Question

Locked

unit won't boot and won't read CD drive

By snakestang ·
I have a Dell 4300 that had a bunch of malware on it (given to me). I looked at it at my friend's house and it definitely had issues, so I took it home. When I fired it up here, I got an error ' file is missing or corrupt - windows\system32\config\system so somehow the registry has been damaged. OK, so I can run tehe recovery console, so I put an XP home CD in the CD drive and reboot, except it goes to the same error message. OK, so I check the BIOS and change the boot order to CD the hard drive and reboot, still gets the same error message, use F12 and force boot to CD drive, says fail to read drive, F1 to retry and F2 to setup, OK, possible bad CD drive so I replace it with a known good drive and I verified that the CD itself was good, all checks, try to boot again and it fails, green light on CD drive, BIOS knows a 'CD reader' is there but does not identify model or manufacturer (also sees CD burner as the same 'CD reader'). This leaves me with 2 questions:
First, does anyone have any thoughts about why the computer will not read the contents of the CD drive or any additional testing options?
Second, does anyone know of a registry tool that could be used on this hard drive if I mount it in my computer as a secondary slave drive? If I can get the drive to boot, then I can work on further diags to identify the CD drives' issues!

Thanks!

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

12 total posts (Page 1 of 2)   01 | 02   Next
| Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Getting a bit long in the tooth but see if this helps

by Jacky Howe In reply to unit won't boot and won't ...

First thing is to check to see if it is being picked up properly in the BIOS. If it is not there check your Cables. Try another Cable. Check the Jumper setting and it's position on the IDE Cable. If it is on a secondary IDE cable set the jumper as Master and place it on the end of the cable. If it is a single IDE cable place it in the Middle and set it as a Slave. If BIOS cant detect it properly then replace it. If it is there and showing properly set it as the fist Boot device and save the settings on exit.
<br><br>
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ssapph/en/#html
<br><br>
To answer your second question you are better off using the XP CD. Dell normally supply Recovery CD's. You could remove the hard drive and Slave it to another PC to remove the important Data and then use the Recovery CD's to rebuild it.
<br><br>
<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>
<br><br>
<i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome.
</i>

Collapse -

Thanks Jacky!

by snakestang In reply to Getting a bit long in the ...

I have double checked all items, replaced cable, verified BIOS sees CD drives (has player top and burner bottom, sees both as 'CD reader', checked 4 lights on back of unit, they go all green which means that the BIOS has handed control to OS (XP home) which then generates config\sys error.
My questions are stillthe same-
How can I attempt to recover or fix the registry without the hard drive in teh Dimension 4300?
Any thought about what else could be preventing the computer from reading any data from either CD drive?

Thanks!

Collapse -

See if this is of any help

by Jacky Howe In reply to Thanks Jacky!

The PC won't be much good to anyone without CD/DVD access. Did you try the CD drives one at a time and on the primary IDE. How old is the PSU have you got another one to test with.
<br><br>
It would be easier to repair if you remove the Hard Drive from the Notebook and Slave it to another PC so that you can manipulate the necessesary files. Either of these connectors will work for you. Do stage one, put the drive back in the PC and then go on to stage two.
<br>
USB 2.0 to IDE / SATA Adapter Cable 80cm (Supports 2.5" & 3.5" IDE)
<br>
Notebook IDE Hard Drive Adaptor.
<br><br>
How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting
<br>
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb%3Ben-us%3B307545
<br><br>
<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>
<br><br>
<i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome.
</i>

Collapse -

Still stuck

by snakestang In reply to See if this is of any hel ...

Yes, it causes a problem without the CD working!
OK, here I go!
My computer is XP pro, the 'client' machine is XP home, a Dell Dimension 4300 tower.
I do not believe that the recovery console for XP Pro will allow the rebuild of an XP Home OS but am trying to verify that! I read nothing in the MS article about it working for an OS that was not installed on that computer either.
I can't get the recovery console to install on the XP Home computer, no working CD drive. I replaced its CD reader drive with a good one, still won't read, did replace cable, never thought about using CD drive on second location of hard drive cable, did not know that was possible on newer units (back in the old days....!!!)
I will keep the updated as I go!

Collapse -

You don't need to install

by Jacky Howe In reply to Still stuck

the recovery console. Don't try to install anything from the XP Pro CD or try a Rapair /Install. If you can get access and boot from the XP Pro CD you can then manipulate the XP Home OS following those instructions above. If you set the CD on the Primary IDE Cable set the jumper as a Slave.
<br><br>
To test the Secondary IDE Slot on the motherboard to see if it is working connect the Hard drive to it and boot up the PC. If the OS gives you the error message you will know that it is OK. If it is OK I would be looking at trying another PSU.
<br><br>
<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>
<br><br>
<i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome.
</i>

Collapse -

Thanks

by nobby In reply to Getting a bit long in the ...

You the Girl Jackie
Thank you

Collapse -

The Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows

by 1bn0 In reply to unit won't boot and won't ...

http://www.ubcd4win.com/

Does have a registry tool that allows you to load and edit the registry from the hard drive.

There is a basic tutorial in the help available when you boot the disk.

Collapse -

Small problem

by snakestang In reply to The Ultimate Boot CD 4 Wi ...

Thank you for the reply, 1bn0, but how does one use UBCD when the computer will not read anything in the CD drive?? I want to put the hard drive into another computer and then be able to manipulate the registry on it. Everything that I have seen needs the hard drive in the original computer, which I can't do. Any more thoughts?
Thanks!

Collapse -

You can load it while slaved

by IC-IT In reply to Small problem

use regedit and highlight the HKEY_USERS key. Then File - load hive.
Navigate to the slaved drives \WINDOWS\system32\config folder (or if manipulating a specific user; their doc+settings profile ntuser.dat file).
Give it a unique name and edit away. ;-)

Collapse -

Interesting

by snakestang In reply to You can load it while sla ...

Thank you, bwilmot!

I see that I can open the individual hives (load), edit and then unload. Cool!
Then I have another question - what would one look for that would cause the boot to stop and error? (see original post)
I have learned a lot of info about what is in the different hives, but would have no idea where to start with this one!
A thought - if I loaded, reviewed and then unloaded each hive, would the load function possibly straighten out possible file corruption and would the unload overwrite the original file with the corrected info?
Also, with this method, how would one create a backup before messing with it?
Thanks for the input - it just gets the brain cells going!

Back to Hardware Forum
12 total posts (Page 1 of 2)   01 | 02   Next

Related Discussions

Related Forums