Just tonight my Dell 8400 desktop failed to reboot. My computer is running windows xp. Windows refused to boot when trying to restart and told me that some files in system 32 were corrupt. Upon running a scan, it returned a hard drive error 7. I have run additional tests and returned error code 0f00: 136c. After reading on the internet about hard drive errors, it appears to be a common error with dell systems. I have also read about people who have reinstalled windows on their system only to have it fail again a few days, if not hours, later. Does anybody have any suggestions? I have most of my files backed up on my external harddrive, however i still have a few programs on my hard drive that I would like to keep.
Any suggestions on what I should do?
Sounds like you are having hardware problems on your drive, which is not really Dell-specifc. Do you hear it clicking, when the drive works? Clicking is dangerous. It means your read/write heads have become loose and there isn't much you can do anymore except for some extremely expensive repair.
How did you run the scan if you cannot boot anymore, btw? The utility partition? That would indicate that your drive is still working.
First, I would run CHKDSK. If you can still boot into Windows (maybe in safe mode?), you can go to My Computer, right click on the C drive, choose Properties, select the Tools tab and click on "Check for Errors" and check the "automatically fix system errors". If you cannot boot into windows anymore, you need to somehow get your hands on a boot disk with Chkdsk on it. You will start Chkdsk in DOS mode by typing "Chkdsk C: /f".
If you have another desktop computer, you can also install your hard drive as a secondary drive and run diagnostics and repair utils from there. I have an external hard drive enclosure. When I cannot boot a drive, I put it into the enclosure and connect it to another computer via USB.
Sometimes drives can develop a heat problem, so if you don' have the clicking problem, try providing some extra cooling. I had such a problem just a few weeks ago. The drive was fine when it was still cold, but it started causing problems as soon as it worked for a while. I put a fan directly in front of it, started a full backup and rescued all my files.
The SATA hard drive is failing/failed and you need to replace it and reinstall XP, drivers and applications.
You can use any currently available 7200rpm, SATA, 3.5" hard drive.
Error Code 0F00:136C, usually refers to 'blank media or no media is present in optical drive'. The optical drive requires a blank disc inserted, for the drive to be tested.