Re: [SeattleRobotics] OT: need the help of a dell configuration expert
- Randy --
I've run across OS restore disks that will only install license free on the machine brand they're made for. If you try to install on another brand you have 30 days to enter a valid key code. Which you have to get from Microsoft with $$$.I was assuming, as Dave says, that you have your Windows product key. Flip your laptop over and see if the usual Microsoft sticker is on the bottom.
If I had the restore disks I would have totally aborted all attempts to recover and wiped the hard disk and started over. What Dell wants the $$$ for is out of warranty tech support. I've tried to order the restore disks but it's been 10 days and still no response other than to say the machine wasn't registered because their records show it still belongs to the store.Will they let you register now? Try it! Put in the sales date from the receipt, or (e.g.) your credit card bill from the time, or as close as you remember. Sometimes the store where it was purchased has a record of the sale date.
I need help from somebody who knows what the OEM configuration of the hard disk is. Not putting forth the hidden 39MB FAT partition COULD be the boot partition theory. I need to know, IS this the normal configuration? I have many machines that only have 1 partition and they boot just fine but none of them are a name brand fresh from the manufacturer unit.If you'd prefer, I won't reply further on this thread.
Apparently there may be different partition layouts, even on a vanilla Inspiron 1545. I see posters saying they had factory installed Vista with just 2.
I'm getting Inspiron 1545-specific info via web search -- it's probably out there, just not showing up in the first few results pages with the specific queries I'm trying, e.g. "dell inspiron 1545 disk partitions".
I would hate to loose everything, not just the data but the programs as well. I can't afford to shell out for a New OS and Linux is not an option. New machines like this come with a boatload of preinstalled software which wont come with new OS.
I didn't suggest installing Linux. I suggested booting from a live disk, and mounting your laptop's partitions (e.g. to recover data, copy the partitions, attempt repair...)
You haven't lost your data, nor even the preinstalled software, yet. And you're not alone -- this has happened before and there is a lot of info on recovery. At least your laptop did not Halt and Catch Fire (not actual flames, but a distinct burning smell...), as mine did about a month ago.
FWIW, here are the Inspiron 1545 manuals:
And check out the last post in this thread, with a link to info on using Microsoft ImageX: