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Author: Subject: Problem with Old Dell PC - Help Please
John P

posted on 29/12/21 at 11:09 AM Reply With Quote
Problem with Old Dell PC - Help Please

Hi,

I have an old Dell Optiplex 755 desktop PC which has 8GB RAM, a Dual Core Processor, 250 GB HDD and is running Windows 10.

Although old this actually does everything I need but has very recently started to have issues both on start-up and also whilst turned on but not actually being used.

In either case I get a message that

“no bootable devices available. Press the F1 key to retry boot, F2 to run the Setup utility, Press F5 to run diagnostics”.

This message is sometimes on-screen when I return to the computer after a couple of hours even though it was running fine when I left it.

Diagnostics runs but doesn’t find any errors and since yesterday I’ve had no problems but then I haven’t turned it off or allowed it to re-start.

I’m worrying it is the start of a complete disk failure but before biting the bullet and buying another PC is there anything I should do?

John.

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gremlin1234

posted on 29/12/21 at 12:12 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John P
but before biting the bullet and buying another PC is there anything I should do?


first thing you should do is buy a cheep external drive, and copy all your data to it.

lots of places sell them - tesco, asda, amazon, rymans etc

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nick205

posted on 29/12/21 at 01:37 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gremlin1234
quote:
Originally posted by John P
but before biting the bullet and buying another PC is there anything I should do?


first thing you should do is buy a cheep external drive, and copy all your data to it.

lots of places sell them - tesco, asda, amazon, rymans etc



Ditto that, a 250GB external USB drive can be had for sub £50 these days. Get any data backed up and safe.

My sons PC recently had a similar issue, traced to a failed hard drive connector/pin. Not saying that's the cause of yours, but a perhaps place to strat looking. a cheap fix on my sons PC, just take car inside the PC case!

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obfripper

posted on 29/12/21 at 01:44 PM Reply With Quote
For very basic info, open a command prompt window and type or paste the following into the window:

wmic diskdrive get status

This gives basic status for each physical drive as ok or bad, caution and unknown.


If everything looks ok or for more detailed info, download and install/run crystal disc info, the following link is for a windows installer.

https://osdn.net/projects/crystaldiskinfo/downloads/76462/CrystalDiskInfo8_13_3.exe/

This will bring up all disc smart parameter data, and an overall disc health indication.

For help understanding the data this will help, the parameters marked as critical are most relevant to drive failure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.


If all looks ok with the above, there may be a wiring problem with the drive,or a hardware problem with the motherboard.

I have the a similar model dell, and am not aware of any known hardware faults, but the original hdd failed long ago, it's had an ssd for 10 years which made the pc significantly faster, it still performs pretty well now.


Dave

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Slimy38

posted on 29/12/21 at 10:24 PM Reply With Quote
My last 'hard drive failure' was a dodgy SATA cable, a swap to a different cable sorted the issue. I've had one onboard connector fail, but that PC was definitely end of life so I never fixed that one. Swapping the cable out would be my first test (after backing up my data!).

Binning the PC should be a last resort, even a replacement hard drive would be a good second option. And swapping it for an SSD will bring your PC alive.

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Mr Whippy

posted on 30/12/21 at 06:13 AM Reply With Quote
I use to get these kind of errors with my old laptop along with the odd funny noise. One day it just would not start up at all having corrupted itself. I did get my HD data back using a plug in adaptor on the HD but it was on its way out for a while.

Fortunately my nice wife went and bought me new little laptop for Christmas with Windows 10 on it and its just fab

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John P

posted on 7/1/22 at 05:58 PM Reply With Quote
Further to my last post I have now determined that the HDD has definiely failed so I have a replacement but will need to re-load Windows 10.

I don't have any media but it is a legal copy and if I had access to another Windows 10 machine it looks like it would be fairly easy to download the Windows 10 media creation tool but I only have an old Windows XP laptop.

I think I should still be able to download a Disk Image which can be used to create istallation media but now I have a curious issue with the laptop. When I try any search Internet explorer keeps reporting it can't display this web page so I can't get onto the Microsoft site but, some sites, such as Locostbuilders do connect OK if I type the web address into the browser bar. It doesn't connect if I use the search box.

I'm assuming this is some type of security issue or that windows explorer no longer works with XP.

Any suggestions as it seems like a catch 22 situation? I'd try downloading a different browser but as I can't get on line with Internet Explorer I don't mow how to do this.

Any advice,
John.

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obfripper

posted on 7/1/22 at 06:15 PM Reply With Quote
You should be able to download firefox or chrome via ie7 via a google search, then use the new browser to download the windows iso (as the media creation tool won't work with xp either), and then download rufus to install the iso to a bootable win10 usb stick - you'll need at least an 8gb stick, and use the non uefi bios boot option as the uefi boot won't work with your motherboard.

https://rufus.ie/en/

Dave

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John P

posted on 7/1/22 at 06:54 PM Reply With Quote
I feel silly asking but how would I do a google search bearing in mind the only web browser I have is Internet Explorer and that's what keeps reporting "Cannot Display The Webpage".
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obfripper

posted on 7/1/22 at 07:01 PM Reply With Quote
Sorry, it was working ok a couple months ago when i had do the same, try the following link to a firefox download.
It is because google must be forcing https only connection which is not working because none of the ie certificates are now valid.

http://www.mozilla.org/firefox/

Dave

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John P

posted on 8/1/22 at 05:03 PM Reply With Quote
Firstly I'd just like to thank everyone for trying to help.

I think the only way forward is to either pay someone to download the Media Creation tools on a Windows 10 machine and hope this resolves the issues or accept defeat and avoid throwing good money after bad.

Anyway, before doing either I did install another (Used) blank hard disk and as expected, if I power up the PC i get a message that no boot is found.

If I go into the BIOS the drive doesn't show up. Is this what you'd expect from a blank HDD or does it suggest there's actually another problem somewhere. I think the actual wording was SATA 1 Not Present.

If it's normal then I will go ahead and at least source the recovery files but if this sugests another issue then I think I'll probably buy another (probably used) PC.

John.

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obfripper

posted on 11/1/22 at 12:07 AM Reply With Quote
I fired up an old tablet with xp, and cannot see multiple sites that were working 6 months ago in ie6, only http sites work which are seeming to be phased out completely.

You should be able to download the following link, i've uploaded the last xp compatible version of firefox.

http://www.obf.eclipse.co.uk/firefoxdl/ffsetup.exe

Once installed you should be able to browse https sites without issue which will make the laptop useable for basic sites, and download the win10 iso for the desktop.

With your bios messages, does it show correct details with the original drive fitted?

The bios message suggests the spare drive is faulty, it should bring up the name/model of the drive in the drive id field of the sata drive info page.

Hopefully this is of use,

Dave

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40inches

posted on 11/1/22 at 10:42 AM Reply With Quote
I have XP Pro with SP3, Pre Activated on a DVD, if that would help?
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