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W7 will only start in safe mode

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Windows 7 32bit on Dell 9200 4 GB RAM 2 x 500GB HDD ... with all OS updates.

On start up (normal) desktop paints in, the spinning wheel runs for ages, then eventually all seems fine ... but can't do anything, only action is cursor .. nothing clickable. (incl Ctl+alt+del) HDD LED on PC running permanently.


I can start in Safe MODE ...


System restore fails ... choosing older restore point also fails

W7 repair disk again selected restore ... Tried restore to next previous (2 days ago) all seems to go well, get login, desktop paints in ... then screen goes black ... all that is on it is cursor.


The only other points I can think of is that this morning (last successful boot up) it brought up a pop-up "Express files updated" with recommendation to run it ... as it gave no program, or manufacturer ... I chose not to run.


W7 repair disk also shows some disk sector errors but can’t fix them.

I then tried Dell diagnostics ... it diagnosed error 7


I run Western Digital data Lifeguard and SMART gives status as PASS

If I run Quick test .. it reports: Quick Test on Drive 1 did not complete

Status code = 07 (Failed read test element)

Failure Checkpoint=97


If I run Extended test: I get FAIL

Error code 08- Error was detected while repairing bad sectors.


Unless somebody knows how to fix this – I’m guessing I need a new HDD


My config is 2 HDD, split to 4 partitions .... on Drv 0 contains OS , my apps and data are on Drv 1

As I can start up in SAFE mode, is there any particular backup I can take that will allow me to put in a new HD, install OS, and then reinstall my backup ........... hopefully allow all my programmes on Drv1 to still work ?


I take a normal ‘user files backup’ but should I take something else to allow “recovery”


Would welcome any suggestion on steps.

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If the drive won't pass WD's DataLifeguard then it's failing/toast. If you can get into Safe Mode w/Networking you could download > http://diskdigger.org/download and use it to try and recover everything important off the failed drive, and save to a thumb drive or cd... Important > run the Deep Scan!


edit: forgot to mention that you could maybe use Acronis ( http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/ ) to create a backup or image of the drive.






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  • 2 months later...


My name is SUBHANKAR and I work for the Social Media and Community Team at Dell.


Regarding the issue please try the following steps once the system bootup in safe mode:

  • Click start>type MSCONFIG on start search>select GENERAL tab on top>select the first option which is Normal startup-load all device.
  • Click on the second tab BOOT> check whether safe mode boot is unchecked.
  • Restart the system
Regarding data back-up would request you to transfer all files & documents using an external hard drive or flash drive once the system boot up in safe mode.

Hope that would resolve the issue.



DELL-Subhankar S

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