[personal profile] annulla
I need some advice. A couple of days ago I found a computer. Yep, found it.

One of my neighbors tossed a Dell Inspiron 5100 laptop and the AC adaptor on top of the recycling bin. When I spotted it, I picked it up and took a look. The case was kind of beat up but not really damaged.

I opened the lid. I thought that the screen would be broken, but it wasn't even cracked, so I brought it home. I guessed that the keys would be broken or missing, but they were all there. I assumed that the battery would be dead, but it turned right on.

So, I turn it on, see the Windows XP start up screen, watch the little bar start moving across the bottom and then -- up comes a a long, long, long string of error messages that end with the appearance of the Blue Screen of Death which says:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

unmountable_boot_volume

If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.

If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup options, and then select Safe Mode.

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0x000000ED (0x8237DAF8, 0xC0000006, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)


-----------------

I searched all over for an answer but couldn't find one.

I guess sometimes it is good to be a bit of a packrat because I had a 3.5" floppy drive with a laptop adaptor stashed away in the closet.

I also recalled that in the olden days, we used to create a "boot disk" when we got new computers, so I dug around and found one the floppy drive a a boot disk for Windows 95.

I plugged the floppy drive into the computer, stuck the boot disk in and turned it on.

Voila! The machine booted up from the floppy (the A drive) and has no problem reading the boot disk.

However, when I tried to switch to the C drive ... file not found. It isn't reading the C drive. What now?

Is it a disaster? Was the person who threw it away doing the only thing that could be done?

Or, is it fixable? Or, would it cost a fortune to find out?

All help & suggestions muchly appreciated.

Date: 2007-03-18 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sirroy.livejournal.com
I am guessing the person who threw it out deliberately destroyed the hard drive, as I would have done, either by physically removing it, belting it with a hammer or using decent software to pemanently erase it.

Others will be along with more technical answers.

You may be able to a new external hard drive, but I'm guessing here.

Date: 2007-03-19 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] annulla.livejournal.com
Well, that makes sense, but I don't know whether the drive doesn't work because they threw it away, or they threw it away because the drive doesn't work.

Know what I mean? It is a kind of chicken & egg thing.

I don't know how to tell whether there is a hard drive physically installed in the machine.

Date: 2007-03-19 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] atenea-nike.livejournal.com
I'm absolutely not a computer techie but I am thinking you could get yourself a portable external hardrive which shouldn't cost you more than 100 €, install an operative system (say, windows) in it along with whatever software you'll need with your current working computer, hook it to the laptop and voilá, you have got yourself a laptop for 100 € with no need of technical assistance. It'll be slightly clumsier than an average laptop because you'll have to carry the external harddrive with it but they are so slim that it'll hardly matter. Of course you'll need to plug the external hard drive for it to work, which will make it less useful than an average laptop, but still it may be worth the try. (Or not...)

Date: 2007-03-19 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weebly-one.livejournal.com
My hubby had a quick look at your message - as he is the techie in our house.

He says you would not be able run the machine from an external harddrive - we gooogled the make and found out the machine is 4 years old in all likelihood so it might not be too difficult to replace the hard drive - and not too expensive - but hard drives are a bugger to fit in laptops - if you lived nearer he could help but you are a little far away!

He says get a new cheap hard drive and install Linux and off you go!

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