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Ger85
1 Copper

Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

Inspiron 1525 - Model # PP29L

Black screen with cursor appeared. Would not boot. Took HDD (Seagate 160GB) out and plugged into PC. Would not recognize. Wrapped HDD in towel and froze it for a few days. Thawed and plugged in again and at least got black screen again. Have footage of daughter learning to walk that is not worth hundreds of dollars to recover data, but worth some extra work and a few bucks. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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15 Replies
7 Thorium

Re: Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

Hi Ger85,

Try to test your hard drive using your Dell Drivers and Utilities disc:
1. Reboot your system. When you see the Dell logo, hit F12 to enter the boot menu.
2. Insert the Dell Drivers and Utilities disc in your CD/DVD drive.
3. Pick the option to boot from the CD/DVD drive.
4. You will be prompted to hit any key to continue booting from the CD/DVD drive.
5. You will be prompted to hit 1 to run the Dell diagnostics. You may see two such menus.
6. Select Test System.
7. Select Custom Test.
7. Use the arrow keys or mouse to select your hard drive.
9. Click Run Tests.
10. Write down any error messages.

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8 Xenon

Re: Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

Try attaching the drive to another system (mount it in an external case or connect it to a desktop).  If it's then recognized, you might give Easy Recovery (Ontrack) a try.  If it's not, it's beyond home recovery and you'll need a data recovery service.

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doc307
1 Copper

Re: Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

I have just experienced the same black screen with my XPS.  At 1 year I had a hard drive failure.  At 3 years 10 months another hard drive failure.

That was in April and now another.  I have no doubt Dell sent me a reman drive since my warranty was almost over so now I am on my own.

Best of luck to you.

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7 Thorium

Re: Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

Hi Doc307,

Hard drives fail. That's why we so strongly recommend keeping regular backups. Unfortunately, the lesson is usually learned too late.

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doc307
1 Copper

Re: Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

I understand hard drives fail.  Dell sent me a "new" drive in April that has already failed.  I did not lose any vital information.  The thing that iritates me is I pulled the drive out and noticed the "new" drive they sent me in April is almost 3 years old.  Between that and what I had to go through to get that drive my next one will not be a dell.

7 Thorium

Re: Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

This is standard practice for OEMs. There is no greater likelihood of a refurbished drive failing than a new drive. They're tested the same way.

Sort of like buying a car. Regardless of its reliability, they still put a spare tire in the trunk!

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doc307
1 Copper

Re: Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

Osprey, I'm just giving you a hard time here but your argument is losing validity since GM no longer includes

a spare tire in many of their vehicles now. 🙂

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Ger85
1 Copper

Re: Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

Thanks for the quick response. I do not have a Utilities Disc. Tried making a system recovery disc and tried making a "Dell Systems Service and Diagnostics Tools ISO" disc. In both cases upon trying to start the failed laptop from the CD ROM, I get:

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable

PXE-M0F:Exiting PXE ROM

No bootable devices--strike F1 to retry boot, F2...

Tried an old XP restore disc and it worked. Why is it not recognizing my DVDs? I closed the session and ejected properly. There is nothing else on these discs besides iso images. They are not protected, blocked, etc.

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8 Xenon

Re: Black screen on startup, crashed HDD?

The CD/DVD drive needs to be in the boot list (or use F12 to select it manually).  When you made the CD/DVDs - did you write just the ISO file to the disc?  That won't work - you must burn the image to the disc - NOT the ISO file itself.

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