I bought a friends Inspiron 5000. While he was removing his files, the machine froze-up. When I try to start, something starts to run, but turns off before anything else happens. Won't boot up. Help!

In order to get it from trying to start, I have to unplug and remove the battery.



That set of signs and symptoms is usually caused by a defective hard drive. The only way to test is to try another hard drive, but it is old enough to require a replacement. They are made by Hitachi, Toshiba, Samsung, Western Digital, and Seagate... perhaps others. The Seagate has the longest warranty. You can buy a refurbished (rebuilt by Seagate) hard drive from www.tigerdirect.com for about $40 or from www.Zipzoomfly.com and www.directron.com for about $85. Then use the seagate download to prepare the drive. Followed by the Dell recovery disc set to restore Windows.

You can sometimes, but not always, save the data by obtaining an adapter from www.geeks.com or other suppliers, then putting it in a desktop as a slave, dragging the data across to the desktop hard drive or a flash drive..