Pressed the Dell Media Direct button and laptop won't boot

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cgfam

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Joined
Apr 19, 2009
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My 16 month old pressed the MediaDirect button on my Dell 1420 laptop and I didn't think anything of it until my computer wouldn't boot! I was originally getting the Dell start screen followed by the message "Invalid partition table." Here is a list of things I have tried so far and the results:

1. Ran fixmbr in XP recovery console - no change

2. Downloaded and ran "Dell Media Direct Repair Utility" - "Invalid partition table message was replaced with "2 active partitions"

3. Ran fixboot c: in recovery console - no change

4. Downloaded and ran Ultimate Boot Disc CD - tried to set one partition as inactive, but it says there is a partition error and won't let me save

5. Downloaded and ran Windows XP Emergency Boot Disc to try and bypass the mbr and boot into windows to get a few unbackedup files off - the Windows loading screen was a welcome vision, but instead of booting into Windows, the laptop booted into MediaDirect.

6. I repeated #5 - got the message "Windows could not start because the following file is missing for corrupt: <windows root> \systemroot32\hal.dll Please reinstall a copy of the above file"

Is there any way to fix this without reformatting?? Others have posted in various places on the web that they have been able to fix it, but it seems I'm running out of options!!
 

cgfam

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
2
Alright, it's fixed! I downloaded a Windows XP Emergency Boot CD from AnswersThatWork. I booted from that CD and and got to #6 above.

I did a little research and decided to boot with the Windows XP CD and go into setup. I saw that my partitions were back to the way they were before this whole thing, yay! When I was having issues, it seemed that my C: drive had swapped with my F: drive.

Next I decided to go back into Recovery Console and try bootcfg /rebuild at the prompt again. I did that and this time it added the OS on C: to the boot list, but it was added as partition 3 (it was added as partition 1 previously). Then I typed fixboot c:. I rebooted and everything booted up normally!!

I guess that since it was the first time that the MediaDirect button was pressed, it was trying to do stuff (ie build its new partition, etc) and because I shut down in the middle of everything, it messed up my partitions. Just allowing MediaDirect to finish setting up fixed the partitions.
 
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