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dvp311
Copper

Dell Inspiron 15 3531 HDD Failure

Hi guys, 

I'm a bit stuck with what to do here. I've had the laptop above for a while, I upgraded to Win10 recently and it slowed right down to a crawl, then just wouldn't boot at all. I've tried every recovery guide I can think of, it just won't boot even into the recovery. The furthest i've managed to get is 'Smiley Sad oops there's been a problemw ith your PC' or something, but usually it just hangs on 'Preparing for automatic recovery'

I ran a diagnostics check through tapping F12 on boot, and it says 'Error code 2000-0151 Smart recovery failure' - After running a google search, apparently this is a completely fried HDD. 

I'm happy enough to replace, but I'm just a bit uncertain what to do. I'm pretty sure I'm out of Dell warranty, I have no proof of purchase (lost in house move) and no recovery stuff (also lost in house move) 

I tried using an old version of Window 7 I had from an OEM machine from a while back, but this gives me a bluescreen error (something about my machine not being ACHP compliant or soemthing) 

I'm just a bit worried that I'm going to shell out to buy a new hard drive and it's still not going to work, would I just be able to install my OEM win 7 on it? or would I need to buy some sort of OS recovery disk from Dell? I've heard the registry key is hard coded into my machine, I'm not exaclty made of money right now and can't afford to buy much else. 

Thanks in advance

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5 Replies
Rhodium

RE: Dell Inspiron 15 3531 HDD Failure

If you had Windows 10 installed and activated, you can download a media set (it must be for the exact version you had - probably just Windows 10, not Pro) and install.  Once Windows has been activated on a system, subsequent installs shouldn't require activation.

See here:

www.microsoft.com/.../windows10ISO

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dvp311
Copper

RE: Dell Inspiron 15 3531 HDD Failure

Sorry I should have been a bit clearer, it got allt he way to the end of the upgrade process then just slowed right down, I managed to get the install to restart and at that point its been unbootable, just crashed right at the end again.

Will I still be able to use the ISO tool? 

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dvp311
Copper

RE: Dell Inspiron 15 3531 HDD Failure

I phoned tech support and they confirmed a new hard drive is needed. They also said to reinstall from the recovery disks, which they could send out to me at a £40+ charge which I don't have right now Smiley Sad 

They mentioned that the product key for my windows OS is in built into the motherboard, could I not just buy a new hard drive and reinstall the same version of windows or do I definitely need the Dell recovery USB?

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Rhodium

RE: Dell Inspiron 15 3531 HDD Failure

You need the Dell OEM version of 8.1 -- anything else won't pick up the key and activate.  However, Windows 10 TH2 should do the same (be sure you use the SAME version of Windows -- 10 for 8.1, 10 Pro for 8.1 pro, etc.).

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dvp311
Copper

RE: Dell Inspiron 15 3531 HDD Failure

The download link you supplied previously shows that there's only one ISO for both 10 and 10 pro, I'll download that, get a new hard drive and try that. Thanks very much for your help, fingers crossed.

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