the reason for your problems so test the PC's performance again if the voltage was incorrect.
Errors can also be caused by dirty contacts, mismatched sticks or using them in the wrong slots. Check all sticks are the same make and specification, check the motherboard manual for the correct slots to use. Remove all the sticks and clean the contacts with a soft pencil eraser and blow out the slots with a can of compressed air.
Download Memtest86+ from here
When the download is complete right click the file and select Extract Here and burn the image to a CD.
In windows 7 right click the extracted file, select Open With, then select Windows Disc Image Burning Tool then follow the prompts. For all other versions of windows (if you do not have an ISO burner) download this free software. ImgBurn
Install the program and start the application. Select the top left hand option to burn image file to disk and then on the next window click on the small yellow folder icon and browse to the ISO file you have downloaded. Then click on the two grey discs with the arrow in between (bottom left) and leave it to complete the operation.
Testing
Boot the PC into the Bios setup and set the CD/DVD drive to 1st in the boot sequence. Insert the disk in the drive then reboot and the disc will load into dos. Leave the test to run through at least 8 cycles or until it is showing some errors. If errors show in the test, remove all but one of your RAM sticks and repeat the test on each stick until you find the one that is faulty. This is a long slow test and should ideally be run overnight.
The memtest will not be 100% accurate but should easily detect any major faults.
IMPORTANT
Always disconnect your PC from the mains supply when removing Ram sticks and earth your hands to discharge any static electricity to avoid damage to sensitive components. If performing this test on a laptop PC you should also remove the battery before removing or replacing the RAM sticks.
 
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I forgot to add to my last post. You should be able to repair the missing files by running the System File Checker.

Click on Start > Run > then type cmd in the Run box and hit Enter.
At the Command Prompt type sfc /scannow (you must include the gap before the /) and hit Enter.
Let the process run to completion. You will be asked to insert the XP disc, please do so.

One hitch may occur if you have already upgraded to SP3 and you are using an SP2 disc as they are not compatible.

Remove the disc and reboot after completion.
 

Rueberry

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 20, 2011
Messages
4
Slight delay as have been away for a couple of weeks. Anyway, all sorted! In the end it seemed to be either a scratched XP disc or a bad connection between the drive and laptop, so changed the CD, checked connections etc, lots of patience and got there in the end.
Simple really but thank you SO much to everyones suggestions. I did think it was a hardware issue to start with. Took it in to local computer repair shop who wouldn't even take it out of its case for less than £40.00, told me it was almost defintely the HD. I know he has to earn a living but not very helpful. It was only suggestions here that gave me the confidence to try a different approach.
 
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