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gazumped
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Stuck in a boot loop

I restarted my 8-month old 15R a couple of days ago, but it got as far as the desktop,  then reloaded the desktop,  then reloaded the desktop... you get the picture.  It's stuck looping through the last few seconds of a boot.  Nothing holds still for long enough to tap click or otherwise start something up, and the only F-keys I seem to have at my disposal are F2 and F12 which if I reboot holding them give me various choices but not 'safe mode'.  I don't know whether this is a hardware or a software problem,  and I don't know how to get into the laptop for long enough to do some tests. There's a system test behind F12 which I ran and which came up fine,  but the system is still acting like a slow-mo strobe light.  Anyone got any suggestions?

Worst case I'll take out the hard drive and back up the data - it's been a while... ;0( and then reset it to factory status.  Anything short of that would be good...

Cheers in advance for any light on the matter!

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Moderator
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RE: Stuck in a boot loop

Hi gazumped!

Thanks for your post. Certainly sounds like OS trouble from what your describing being that the <F12> diagnostics passed. Have you been able to attempt powering the system up with all external devices removed to make sure no interference from an external device is causing this?

Safe Mode would be an excellent environment to test the system in and should be available by, As soon as the computer starts up, pressing <F8> several times until the Advanced Boot Menu appears. If the computer loops up into Windows, restart the computer and try again. If in safe mode the system works problem free, the issue is likely the result of a malfunctioning driver installation or software failure, removing start up programs from ‘msconfig’ / updating drivers will hopefully help resolve.

If safe mode is inaccessible, you might try booting with Windows operating system installation media, for a possible system restore this way restoring to your last system restore point rather than erasing all data.

How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell Computer

http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/en/04/KCS/KcsArticles/ArticleView?docid=52182

 

Thanks!

gazumped
1 Nickel

RE: Stuck in a boot loop

Hi Shawn

Thanks for your quick response - I was trying F8 but maybe not frantically enough - it just kept on booting into Windows.  After a few attempts I wondered whether F8 was disabled.  I'll give it another shot.

I'll let you know what happens!

Thanks again.

Gaz

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gazumped
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RE: Stuck in a boot loop

Hi again

OK after some experimenting I can confirm that F8 does not work on my Dell.  No matter how often or when I press it during startup I get a standard sign-in screen.  

Having done a little more research into the glories of Windows 8 I now know that the 'refresh your system' dialogue is hidden away behind the "Change PC Settings" and "General" links - and scroll to the bottom of that window!  

I used that, and now have a stable machine again.  I seem to have all my data though any software I had installed appears to have been trashed..  the explanation mentioned that any apps not from the Windows store would be removed **and listed** but there was no mention of other software being affected!

I do have one remaining problem - I think - I'm getting a warning message which says "Your system does not appear to have Rapid Start Technology enabled".  It actually started fine,  but there's still apparently an issue.

Any further thoughts on that?

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RE: Stuck in a boot loop

Gaz,

Please continue with

 

Maybe this article will help.

Windows 8 shutdown to bring up troubleshooting mode

Rick

#DellRockstar

What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it? 

Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks 

Welcome to Dell Community!

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RE: Stuck in a boot loop

Happy to hear your back in the OS Gazumped!

I do have one remaining problem - I think - I'm getting a warning message which says "Your system does not appear to have Rapid Start Technology enabled".  It actually started fine,  but there's still apparently an issue.

Sounds like IRST was disabled through the recovery, we have a guide for just this situation though that goes over the process of Enabling it again.

How to setup or reconfigure your computer for use with Intel® Rapid Start Technology with Smart Response Enabled

http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/en/19/KCS/KcsArticles/ArticleView?docid=601275

The Intel® Rapid Start Technology is used to quickly wake your computer from the power-saving Hibernate mode.

If your original factory solid-state drive (SSD) was replaced, a new SSD or mSATA/minicard SSD was installed, or the Rapid Start partition is erased, use these instructions to restore the functionality.

These instructions are intended for computers with Intel Smart Response.

Download the Intel Rapid Start Technology software If the Intel Rapid Start Technology software is available for your computer, you can download it from the Dell support website.

  1. Go to the Drivers & Downloads page and locate your computer model.
  2. Expand the Applications category.
  3. Locate the Rapid Start Technology software and click the Download button.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Select Single-file download and click Continue.
  6. Save the software to your Desktop.


Change the SATA Operation mode in the BIOS Setup Utility

  1. To enter the BIOS Setup Utility, restart your computer and immediately begin pressing F2.
  1. If the BIOS Setup Utility does not open, wait for the Windows logon prompt to appear. Then restart your computer and try again.
  • Use your Arrow keys to go to the System Configuration or Advanced Settings menu, and then to the SATA Operation menu.
  • Confirm the SATA Operation mode is set to AHCI or RAID.
  1. In some BIOS menus, this mode may be called Smart Response or Rapid Start mode.
  • Save your settings and exit the BIOS Setup Utility.


Open the Diskpart.exe command line utility

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the search box, type Diskpart and press Enter.
  3. Click diskpart.
  4. If a message appears asking if you want to allow the program to make changes to your computer, click Yes.
  5. The Diskpart.exe command line utility should appear.


Create the Hibernation partition on the SSD

  1. To open the Disk Management window, click Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Computer Management.
  2. The Disk Management window should show a new unallocated disk.
  3. At the DISKPART> prompt in the command line utility, type list disk and press Enter.
  4. In the list of disks, look for one with at least 8GB of free space.
  5. Type select disk #, where # is the disk you located in the previous step, and press Enter.
  6. Type detail disk and press Enter.
  7. The first line after the "detail disk" command is Volume_0000, which corresponds with the default name of the spare disk space created when Smart Response was previously enabled.
  8. To create an 8GB partition in the selected disk, type create partition primary size=8192 and press Enter.
  9. In the Disk Management window, you will now see the new 8GB partition with a blue bar across the top and a status of Raw/Healthy (Primary Partition).
  10. In the Command Prompt window, type set id=84 override and press Enter.
  11. The command line utility should report DiskPart successfully set the partition ID.
  12. In the Disk Management window, the new partition should now have a status of Healthy (Hibernation Partition).
  13. Close both windows.


Enable Intel Rapid Start in the BIOS Setup Utility

  1. To enter the BIOS Setup Utility, restart your computer and immediately begin pressing F2.
  1. If the BIOS Setup Utility does not open, wait for the Windows logon prompt to appear. Then restart your computer and try again.
  • Use your Arrow keys to go to the Performance or Advanced BIOS menu and press Enter.
  • Use your Arrow keys to go to the Intel Rapid Start Technology menu and press Enter.
  • If available, use your Arrow keys to go to the Rapid Start Timer or Critical Battery options.
  • Use the Plus (+) and Minus (-) keys to change the mode to Enabled.
  • Save your settings and exit the BIOS Setup Utility.
  • Restart your computer.

Install the Rapid Start Technology software

  1. Double-click the installation file you saved to your Desktop.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Once the software is installed, start the Rapid Start Technology Manager by clicking the icon in the Task Bar notifications area.
  4. Confirm the status of the Intel Rapid Start Technology is On.
  5. To ensure your computer will immediately begin using Intel Rapid Start Technology once it is put into Sleep mode, set Timer to On and the slider bar to zero (0).
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