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Possible BIOS problem

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DellXPS, Jun 12, 2012.

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  1. DellXPS

    DellXPS Thread Starter

    Jun 12, 2012
    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.
  2. etaf

    etaf Wayne Moderator

    Oct 2, 2003
    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 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/
    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 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
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