Having problems with your PC Laptops ?

Re: your suggestion for my Dell Lattitude D600 Hard Drive Problem

\015 Hi thank you for responding to my long posting about my current laptop issue. Based on what you suggested I had a few questions? You mentioned something about purchasing a 2nd computer (which luckily I recently purchased a 2nd laptop, I have a hp pavilion) and obtaining a few items; one being a laptop enclosure that could be hooked up to the 2nd computer and used to attempt to obtain vital data (which in my case is a hell of a lot of music and then also pictures) from the either crashing or possibly already crashed Dell D600.\015\012Ok so where I am a little lost (ok a lot lost since I am by far no IT that would figure this out on my own) but currently the only thing that comes up when the Dell D600 is powered up is the black screen that states the "secondary hard driver 0 not found" and below that it says "a disc read error occured ctrl alt delete to restart" and then of course we can restart and either get the same message or hit either F2 for set up and run the diagnostic test that gave us the DST fail result or F12 Boot Menu which does show Primary Hard Drive 60GB. \015\012Yesterday I download on to a cd the winxp restoration cd for D600 from my other laptop which is a hp pavilion but when I put that CD in the D600 the green light comes on like it wants to read it but then that goes away and nothing happens. \015\012So again I am not sure how if the cd driver is not reading anything (I'm going to assume has something to do with that start up message "disc read error ctrl alt delete to restart") how even if I purchased that D600 restoration CD, that it would work or if i purchase that enclosure and hook it up to my hp pavilion in what way you mentioned, would that enable me to get something to come up on the d600 that might allow me to try and obtain any stored data from the hard drive. \015\012Sorry that I'm not understanding better..your time and help is very much appreciated.\015

Answers :

Ok, now we have some good discourse! While I'd always prefer to use a friend's laptop to test my fringe hypotheses, having your own is a fine option too. And it sounds like you have an enclosure too, so you are pretty much all set.

It's really sounding like the entire computer is having problems at boot. The drivers for the CD drive are built into the computer, so you don't have to worry about replacing them. That's how it can boot from a CD even before starting windows.

I think you are doing everything perfectly so far, so the question is how much more you want to do before selling it As-Is on Craigslist or claiming it lost in a terrorist attack to your home owners' insurance.

more choices though: if you want to keep fiddling with it, try these few suggestions.

If the green light goes on when you put the burned Windows CD into the drive there are a couple things that might be going on. If you can hear the drive start up and spin then stop then try again, then it sounds like either the CD is bad or the drive isn't working properly. Make sure the version of Windows you burned is a bootable version (full OEM or Restore CD and not an upgrade). Just a thought. Also, when you press F12 with the CD in the drive, does it show a boot from CD drive option? If so, I'm guessing that you try it, it spins the disk then nothing for a bit then the error message. If so, what's happening is that it's checking the CD for boot information, can't find it and then tries to boot "normally" which for it isn't.

If you ALWAYS see the 60GB Primary drive when you press F12, then the computer really believes that there is a drive there and maybe there are problems with the drive AND the CD rom.

The idea with the enclosure is that you can pull the hard drive from your D600 and put it in the enclosure to be read by your HP. This way, even if part of the drive isn't good - for instance it might be that the "boot sector" of the drive is corrupted - your HP should be able to read the rest and allow you to get back all your music and pictures.

Sheesh, don't be sorry about not understanding this all on the first pass. You're already doing a great job of diagnosing and repairing what you can. Get back to me after you've run yourself into another dead end. Good luck!!

Here are a few places to check out.

Dell's D600 Service Manual - to help you remove any tasty parts you need to (like the hard drive)

D600 Hard drive removal instructions - PDF format so get ready for download!

There's also a chance that you already have a Restore Partition on the existing hard drive. The problem being that your computer isn't reading the hard drive properly may make this a non-issue, but if you want, try this: BUT WARNING THIS WILL DESTROY ALL DATA ON THE HARD DRIVE so only do this AFTER you have removed all your important stuff from it by plugging it into your HP.

Taken from Dell's Technical Support page and should be followed from there:
1 Turn on the computer.
\015\012\015\012\015\0122 When the Dell\015\012splash screen appears during the computer startup process, press and\015\012hold <Ctrl> and then press <F11>. Then, release both keys\015\012at the same time.
\015\012\015\012\015\0123 In the Dell PC Restore by Symantec window, click Restore. Alternatively, press <Tab> to highlight Restore, and then press <Enter>.
\015\012\015\012\015\0124 When a warning message appears stating that all data will be lost, click Confirm, or press <Tab> to highlight Confirm and then press <Enter>.

The Progress window will appear. Once the restore process starts, Dell PC Restore by Symantec usually takes about 8 to 10 minutes to finish.

When the restore process is complete, the following message will appear:
The system recovery process was successful.
\015\012\015\012\015\0125 Click Finish or press <Tab> to highlight Finish and then press <Enter> to restart the computer.
The software is now installed as it was when the computer was first received. \015\012
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