I am truly at my wits end here. I have a Dell XPS 8100 desktop and when I arrived back from vacation my computer was no longer booting up to windows 7. Only the Dell logo then "Starting Windows' without the colorful logo, I have tried the startup repair and no luck, repair would never complete or attempt to repair. I ran a diagnostics and error 2000-0142 came up, corrupted hard drive. I seen a post where this may be repairable but I have no disk to insert since when i bought this off the Dell refurbished warehouse and did not come with one. I am so heartbroken because all of my granddaughters photos were in there and the operating system Windows 7. I know I probably should have put the pics on a thumb drive but I kept putting it off. When the computer is on, it hums constantly. Is there a way to repair the hard drive or is it toast and if so, is there a way to get he operating system & pictures off of it? Thanks in advance.
The drive is failing at the hardware level and needs to be replaced. You will need a new desktop SATA drive to start off. You'll also need to contact Dell to purchase a set of recovery media for the system.
It may or may not be possible to recover the data on the drive -- if the data is irreplaceable, contact a data recovery service such as Gillware for assistance. If you can't afford the cost of that (figure on at least $600 to start), you can also try connecting the drive to the system once you've reloaded the OS on a new drive to see what you can still read - or connect the drive to another system that does boot.
Semi good news, it doesn't sound like the end of the world. The fact that the drive boots even a little is VERY GOOD!
1) DO NOT BOOT FROM THAT DRIVE OR TRY TO REPAIR THAT DRIVE!
2) READ #1 again! :-)
3) You have many options. You can boot Linux from a USB stick, and try to copy your pictures from your hard drive to the USB stick. Imho, that's a better option for people that are use to Linux running on an USB stick. But, that's something that an IT or Computer person might do - as an FYI.
4) Disconnect the two cables that go to the original disk. Keep it off for now! :-)
5) Get another drive. They are dirty cheap. (under $50 will get you ~500GB).
6) Get a Dell Windows 7 install disk. You should be able to download one from the dell web site. Or, get one from ebay. Make sure you get the same type of Windows 7 (home, premium, Pro). The older Windows 7 Dell disks install directly on *Dell* PCs without the need to enter a license number. That OS install disk will only install on Dell PCs.
7) Install Windows7 on your PC. You'll also need the drivers (eventually). There's at least one seller on ebay that sells a drivers disk for Dell. But, you can also download them for free. Iirc, there are 12+ driver files for my 8900. The PC will boot up fine without the drivers. And, you "should" be able to copy the files off (we'll get to that :-) without having to install any drivers. So, you may want to get your pictures off, take a deep breath, PROMISE to ALWAYS backup pictures on an USB drive :-), and then worry about getting your PC back to working shape.
8) Your hard disk has "errors" on it. In other words, "it has data corruption".
**** BUT, since you see something at bootup, the hard drive itself is "mostly good".
9) After you get the new drive running with Windows 7 on your PC. Turn off the PC, and hook up your original drive.
** If your PC trys to boot from your original drive, when you see the "Dell Logo", press F12. Then, boot from the new drive. You can tell by the drive size and the part number. Plus, you'll have only two options. Try one (remember which one it is), if that doesn't work, you know it's the other one. :-)
10) Look for your pictures in the appropriate folder on your original drive. Your original drive will now likely be drive "D:".
11) If you find all of the pictures, copy to 2 USB drives. You'll keep the 2nd as backup. :-)
12) If you don't see the pictures, or only some of then are there, you can likely get most/all of them back. You'll need a drive/file recovery tool.
One software tool that I've used is the free :-) image recovery tool from Zero Assumption Recovery.
"You do not need a paid version of ZAR to do photo recovery. This set of functions is provided free of charge."
Also, Recuva has a decent file recovery tool.
I think there are links that show how to do a Windows 7 install from disk. I know there's a link to get your Dell Windows 7 install disk and drivers. There are plenty of Youtube videos on how to put in a new disk drive. Plus, Dell has very nice maintenance manuals for their machines. Plus, Dell machines are often very easy to do work on, since Dell designs their machines so that Company IT people can _easily_ do repairs/upgrades as needed.
13) If you have any questions, take a picture and or video. You cam upload pictures here, or use imgur (they have nice apps for phones) and you can upload videos to youtube.
And, **back up all pictures to USB drives from now on! :-D :-D
Btw, Amazon has VERY cheap, and Very easy to use cloud storage. I've used it for the past 12+ years. With no videos, I'd be very surprised if it cost even $1/month for the storage. Iirc, it gets backed up in three different physical locations.
Fwiw, Amazon is now one the *leaders* in cloud storage for businesses. Before, you had IBM, EMC, Hitachi, etc as the big players. Now, they're all seeing Amazon steal away their big and small customers.
So, if Amazon is good enough to Fortune 100 companies to use to store their data, I think that Amazon is good enough for the likes of you and me. :-)
Me: Geek to the nth degree.