Question about Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

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Dell Inspiron Laptop Window XP Not starting up

I have a problem with WINDOWS on my DELL INSPIRON 510M laptop. It is not starting up. It shows the Windows starting logo and then the following error message:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

You can attempt to repair this file by starting windows setup using the original setup CD rom, Select ‘r’ at the first screen to start repair

The BIGGEST PROBLEM is that I do NOT have a windows CD. It is a laptop from DELL, on which windows come pre-installed. So they have not supplied me with the windows setup CD.

On startup, I opted for BOOTMENU. There were the following options:
Internal HDD

Upon selecting Diagnostics, it ran for 10-15 minutes, and then displayed the following error:

ERROR CODE: 1000-0142
MSG: UNIT 4: drive self test fail ATEY BY = 79

Followed by this error:
MSG: IDE DEVICE FAILED. Media or no media is present in optical drive. Test required media with digital data (Resource CD, Installation CD)

Can anyone please help me how to get my windows working?

  1. Since it came pre-installed, I don’t have the windows CD
  2. There is only 1 partition, C:\, and all my data is on C:\, which I would like to retrieve back.

Thanks a lot,

Posted by on

  • 2 more comments 
  • Shobhit Dec 14, 2007

    Thanks a lot bsrjth, for your detailed response.

    I will attempt to get into the safe mode as advised by you and will let you know the results.

    The problem with DELL is that they do not give any option of installing windows, as it comes pre-installed when buying the laptop. Hence, I dont have the choice of partition and all.
    Secondly, dell does not have any on-road service can only contact them for collect and return service (which has expired for my laptop)
    Thirdly, I bought this laptop from Netherlands, Holland, and now I am in US. This is the trouble of not getting any local support, because my product is not recognized in US.

    Anyways, thanks a lot for your advice..I will try it and see if that works.


  • Shobhit Dec 17, 2007

    I finally managed to fix this problem.

    Took a Windows XP CD from a friend.
    Using that, I booted my laptop
    On the startup screen, I selected the option to REPAIR the windows (r)

    However, even after the repair, the windows did not work properly, so my friend concluded that hard disk has failed miserably, and I need to buy one.

    However, I them went to the command prompt in the repair session
    I ran check disk on system partition (command - chkdsk c:)
    It showed some errors
    Then, I ran check disk with repair options
    (command (chkdsk /p /r)

    It took 15-20 minutes, and then the system was fixed. All my data was safe.

    Thanks a lot to all all your feedback and answers

  • Anonymous Jul 23, 2008

    Same problem as Shobhit78 has on his laptop. I am getting the very same error message; Code 1000-0142. The laptop hangs after i feed in the user password, not allowing Windows XP to boot. However i am able to log-in in safe mode.

    I shall tray and do what Shobhit did, and report results. Maybe if another simpler solution is known, i would be grateful to be enlightened.


  • pmzscott Feb 12, 2009

    My Dell Inspiron starts up witht he BIOS window and then proceeds to the Pre-boot System Assessment Build 3009 and reports the 1000-0142 code.

    I am investigating and will try the solution suggested.




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Have U tried safe mode and than a restore?

Posted on Dec 15, 2007

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OK I have the same problem :

ERROR CODE: 1000-0142
MSG: UNIT 4: drive self test fail ATEY BY = 79
and I cannot see the solution proposed by "bsrjth" can u repeat it again pls

Posted on Oct 29, 2008

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First of all i ned to say dont use a single partition .system partition must be left alone as no data must be copied in that drive . becoz frequent access of system drive cause eroor on system fies of windows . . windows can be installed from all dell show rooms and service centers . to recover ur data . u need to enetr to safe mode by pressing F8 key soon after bios screen . there u can copy all ur data into a optical drive or falsh drive . when giving the computer to service . told them to partiton to hard disk into two or three and then install it . if safe mode fails then told them to back up datra in c by running any live version of linux or windows . regards any doubt caontact me

Posted on Dec 14, 2007

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