Question about Dell Inspiron 1501 Notebook

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Crash. again. Hi, I purchased a Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop last year for school. This is my story, hopefully you'll have some expert advice for me... I basically regretted the purchase immediately because of how long it took for them to get it to me - I ended up in my first semester of college without a laptop for the first month because they kept delaying the shipping date at the last second. But that turned out to be the least of my problems. The laptop in general takes forever to start up and has issues maintaining a connection to the internet (not sure if that's the laptop or Windows or what...), except again, that's the least of my problems... About a month after I finally got it, I tried to turn it on one day, as usual, to find a blank screen with only a mouse that would move. After visiting IT at my school and then calling dell tech support, who made me run a bunch of tests and such, the ultimate conclusion was to restore it to how it was when I originally got it, causing me to lose all my files. Fortunately I'd only had it for a month so there wasn't much to lose, but I wasn't exactly happy about it failing so quickly... It worked basically fine the rest of the year (besides the usual slow-ness, probably due to Vista) and then magically, a week or so after I got home from college, I turned it on to get the message "Windows failed to start." Again I called Dell Tech support and we again tried every solution and diagnostic (all tests passed - the hard drive was supposedly fine) and we came to the conclusion I would have to restore it to "factory image' or whatever, once again. I am getting a little fed up with the fact that I have had this laptop for 9 months and in that time it has crashed beyond repair TWICE, causing me to lose ALL my files. So I have a few questions for you: 1.) I haven't yet restored it to factory image, because I want to know if it would be worth it to try to save some of my files. I backed up a few things on my flash drive but it's incredibly small so I couldn't fit everything I'd want - I guess nothing on my computer is VITAL to me, but I have all my school files from the last year on there, which would be useful to have for future reference. However, if it's going to be ridiculously expensive, not sure I want to bother - any idea what it would cost me? And would it require saving EVERY file in general or would I be able to / have to go in and pick certain ones to save (And would that effect the price at all)? 2.) I am really nervous because I'm studying abroad next semester and I really don't want to have to deal with my computer crashing AGAIN when I'm in another country and can't do much to fix it... Is there anything I can do? Should I tell Dell to take their failure of a laptop back and give me my money so I can find one that works better? Is it not the laptop but the Windows that's the problem so it wouldn't even matter? (I don't know a whole lot about how this stuff works...) If I do keep this laptop, what can I do to make sure this doesn't happen again?? PLEASE HELP - I NEED EXPERT ADVICE, STAT!

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  • JackAttack89 Jun 17, 2008

    Okay, thanks. Do you have any idea how expensive it would be for me to do either of those things to my computer in order to recover/save some of my data/files?

  • Anonymous May 08, 2009

    My computer gets stuck during start up repair mode.

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1. Let me answer the second part 1st. You can't get a refund from Dell on a system over a year old. Dell doesn't warrant your data and they expect you to make sure it is backed up.

2. You have a lot of options as far as trying to recover your data. The hard drive may or may not be failing (Passing a diagnostic does not insure that the hard drive is good, just no failure found.) You can boot to the Recovery environment, and copy files to a USB key there (If you don't know how, this can be done at a local computer shop). It is also possible to do a parallel installation of windows into a different folder with a different computer name, then you can access the files. After files are copied, then wipe the drive and manually install Vista and drivers.

3. Information for the future. Anything you save on you computer that is important, back up to a CD or DVD periodiclaly. Use both antivirus and antispyware to help prevent OS issue and do not disable USER ACCOUNT CONTROLs in Vista as it is a viable manner of protecting your system.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008

  • IQUIT Jun 17, 2008

    Most local computer shops would do it, ballpark estimate

    $100-$250

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