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How to Diagnose Hardware Failure on Dell Computers

1. Turn off the Computer
2. When you turn the computer on, repeatedly press F12.
3. When a boot menu comes up, select boot to Utility Partition.
3. Press Tab and than select Test System and hit enter.
4. There is than two options:
Express Test - 15-20 Minute Basic Test
Extended Test - Hour long Thorough Test
5. This is built in to all dell machines and it will save you from having to pay a lot of money to have your computer "professionally" diagnosed by computer shops.

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I want to turn a memory stick into hard drive. How can i do that?

you will need usb data drive at least 4 - 8 gb

Download the GParted Live utility and the HP USB Format Tool via the links in Resources.


Insert your USB stick into the computer. Run HP USB Format Tool. Select your USB stick and then choose the FAT or FAT32 format options. Click "Start."

Extract the files from the GParted Live zip file. Select the USB stick as the destination.

Open a file browser and navigate to the USB stick. Select "utils" > "win32" > "makeboot.bat." Double click on "makeboot.bat." Enter "Y" when prompted.

Power off your computer leaving the USB stick inserted.

Connect your portable hard drive to another USB port.

Power on the computer and quickly press "F8" through "F12" to access your boot menu.

Check your computer or motherboard manual for the exact keystroke.

Select the USB stick as your boot source and press "Enter." Allow the Gparted GUI to start.

Select the external portable hard disk drive. Click "Partition" on the menu bar.

Hover over "Format to" and select "NTSF."

If you are unable to create or format the partition, select delete partition.

This will erase all data on the external hard drive. Confirm partition deletion. Select the external drive again. Click "Partition" and hover over "Format to" then select "NTSF."

Select the external hard disk drive again. Click "Partition" on the menu bar and then "Manage Flags." Check the box next to "Boot." Save and apply changes to the drive.

Power off your computer and remove the USB stick.

Install the OS

Insert or plug your OS installer, usually a DVD, CD or USB thumb drive, into the computer. Power on the computer and access the boot manager again.

Select the source containing your OS installer and press "Enter."

Enter your personalization and registration information if required.

When prompted, specify the portable hard drive as the install directory.

Begin the installation normally.

Restart the computer when prompted and access the boot menu again. Select the external hard drive as your boot source and press "Enter" to ensure the installation succeeded.

Use this process to boot from your portable drive on any computer.

hope this helps

Oct 02, 2012 | Sony Vaio VGNBX196SP

1 Answer

Boot manager compressed on Toshiba A205-S5851?????

Find a copy of the Windows install CD/DVD for your version of Windows (XP, Vista, Win7). If you can get a version that matches your SP, it will be better. Try to find a Windows Users Group member or someone who builds/repairs computers. You might be able to use third-party hard drive partition utility to repair the boot manager. (This is less certain - the directions will depend on the utility.) You might be able get the installer on a USB flash drive and boot to that.

To select the boot order, try pressing Esc or F12 (or watch the screen for a prompt) repeatedly after turning on the computer.

If you have the CD, boot to the optical drive with the Windows disc in the drive. (The go to the Recovery Console and choose the Command Prompt. Type C: followed by pressing Enter (to move to the C drive)
Next type in bootrec /FixMbr and press Enter (repeat this key after each command)
then type in bootrec /fixboot
then type in bootrec /rebuildbcd
then type in exit
restart your computer.

If the fixboot command doesn't work, type in attrib bootmgr -s -r -h followed by pressing Enter. Then type in del bootmgr . Then retry the above commands from the bootrec /fixboot on. (This is needed if Windows doesn't think you own the bootmgr file.)

For a partition management utility, again boot from the optical disk. Then look for a repair boot option. (I know where the command is for the Paragon Utility that I use; other programs may be different.)

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

Aug 26, 2012 | Toshiba Satellite A205-S5851 Notebook

2 Answers

missing boot manager

Unfortunately, this often means a disk problem which has corrupted a key windows file. Dell has a diagnostic partition which will allow you to test your disk.
  1. Ensure that the computer is connected to an electrical outlet that is known to be working properly.

  2. Turn on (or restart) your computer.

  3. When the DELL™ logo appears, press immediately. Select Boot to Utility Partition from the boot menu and press .

note.gif NOTE: If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft® Windows® desktop; then, shut down your computer and try again. note.gif NOTE: If you see a message stating that no diagnostics utility partition has been found, run the Dell Diagnostics from the Drivers and Utilities media.
  1. Press any key to start the Dell Diagnostics from the diagnostics utility partition on your hard drive.
If this answers your question, I'd appreciate 4 thumbs. I do this for fun and do not get paid.

Sep 17, 2010 | Dell Inspiron 530s Desktop Computer

1 Answer

My Friend just received a cleaned T21 from her workplace. When I try to boot it up I get the following: Initializing MBA. Pres Ctrl+Alt+B to Configure... Managed PC Boot Agent (MBA) V 4.12 UNDI Initialize Failed, No media detected Operating System not found I have a copy of XP that I want to install but can not seem to get the computer to recognize the CD. I have tested the CD on other computers and it is OK. My friend did not get any software (restore or Boot) with the computer. It does not have a floppy drive. What do I need to do to get it to read the CD? I am a bit knowledgeable around computers. Thanks in advance

try clicking on this link and choosing Master Boot Record Repair.
Also, have you tried
Step 1. Make the DVD drive the first startup device in the startup sequence using
the following procedures:
a. Shut down the operating system and turn off your computer.
b. Press and hold the F1 key, and then turn on the computer. When the logo
screen is displayed or if you hear repeating beeps, release the F1 key. The
Setup Utility program opens.
If the Setup Utility program does not open, shut down the
computer, wait approximately five seconds, turn on the computer, and
then immediately press and release the F1 key repeatedly until the Setup
Utility program opens.
c. Use the left and right arrow keys to select Startup from the main menu.
From the Startup menu, select Startup Sequence and then press Enter.
d. From the Startup Sequence [Primary] menu, do one of the following to
select the DVD device that you want to use as the first boot device.
Note: When selecting your DVD device as the first boot device, be aware
that internal DVD drives are listed as IDE CD. If you will be using a
supported external DVD drive as the first boot device, select USB
CDROM in the steps below for your choice of DVD device.
v If your choice of DVD device is already listed as the first boot device,
continue with step 2.
v If your choice of DVD device is listed in the startup sequence as any
device other than the first device, select it and press the Plus (+) key
repeatedly until it is displayed as the first boot device. Continue with
step 2.
v If your choice of DVD device is listed as an excluded device, select it
and press the X key one time to add it to the startup sequence. Then,
select your choice of DVD device from the startup sequence and press
the Plus (+) key repeatedly until it is displayed as the first boot device.
Continue with step 2.
e. Press F10 to save and exit the Setup Utility. When the save and exit
message displays, select Yes and then press Enter.

Jul 18, 2010 | Lenovo ThinkPad T21 2647 Notebook

1 Answer

when powered on led comes on and then off. monitor is now black and wont come on.

Hi. Try to run the diagnostics by turning the computer on, press F12 on Dell logo, select boot to utility partition and press enter.

If it doesn't have utility partition, then try to remove the video card and put it back in... then turn the computer back on.

If it still doesn't stay on, then you might have to replace your motherboard or buy a new desktop CPU.

Nothing is wrong with your monitor though.


Jun 06, 2010 | Dell P991 19" CRT Monitor

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