Why won't Windows Error Recovery tools work?
This means that the hard drive is corrupted such that the Windows Recovery tools can't solve the problem. You may have lost the MBR or the partition table.
The PASS means that there are no bad sectors. However, it doesn't check for bad files. If the problem is in the MBR, you will need a Windows OS install or upgrade disk for your OS (x32 or x64) or a recovery disk. Some members of a Windows Users group may have spare copies of the install disks. Alternatively, a third-party partiton management recovery disk may work. I hope you have a recent backup though since restoring from the backup may be needed.
If the problem is with the MBR, press F12 repeatedly on powering up the computer. Select the CD/DVD drive from the list (This is the one-time boot option. If you miss the timing, power down and retry.) With a Windows CD/DVD, follow the on-screen prompts to access the disk and choose Repair your computer. (This option is in smaller text below the Install now button.) Select the command prompt option. From here: type in "bootrec.exe /ScanOs" (without the quotes) and press enter. If any Windows installs are found, you are good to continue. The command, bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd , may be sufficient. If it isn't, use the bootrec.exe /FixMbr and bootrec.exe /FixBoot commands after rebuilding the BCD file. (Press enter between each set of commands.) Try starting the computer and create a new backup soon if it works. For other partition tools, follow their directions for MBR repairs.
If bootrec.exe /ScanOs doesn't find any Windows installations, try accessing other drive letters until you find your Windows OS. (For example, type C: or D: and press enter. Then type dir and enter.) If you have access to another computer, pull the drive and use a hard drive dock or USB to hard drive adapter to check the disk out elsewhere. I recently had a drive that reported having a RAW format with most tools. In my case, I was able to use a specific recovery tool, TestDisk for Windows, to salvage a few files that were newer than the last backup. Sometimes, this tool will be able to recover the partition table. (Use this tool with extreme care, it may render any original hidden backup partition unusable.) There are other disk recovery tools out there; some may work. You may want to run additional disk health tests while at this second machine.
If the system is faulty but the drive is otherwise healthy, restore using your last backup or the Dell Backup and Restore Utility. The Utility may be in that list of options after you press F8. (Note: the Dell Backup and Restore will return the system to the factory settings. Since the system started with XP and the above header indicates the Vista OS, there may not be a recovery partition available. Similarly, if you upgraded the hard drive, the recovery partition might not be usable.) Follow the directions from your manual/on-screen. If your backups are on CD/DVD or you have a recovery disk, use the F12 process to access the backup.
I will admit that with the recent drive I just fixed, the restore from the back up left a problem. This system was a Win8.1 drive and ended up with a MFT mirror issue. I solved this with the chkdsk c: /offlinescanandfix command on the next restart. (This is a switch option only available with newer Windows systems and the NTFS file system. The usual command would be chkdsk c: /f /r /x .)
I hope this helps.
(The Windows 8.1 system above had a hard drive replacement 2 years ago and was built in late 2008.)
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