My laptop (approx 16 months old) started booting up extremely slowly, taking about 45 minutes to fully load up & even then internet explorer would continually 'not respond'. I tried system restore but this continually failed. So I backed up my data & tried to restore to Dell factory settings, this seemly worked however did not remove the slowness. So biting the bullet I decided to open the Re-installation disc and put a new clean version of Windows 7 on the laptop. After a dozen attempts to run the disc, I have had no success, the installation seems to fail at various points. On the 1 occasion that I finally got to the 'completing installation' stage, it failed with the error message 'windows could not configure the system'. I now cannot get onto the laptop without using the disc @ boot up, but cannot get the disc to complete either.
Power down the system, press F12 at startup. Select the diagnostics and run the extended ones particular on the harddrive, incase it is going bad.
I have a guide below for reinstalling Windows but seems maybe you have a bad hdd.
Okay I was just beaten to it by ejn haha.
I used your guide to re-install W7 PRO and it was absolutely excellent in that it saved me considerable time and frustration as my copy of W7 was a large .ISO file. Thanks
You will need to buy a new hard drive. They can be found in any computer store pretty much or bought online. Note you may wish to attempt data recovery first via booting with a linux distribution such as fedora on a USB stick and copying files over (from windows.old possibily or documents if still there) using an external hard drive.
Note a computer shop may charge you like $20 for fitting and $60 for the part.
However fitting is easy, refer to the service manual here all it is, is a small handful of screws (~4). 2 securing a caddy (piece of plastic for protecting/pulling the hard drive out of the laptop) to the hard drive and 2 securing the caddy or hard drive to the computer.
• Remove 2 screws attaching harddrive to laptop.
• Slide hard drive out of the laptop.
• Remove 2 (or more screws) that attach the caddy to the hard drive.
• Remove caddy from the old hard drive.
• Attach the caddy to the new hard drive and tighten the screws.
• Slide the new hard drive (with caddy) into the laptop.
• Tighten screws.
• Smash old hard drive with a hammer and bin.
You may buy the part direct from Dell. Or just note that it is a 2.5" laptop SATA hard drive and look at amazon. If amazon is far cheaper then I would go with amazon, if it is almost the same price as the Dell website, I would go for the Dell website. Usually amazon is cheaper in the U.K.
The U.S. cost direct from Dell seems actually quite good, unlike in the past where it was a bad move buying upgrade parts direct from Dell as they could be at least double the price. e.g. here vs here (in the U.S. ~$65 for 500 GB) with amazon being only $5 cheaper.
Once you have fitted the hard drive, you will need to use the guide below for installing Windows 7, if you have the Dell Windows 7 reinstallation DVD you will not need to download the .iso files and instead can use that directly. In your case start from Step 4 as there is no data to recover on an empty hard drive & naturally Step 11. won't apply. If using the Dell discs Activation (Step 8) should not be required but is worth a check to see that windows is activated just in case.
Glad the guide was of use to you Travis.