Question about Dell Inspiron 1501 Notebook

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My niece's Inspiron 1501 doesn't boot at all. The Dell splash screen comes up and goes to what I assume is the BIOS Screen that then displays the following error codes: PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable PXE-M0F: Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM. Operating System not found. When I go to the Setup screen after hitting an F key during the splash display, I can see from within the BIOS settings that the machine seems to be detecting all of its hardware EXCEPT the hard drive. I am assuming that this is a sign that her hard drive crashed big time and that the BIOS can't detect it, therefore, no booting. Sound logical?

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It is also possible that the cable to connect the hard drive to the computer has gone bad or disconnected itself. This can sometimes happen in laptops. Try checking your hard drive using the system diagnostics in the BIOS settings, or by creating a Drive Fitness Test CD on another machine (http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm). If neither of these detects your hard drive, it's very likely a connection issue. If you feel comfortable doing so, and it doesn't void your warranty, you can unscrew the cover on the bottom of the laptop and check the connection yourself. Make sure you're grounded, so you don't ruin anything with static discharge. If you don't have a screwdriver that small you can usually get one of those kits at the dollar store. They're the right size, but be careful because they will sometimes strip the screws. Good luck!

Posted on May 16, 2009

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