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Dell support is useless, please help!

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by jschifty, Nov 12, 2012.

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  1. jschifty

    jschifty Thread Starter

    Nov 8, 2012
    Hello folks,
    My Dell Studio XPS 1640 won't boot properly. Windows 7 64-bit. It tries to fix itself, can't, and can't identify the problem...Called Dell...they sent me the recovery discs, which I had to pay for. Fair enough, it is out of warranty....then they transfer me no less than EIGHT times, dis-connect me once and THEN tell me it will me more $$$ to tell me how to use the discs! So I am beyond mad that they didn't mention these "additional" charges until I received the discs and called them (like they told me to) to install them. The idea is to install without losing any of my data that is on the machine. I want to boot the machine from the disc, but it won't allow me. I can only select to boot from the hard drive....which is not working! I am an old COBOL programmer, and DOS is but a dim memory. In theory I should get to the command prompt and look for boot.exe? I just can't remember....Can anyone please help before I just give up and make this thing a boat anchor? Many thanks in advance! And I think I am going back to Toshiba after this!

  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

    Oct 2, 2003
    First Name:
    you could try creating a different OS UBUNTU and see if that boots and then copy any data off

    the recovery CDS should give you an option to save all your old data - but like a lot of things - sometimes this can go wrong and you could lose the data



    UBUNTU Stand Alone CD

    NOTE : version Ubuntu 12.04

    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 http://www.ubuntu.com/ and download the ISO http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download

    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 http://www.imgburn.com/ - Choose the option Write image file to disc
    you can use this stand alone ISO Burner to burn the ubuntu onto CD ftp://terabyteunlimited.com/burncdcc.zip

    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 "Try ubunto" 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

    NOTE: if you only see a black screen - then this is a known issue, and can be resolved by using the following:-
  3. huggie54


    Feb 17, 2008
    hiya will it boot into safe mode
  4. jschifty

    jschifty Thread Starter

    Nov 8, 2012
    it boots to a point...says windows is loading files....
    then goes right to startup repair...
    then it says that startup repair cannot repair this computer automatically...
  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    First Name:
    Dell's web site support is pretty good--among the best of the OEMs I think (FWIW, I think that Toshiba is among the worst for driver support.). Instructions for using the set of Recovery DVDs should be there.

    Is your optical drive working? How, specifically does "it" not allow you? You can't change the boot order? Or the optical drive is not in the list of bootable devices and you cannot change that? Something else?
  6. Lance1


    Aug 4, 2003
    Was Windows 7 the original operating system or was Vista on the computer? If it was Vista and you upgraded, the F8 option will most likely fail as the master boot record will have been changed. If Windows 7 was the original operating system then the F8 option should function. Tap the F8 button as soon as the Dell logo appears. From the screen, choose Advanced Boot Options and select Repair Your Computer using arrow keys. Then you can login using administrator password and restore your PC by following the prompts. Keep in mind that this option will bring the system back to factory defaults and all data will be lost. Otherwise the recovery disks or the other option.
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