Help with Inaccessible Boot Device on old Dell Laptop

By masterpug53 ·
Tags: Windows, Hardware
Recently I tried starting up my Dell laptop (running windows XP, purchased in 2005 I believe), when I got the Blue Screen of Death. Looking up the code on the web gave me the title 'inaccessible boot device;' here's the exact code:

***STOP: 0X0000007B (0XF88**528, 0XC0000034, 0X00000000, 0X00000000

Every time I turn the computer on, it gives me a number of prompts as to how to start windows (Safe Mode, Last Known Good Configuration, Normally, etc) - I've tried most, and all end up at the same BSOD after a period of 30-odd seconds.

What I'm thinking (hoping) caused this problem was that I used a new (and unfamiliar to the computer) USB flash drive the last or second-to-last time the computer was on, and hopefully it's not just a

Problem is that I can't actually access Windows to try any of the fixes I've read, and I'm almost positive that I no longer have the startup disc.

Any help would be appreciated, as I'm fishing around in the dark here. And I hate to ask of more, but I'm a complete dunce when it comes to hardware issues, so any solutions might have to be spelled out in extreme layman's terms. Thanks in advance for any and all help!

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More likely

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Help with Inaccessible Bo ...

Is that the BIOS battery has gone flat and you have lost your stored Settings which means that the system has reverted to the MBoard defaults and has the wrong Date & Time which is stopping Windows from loading. Try opening the BIOS when you turn on and setting the correct Date & Time then save the changes as you exit the BIOS and see if it will boot then.


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That'd be great!

by masterpug53 In reply to More likely

My apologies though, but I'm very much a dunce at these things, and I don't want to do things wrong - how exactly do you open the BIOS? Is it something you do physically (as in manually remove the battery from the computer - I'd guess this one isn't the case), or is it a command to input either at the initial given screen (where it asks me how to attempt to start windows), or later when the Blue Screen of Death pops up?

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When you first turn the thing on

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to That'd be great!

It tells you to press a key to enter setup. Generally F2 with Dell but it could be another key it however is on the start up screen could be anywhere but generally it's in the lower left hand corner.

When you press whatever key it is that you are told to press you will be greeted with the BIOS Screen which is generally white on blue but it can be any colour.

You should go straight to the main BIOS Screen which is the screen that you want and use the arrow keys to navigate to the date & time and change as required. Once you finish changing those settings you use the keyboard to scroll along to exit BIOS or maybe just exit depends on what your BIOS Version is. If in doubt you can download your User Manual from The Dell WebSite.


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Ehh, unfortunately...(replying to Hal 9000's last post)

by masterpug53 In reply to Help with Inaccessible Bo ...

That doesn't seem to be the issue. I accessed the BIOS screen and the clock seems to be running fine. The only thing I did was change the boot priority (put internal HDD above diskette), but that made no difference.

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Did you save the changes as you exited the BIOS?

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Ehh, unfortunately...(rep ...

Yep I know doesn't sound as if you made any changes but as the BIOS automatically sets the CPU, RAM, HDD and so if it's wrong when you open the BIOS it corrects the issue but if you don't save the changes you are back to where you started.

If that doesn't work it's possible that the HDD has issues and may even have gone to Silicon Heaven. Regardless you need to test the drive ideally with it makers testing utility but if you don't know who made it Seagate's Sea Tools will test the drive though it may not give the correct warranty details if you don't have a Seagate's Drive. Anyway you can use the Ultimate Boot CD to test your hardware it's available free to download and use here


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