Need help with my brother's laptop computer

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BillHates

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Sorry couldn't run SysInfo. My brother is having trouble with his 11 year old Alienware laptop. It runs Windows XP.

The problem started today. Some reason the power didn't seem to work. You would press the power button it would try to power on but than it would power off after a few seconds. I don't know what he did but he somehow got it to power on. It would flash the Alienware startup screen which said press F11 to Boot. Press F12 to Network boot. Press F2 to go to System Utilities. Then it would go to a black screen with a flashing command prompt (flashing underscore/bar thingie). It would enter three times and then NOTHING.

My brother knows he needs to buy a new computer but he wants to get everything off this one before that. That's his only concern.
 

blues_harp28

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Will it start in Safe Mode? Tap F8 as the pc is starting up.
At the Windows Advanced Options - Choose Last Known Good Configuration
Let us know if that works.
Do you have the original Xp Cd?
 

BillHates

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Will it start in Safe Mode? Tap F8 as the pc is starting up.
At the Windows Advanced Options - Choose Last Known Good Configuration
Let us know if that works.
Do you have the original Xp Cd?
I tried F8 but it just makes a weird buzz sound and continues with the black screen with the flashing command prompt (flashing underscore/bar thingie).

I also noticed I could hear the fans sounding louder than usual.

I don't think we have a copy of the original XP cd. Instead we do have a CD version & DVD version of a AlienRespawn boot discs. Which says it will erase data on the harddrive. So I am a bit cautious about that.
 
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I suggest stop what you are doing and remove the drive out of the notebook computer. Then figure out if it is an IDE or SATA drive. For 2.5 inch IDE drive, it will be a square 44-pin connector. A SATA connector on a 2.5-inch drive will be the same size connector that a SATA 3.5-inch drive. Buy either IDE (44-pin) to USB converter or SATA to USB converter. It doesn't have to be USB 3.x. USB 2.0 will work fine.
 

blues_harp28

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I tried F8 but it just makes a weird buzz sound and continues with the black screen with the flashing command prompt
As suggested by tecknurd above - saving your data and files is your next best move as your hard drive could die, at any moment.
Use a IDE/SATA to USB 2.0 Cable Adapter similar to the one shown below.
https://www.novatech.co.uk/products...dd-adapter-cable-with-power-supply/zht01.html
You remove the hard drive from your pc.
Connect it to a working pc by the USB cable and save any needed data and files, to the working pc.
 

BillHates

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Ok thanks guys I will try that out.

Is there a video that can show me out to safely remove the harddrive out there? Also will this as the one you showed in the link you provided?
 

blues_harp28

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As you have an older laptop buy a IDE/SATA to USB 2.0 Cable Adapter.
What is the model number of your Alienware laptop?
 
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All notebook computers are custom built. There won't be any video on how to remove a hard drive from a notebook computer. The model should be listed on the bottom of the notebook computer. Note the model and go to Dell website. Download the manual. The manual will tell you how to remove the drive from the notebook computer.

Another similar to blues_harp28 is the following.

https://www.startech.com/HDD/Adapters/USB-20-to-IDE-or-SATA-Adapter-Cable~USB2SATAIDE

Powering drives from USB is OK if the drive uses less than 2.5 watts of power. Not all computers can output 2.5 watts of power per USB port. I suggest a device that includes its own power supply. Using an external power supply will be more reliable.

I have used the following device, but it wasn't always reliable to use. I don't recommend it.

Vantec 2.5" / 3.5" / 5.25" SATA / IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter - Model CB-ISATAU2
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232002

While you are buying such device, buy a hard drive to copy the data to when your brother or you don't have enough space. Hopefully, your brother can get access to the data and copy it. If not, it is a good time to think of a backup procedure that is easy, so the loss of data won't happen again.
 

BillHates

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Sorry for the delayed response here. I bought the StarTech device. Should be here soon. As for my brother's laptop (He actually won it in a contest for the movie Cloverfield) model number it is Alienware AREA-51 M9750.
 
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