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Cant restore/re-install windows vista


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#1 goodbytes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:39

This is a long shot but here goes..

I've been given a Dell Inspiron 5745 to fix, it had strange behaviour in Windows, black screens, crashing etc.. he had a couple of viruses i cleaned it up, gave it back, he brought it back saying it wasn't working properly..

I booted it up and it was taking forever, then explorer was crashing and lots of other weird things, straight away i thought the hdd was dying so i ran a disk check.. it passed.

i ran a DELL hardware diagnostics test, everything passed.

since then i can't boot into windows, it's a black screen with a blinking cursor, it gets past the dell BIOS screen and wont go any further.

i put removed the drive and installed it as a secondary disk in a PC, i backed up all data and put it back in the laptop.. still nothing.

i've googled 'dell Inspiron black screen blinking cursor' and loads of people have the issue, and only fix was reinstalling windows.

so i've popped in a windows vista disk, booted from it... when it gets to the screen to choose a drive i deleted the OS partition, created a new partition and click next, but get an error:

"Windows is unable to find a system volume that meets its criteria for installing"

What the hell does this mean?

The HDD is a Samsung Spin Point.

I'm really stuck, the HDD is fine, it has no errors, system passes all tests... it just seems it's decided it doesn't want to be compatible anymore?

Any suggestions at this point?


#2 Shane Nokes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:49

The Dell hardware diagnostics are only a step up from nothing as regards quality of diagnosing issues.

I would recommend grabbing the actual Samsung utility for checking the hard drive, and Memtest86 the RAM.

BTW the utility for Samsung drives is made by Seagate for some reason, and can be found here: http://www.seagate.c...loads/seatools/

#3 OP goodbytes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:23

The Dell hardware diagnostics are only a step up from nothing as regards quality of diagnosing issues.

I would recommend grabbing the actual Samsung utility for checking the hard drive, and Memtest86 the RAM.

BTW the utility for Samsung drives is made by Seagate for some reason, and can be found here: http://www.seagate.c...loads/seatools/


I've just tried the samsung utility, it came back OK.

I'm fairly confident the disk is OK. i booted from vista disk, clicked repair your computer, the OS wasn't listed.. it says if your OS is not listed please load drivers, i click this and i can browse the entire disk, which has the dell recovery partition and the empty partition i created, both accessible no problem, just not in setup.

I've googled i can boot with WinPE and load the recovery partition and install it that way with something called ImageX?

#4 Shane Nokes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:29

BTW can you clarify something for me. You say it's a Dell Inspiron 5745...

Are you sure you have the make/model right?

There's an Acer Aspire 5745 line...but no Dell Inspiron 5745 according to the Dell database.

#5 OP goodbytes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:33

Sorry it's a 1545, not sure what happened there

#6 Shane Nokes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:38

Stupid question, and I think I already know the answer...but have you tried F8 right after the BIOS screen to access the advanced options, and then went into the repair feature and told it to reload from the DataSafe local backup?

#7 OP goodbytes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:53

booted into the command prompt and ran:

C:\Tools\imagex /apply C:\dell\Image\Factory.wim 1 D:\

Progress: 0%

Error restoring image.

The system cannot find the path specified.

If i try and go onto the D:

The volume does not contain a recognised file system.
Please make sure that all required system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.

Stupid question, and I think I already know the answer...but have you tried F8 right after the BIOS screen to access the advanced options, and then went into the repair feature and told it to reload from the DataSafe local backup?


I can't get that far. pressing F8 does nothing, i'm left with a blinking cursor on a black screen.

I can however boot from cd, and press F8 which brings me to the advanced options, it offers no option to restore, just the standard safe mode, safe mode with networking etc..

#8 mduren2445

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:12

restore image on drive is corrupt... you will have to format drive and install windows from dell restore cds

#9 Haggis

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:13

it sounds liek the partition table is gubbed so it does not know that the recovery partition is there

#10 OP goodbytes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:24

So basically i should just take a hammer to it? ok. :rolleyes:

(seriously would if it was mine)

I've googled the issue and it's widespread with Dell laptops, ****es me off so much.

off topic

I've got 40 brand new HP PCs that crash when they fall asleep, HP support are useless and there's nothing available to fix it.

We bought 20 off them after the first 20, almost a year later.. same PC, same issue... and it was much further down the supply chain.

All of them decided to download a windows update yesterday that has thrown the computers into a restart loop.

hate windows.

#11 Shane Nokes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 13:34

Well Samsung drives are pretty crap to be honest. I don't know why Dell uses them.

Weird that all those machines would be stuck in a restart loop...if anything that actually points more to the machines in my opinion...something common (besides Windows) that is causing it.

What version of Windows and which HP machines are they?

#12 sc302

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 13:48

I never use the factory image, I always wipe and reinstall either using their os install disk or my companies (depending on what licensing is needed, OEM or VL). You could contact dell and get a vista disk.

#13 Jose_49

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 14:04

Well Samsung drives are pretty crap to be honest. I don't know why Dell uses them.

That is because Hard Drives, RAM, Screen comes from Samsung ;)

#14 Shane Nokes

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 14:07

That is because Hard Drives, RAM, Screen comes from Samsung ;)


I'm fine with the screens, but they are balls when it comes to making reliable hard drives.

RAM I'm on the fence...as I think I've had some Samsung in OEM systems...but never anything I'd buy myself for a PC.

#15 Jose_49

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 14:29

I'm fine with the screens, but they are balls when it comes to making reliable hard drives.

RAM I'm on the fence...as I think I've had some Samsung in OEM systems...but never anything I'd buy myself for a PC.

For the year I had a 150 GB HDD from Samsung, 2 GB they worked nice. Never had problems.

But wanted more space and RAM so I replaced them both. On the other hand, the screen has kept up nicely for 4 years :p