I have tried to reinstall vista on a dell dimension c521, but found that the system is not recognizing the hard disk at all. It says in the ram boot menu that the only drive present is the cd rom. HELP ME PLEASE!!!
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Re: disk drive not found
It sounds like the hard drive went bad. Can you see the hard drive in the bios at all? When you try and boot the computer does it say drive not found? Try booting from the vista cd and see if you can start a new installation. If you can do the intallation the drive is ok. If not the hard drive is bad.
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For Dell system there is always a self diagnostic with it. It will either tell you to press a key during boot time before Windows or a cd that you got with the computer or that you can download at DELL website.
This would be the best way to go since it will test the hardware and tell you what is wrong right away.
Missing files usually are coming from bad memory or problems to read the CD.
But do the test and you will be set.
Normally the self test menu comes up with one of the F keys like F10 or F12.
Telephone Dell, but first get the unique Dell asset-tag number from the decal on the back of the desktop. With that number, Dell will ship you a set of "System Restore" CD/DVD disks, via overnight courier.
Use those disks to reinstall Windows.
There's only two possiblities either your driver has been corrupted or the drive itself has failed. Try reinstalling the driver, first find or download the driver for your CD drive, when windows tell you it already has the best driver hit back and tell it to install the driver at the location where your driver is at. If this doesn't fix the problem your best fix is to buy a new CD drive, given the current cost of DVD drives this might be a good time to upgrade.
You need the C521 recovery disk, from Dell. Set the BIOS to boot from CD and start the system.
If it gives you the option of "Complete Reinstall" or "Repair", choose Complete Reinstall.
If it does not, or if it does not work - i.e., it always reads the disk and tries to maintain as much data as it can, you need to first wipe out the hard drive; there are many "Disk Wipe" utilities out there. I'd suggest using a boot disk such as DBAN (www.dban.org).
You could just reformat your hard drive. (This will erase all information on the hard drive.)
Get a Vista/XP Installtion disk and boot up computer, press F8 right after the BIOS screen and click CD drive and follow the steps.