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View Full Version : How do I wipe my laptop if i can't get it to start?


IrishPirate
10-25-2010, 2:50 PM
It's been a while since i used my Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop but with school coming up I decided to get it out and make sure everything was still working. Well, it's not. I think when i was transfering files to my external hard drive when i bought my desktop, i might have moved a file necessary for operation because now when i try to start it it just says:

Loading PBR for descriptor 2...failed.

and it wont start up.

I have all the discs that came with it for rebooting windows xp professional and all the drivers and such, plus most of the programs like word, excel, internet explorer, etc. But i can't figure out how to wipe everything clean and start again.

Any computer techs out there know what to do?

smird
10-25-2010, 3:09 PM
The reinstall disc should give you the option. If it's an oem disc that came with the pc it's probably all you can do.

ponderosa
10-25-2010, 3:13 PM
Boot off the CD/DVD (might have to switch your BIOS settings). Put the CD/DVD #1 of the system discs in and boot off that. If you don't have restore discs, use a Windowz disc or Ubuntu or whatever.

choprzrul
10-25-2010, 3:14 PM
Your error might not match the reported error on the following fix, but going through and doing what is outlined in this article will fix 99% of XP failures to boot: http://tech.icrontic.com/articles/repair_windows_xp/

Print the whole thing out before you start so that you have something to reference.

.

DanDaDude102
10-25-2010, 3:17 PM
yeah, boot it up with the reinstall disk. That should fix the problem as well as erase as wipe your computer clean. If not then your hard drive has failed and it is time for a new laptop

IrishPirate
10-25-2010, 3:21 PM
trying again......I'm about to use this thing to test my Mosin's Accuracy :mad:

Ricky-Ray
10-25-2010, 3:26 PM
If you want to erase the hard drive and make sure data can't be accessed, I would use Darik's Boot and Nuke. http://www.dban.org/download

Download the iso file and then burn it onto a CD, insert the CD into the laptop and power it on. Press F12 during the startup where you see the Dell logo and hitting F12 will give you the options to select where to boot from. Select CD. It will load a quick version of linux off the CD and then give you the options of how you want to wipe the drive. The easiest is to select "autonuke" and for most points and purposes that should be good enough.

I use this at work whenever we are about to toss out old drives during an e-waste and we want to make sure that data is not on any of these drives before we throw them out.

Brianguy
10-25-2010, 3:29 PM
Might as well wipe like Ricky-Ray suggested. It'll only take a few hours for a few passes. Just set it up before you go to sleep. Don't have to worry about someone attempting to recover deleted data later :)

IrishPirate
10-25-2010, 3:33 PM
Well for some reason it decided to work this time when i put in the recovery disc and pressed F12. Not sure how i screwed it up last time but I'm going to see how this works and if it's not right i'll go the boot 'n nuke route. Thanks guys, probably saved me a few hundred $$$$
:cheers2:

IrishPirate
10-25-2010, 3:40 PM
well i take that back....it's saying my hard drive isn't installed......guess i need to run the driver discs first...grrrrrrr :mad: :mad:

Ricky-Ray
10-25-2010, 3:53 PM
You could have a bad hard drive. If it is you should be able to pick up a replacement hard drive for less than $100 bucks depending on the size of the hard drive you want. I think that model uses and IDE hard drive and last time I picked up a IDE laptop hard drive was about 1.5 years back and I got a 160 gig drive for about $60 bucks.

Ledbetter
10-25-2010, 4:06 PM
Check the internal hard drive connectors?

gravedigger
10-25-2010, 9:54 PM
Right! Unplug the hard drive cables, and plug them in again. I'll just bet some corrosion is causing one or more pins to be undetectable.

IrishPirate
10-28-2010, 10:54 PM
can't get boot 'n nuke to work....got the iso file on a disk, put it in the cd drive, started it up, pressed F12 for the boot menu, chose cd drive, then it hums, squeels, beeps and goes to a page saying windows did not start successfully and asking me to choose what way to start it up: safe mode, SM with networking, SM with command prompt, last known good configuration, start windows normally. no matter what i do it just stays on that screen and wont change. can't get it to pull anything up. I let it sit for a few hours too and nothing.....WTF??

Nobama4us
10-29-2010, 7:05 AM
can't get boot 'n nuke to work....got the iso file on a disk,
Did you burn the iso image, or simply drop the iso on the disk ? I would not worry so much about wiping the drive if you plan on reusing it. You need to see why is does not like your HDD. Check connections, if the drive is bad buy a new one and use the recovery disk. Keep your old one, have it degaussed, or blow the snot out of it at the range.

IrishPirate
10-29-2010, 12:21 PM
checked the connections, everything looked good. Realized when i started it up again that all the crazy noises i hear are coming from the hard drive (i thought maybe the fan was bad so i unscrewed it). I'm convinced the hard drive is bad. I think i'm going to pick up another one since they're only about $60 and see if that will get my laptop back where i want it. thanks for all the help guys :thumbsup:


So if i get a new hard drive, can i upgrade the memory without affecting anything? It came with a measly 20gb drive and they have ones on ebay from 20gb to 320gb. Would it be a simple swap and install, or would going up in memory require me to buy something else too in order to make my laptop run ok?

Ricky-Ray
10-29-2010, 1:38 PM
Upgrading the hard drive to a larger size is not a problem, just make sure you by the same type of drive. ie. If the original drive has IDE connections then make sure the new drive you buy is IDE. Most newer laptops will use SATA connections and those drives will not work on laptops with IDE connections.

If your planning on using it for school I would also check and see how much RAM you currently have on that laptop and maybe consider upgrading that too. Most RAM upgrades on laptops is a simple process, unscrew a cover and insert new chip into available slot and that's it. RAM should be pretty cheap and you will notice a big improvement with the additional upgrade.

JDay
10-29-2010, 4:39 PM
So if i get a new hard drive, can i upgrade the memory without affecting anything? It came with a measly 20gb drive and they have ones on ebay from 20gb to 320gb. Would it be a simple swap and install, or would going up in memory require me to buy something else too in order to make my laptop run ok?

Just put the sticks in and you're good to go, make sure that the laptop supports the type and amount of ram you buy, many only support 2gb.

IrishPirate
10-29-2010, 6:06 PM
Upgrading the hard drive to a larger size is not a problem, just make sure you by the same type of drive. ie. If the original drive has IDE connections then make sure the new drive you buy is IDE. Most newer laptops will use SATA connections and those drives will not work on laptops with IDE connections.

If your planning on using it for school I would also check and see how much RAM you currently have on that laptop and maybe consider upgrading that too. Most RAM upgrades on laptops is a simple process, unscrew a cover and insert new chip into available slot and that's it. RAM should be pretty cheap and you will notice a big improvement with the additional upgrade.

i'm pretty sure i already upgraded the ram to the max, pretty sure it was only 1gb. So other than the connections, there's nothing else to worry about? just slap the new hard drive into the caddy and plug her in, then reinstall XP and all my programs?

badandy
10-30-2010, 1:41 AM
yeah, boot it up with the reinstall disk. That should fix the problem as well as erase as wipe your computer clean. If not then your hard drive has failed and it is time for a new laptop

NO F'N WAY...

If it won't boot, there are several things to try such as "fixmbr" with the install disk. IF that doesn't work... STOP. you can purchase a dirt cheap adapter on e-bay to pull your hard drive and connect it as an external drive on another computer, and hand pick each and EVERY file you wish to retain and save. IF in fact the hard drive has failed, there are options, though not as easy. You can replace the hard drive and use reinstall disks to make your "already paid for" computer like the day you bought it!

badandy
10-30-2010, 1:48 AM
i'm pretty sure i already upgraded the ram to the max, pretty sure it was only 1gb. So other than the connections, there's nothing else to worry about? just slap the new hard drive into the caddy and plug her in, then reinstall XP and all my programs?

Yep, should be good up to 2gb ram if running XP. "slap and load" should make your rig like new.

IrishPirate
10-30-2010, 3:35 PM
right on.....thanks