8 Krypton

Cannot Reinstall Windows 7

So, let me start by saying that Dell has made this forum stupidly hard to find and log in to.  The process is ridiculous.

I am working on an Inspiron 3250.  I am trying to reinstall Windows 7, and it will not complete the install.  Windows setup reboots and goes to the final step, where it says "completing installation" and freezes at that point.  One time, I let it sit for 8 hours and it did nothing.

I have run every diagnostic I can find, and everything checks out okay.

Now, I am going to take a big step back to when the problem started.

The system belongs to my mother-in-law, and she reported a problem and I went over to look at it.  There was nothing wrong, but I noticed and updated BIOS (Inspiron_3650_3250_Vostro_3650_3653_3250_3.3.10.exe) and decided to install it.  During the install, everything seemed to go fine, but when it rebooted after the update, Windows would not finish booting.  It would not boot in safe mode either.

After doing diagnostics and not finding anything, I decided to try reinstalling Windows.  And, that failed as above.

At one point, I noticed that the bios is still on version 3.3.6, but the updated file that I downloaded seems to be 3 3.3.10.  This seems to suggest that the bios update failed, and I am afraid that something went wrong during the upgrade.  I have tried resetting the bios defaults, but that made no difference.

I work in Tech Support, so I can handle complex instructions, if they are worded clearly. 

So, in addition to asking for any general suggestions, I have one question.

Is there a way to update the bios without being able to boot the OS?

Also, is there a link to email support that does not require that you run a diagnostic?  Obviously, I am not using the system I am writing about, because I cannot boot Windows, and so cannot run a diagnostic from the website onto the machine.

Thank you for any help given.

The best dragons are always....RED!!!

AudeKhatru....former MCSE...former Dell employee....general misfit and troublemaker

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2 Replies
8 Xenon

RE: Cannot Reinstall Windows 7

If you haven't begun the install, be sure the BIOS update didn't change the drive mode (RAID to SATA/AHCI, the reverse, etc.).  That could be the problem.

Are you using the Dell recovery media for your system, or another source for Windows 7?  This is a Skylake system, for which a standard Windows 7 install media has no full support.  You CAN install Windows 7 on it, but you'll need to build a custom install media set to do so -- the instructions for doing that are here:

The procedure isn't for the faint of heart


The other option is to get a Windows 7 ISO for your system from Dell - that is, the recovery media if you don't have it:


And probably the best option is to skip 7 altogether and install Windows 10 instead.  Windows 7 has less than three years to run before updates for it will cease as they did with XP.

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8 Krypton

RE: Cannot Reinstall Windows 7

Okay, now I feel stupid.  Somehow, during the 10 times I have been in the Boot Options Menu (F12) while trying to solve this problem, I did not notice the option to upgrade the bios.  

Turns out the bios was the problem, and after upgrading the bios I was able to install windows.  

Now on to updating drivers.

The best dragons are always....RED!!!

AudeKhatru....former MCSE...former Dell employee....general misfit and troublemaker

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