Hello. I'm hoping for some insight with my problem computer besides buying a new one at this time. It is a Dell Laptop Inspiron model 1501. A number of posts have mentioned similar problems to mine, but each situation is different. I bought this one as a 'refurbished' model thru Dell, and it has always had unexplained instability issues and rebooting itself after locking up with the screen. Aside from this, it has been a good machine.
A year or so ago, I bought an after market battery. Everything was fine up until recently. At start up I would see a message stating: "Warning: Battery cannot be identified. The system will be unable to charge this battery. Press any key to continue." I was ignoring these messages. Windows Vista eventually would not boot up successfully. I would select to 'run windows normally' rather than 'start up repair'. So now after booting windows in 'normal' mode, several days the computer fails to boot Windows Vista at all. I can get past the Dell logo and a POST at start up. I pressed F12 and did the Diagnostics. At one point an error code was received soon after that read:
Error Code 0221, Message Error Code 2000-0221, MSG: Chipset Interval Timer Failed!
Another diagnostic test did not produce any errors.
I need to mention at this point that I have taken out the battery and set it aside thinking that this may allow me to get the operating system back up and running without the battery creating a problem, if it is a problem at all.
I can get to a screen to do "Start Up Repair", but it asks some questions that I have not seen in the past. The first of which is to select a language for the keyboard. After this screen I am presented with a dialog box named "System Recovery Options". The text reads "Select an operating system to repair and click next. Only Windows Vista operating systems are listed and can be repaired'. And further below: "If you do not see your operating system listed, click load drivers to load drivers for your hard disks." If I click "Load Drivers" another dialog box appears with "system 32" named. If I click on the folder with the name "Driver" there is nothing seen in these folders.
I was able to resurrect another dead computer of mine. I hope with some expert insight from others within this forum I might be able to at least retrieve my files off of this laptop.
I look forward to your reply.
Here is an update from the time of my initial post.
I was able to Tap the F8 key and get to the advanced Options Menu and try to boot into "Safe" mode. However it would not allow me to log on as an administrator or any other user. Instead it launches into trying to use "Startup Repair", and this goes nowhere.
The next suggestion from Dell is to attempt to restore to the "Most Recent Restore Point" and the "Last Known-Good Configuration." I've tried both of these options separately by tapping the F8 key to get to the Windows Advanced Options- Repair Your Computer- Enter-System Recovery Options. This did not lead to success either.
The last remaining option suggested by Dell is to "Restore the Operating System to Factory Settings" Using this option is a last resort because as I understand it, this will wipe out all my personal files on the machine with no way to recover these.
I am going to try some more of these approaches mentioned above before I dare use the last resort option. Maybe, just maybe I can find a time that it lets me in after another round of the advanced diagnostics and a startup repair session.
This vista laptop is 10 years old. It may be dead at this point. Some may say why fuss with it, just buy another machine. But I'd really like my files off the computer before I put it away.