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Hello,
I'm sorry this is long, but please help. I also apologize if this is the wrong place, it's my first post!

My dell laptop has been crashing recently and giving me the bod. I'm not terribly tech savvy so I wrote down the error code, googled it (I don't have it here with me but from what I gathered it wasn't a typical one and the most likely causes listed were a virus or a faulty memory stick), and called dell. They had me run the diagnostic, which showed no hardware issues, so since I'd backed up my hard drive when the trouble first started, they recommended I reinstall. I was hesitant because I'd had some issues with the external hard drive, mainly the accompanying software seemed to miss a lot, and I wasn't sure that my simply clicking and dragging the folders had covered everything (it also wouldn't allow me to safely remove the device because it kept saying it was in use even though everything had finished copying).

Fast forward to last week and my computer gave me the error message and I again turned it off w/out shutting down. This time when I went to restart it, I got the system32 error, telling me to insert the xp disk and push r to repair. I didn't feel comfortable doing it alone, so I called dell to have the tech walk me through. She directed me to boot from the xp disk and choose the install option. I asked her if we were attempting to repair and not reinstall and she assured me we were. She told me to delete the 1st partition and even though I was really hesitant, I did. When she told me to delete the 2nd partition, which was clearly my c drive, I refused and asked again if we were repairing. She said the reinstall was how you repair it. I told her that that wasn't what I asked, and that I didn't appreciate her directing me this way without asking me if I had backed up my files, or warning me of data loss, as the last dell tech told me they had to do. She told me to turn it off, and that would cancel the process. I asked about the partition 1 files I deleted and she said that the cancellation meant nothing was deleted. When I turned it back on, I had a different system 32 error, it didn't offer me the repair option, and the diagnostic only runs part of the way through because it says the files are missing and I need the drivers cd. She told me we hadn't deleted anything and that the change was because my hard drive is failing. She then put me on hold and I was "disconnected". The next tech I got, had me run the diagnostic, and he said that even though it hadn't run all the way through, it had passed the tests on memory and my hard drive. He still thinks I should wipe it, and we're supposed to do it tonight. Do you guys think that I should? My computer is under warranty so they have to replace any failing hardware. I'm sorry again it's so long.

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Last Post by TheNNS
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In my experience, its always best to get a warantee agreement from an actual retail location. I only get warantees on laptops and PDAs, but when I bought my gateway lappy four years ago, I bought a 3 year warantee from bestbuy. I've got an entirely new machine out of them (screen hinges were showing undue wear), a harddrive upgrade (mine started losing data when it was 2.5 years old), and another ram stick because I was persistent. The point is, being in an actual brick and mortar store gives you a serious edge over the tech support, because they can't hang up on you, and you influence all the other customers in the store. Tech supports bottom line is to look like they're trying to fix things without actually changing anything. If I was in your position (and I have been many times), I'd whip out that reinstall CD of yours and start over. If you got the machine at a retail location like compusa or bestbuy, i would bring it in to them to see if they would exchange it for you. good luck.

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It sounds as thought he Dell Tech was trying a reinstall instead of a repair install and you're out of luck.
It would be nice to know what the error was.
I'd go ahead with the reinstall, which is pretty straightforward. You could do this without their help.
You may have some kind of USB trouble, or the external HD or memory stick may be causing this problem.

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Well I spoke with a different technician last night and we determined that the last one had me delete the diagnostic partition when she tried to make me do the reinstall. We made a disc with the diagnostic tools and they had me run the customized test on the hard drive. It came back with no errors, but it was late at night by then, so I have to call them again tonight. I could probably try it on my own, but I don't want to do anything to compromise them giving me replacement parts should I need them.

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Well I spoke with a different technician last night and we determined that the last one had me delete the diagnostic partition when she tried to make me do the reinstall. We made a disc with the diagnostic tools and they had me run the customized test on the hard drive. It came back with no errors, but it was late at night by then, so I have to call them again tonight. I could probably try it on my own, but I don't want to do anything to compromise them giving me replacement parts should I need them.

Well that's why I would go ahead and reinstall so that you can rule out software problems.

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Hello,
I (it also wouldn't allow me to safely remove the device because it kept saying it was in use even though everything had finished copying). .

when this happens i always go to start, and log off user and then log back in ,you will then be able to remove the usb device .

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dell diagnostics are very good. and if the tech says there is no problem, you can ask him to recheck the driver and firmware versions, but nothing else. system errors like the one you described are usually caused by external peripherals or software errors. so if the tech verified you had nothing attached to your laptop when the problem happened - you certainly have a software issue there, and he is right.

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Hey, thanks for the helpful responses! I think the reinstall is the way to go, I'm just delaying because I've not done it before. I haven't yet had a chance to plug my external drive into another computer to make sure all the data is all there. I remember occasionally unplugging my flash drive without properly logging off and not having a problem, so hopefully it's fine. It was definitely done syncing when I unplugged it, and I don't think it was spinning/busy. I will also be sure to tell the technician what the original bod error code was (I think I wrote down 3 0x00etc type numbers?). Just a couple of more questions (I'm not usually this neurotic, but I had a computer break three years ago, taking with it the photos from an Australian vacation). I have games that I downloaded, then used a code to unlock. They are saved to the external drive, but will I have to unlock them again? Also, I don't have my windows xp cd on hand, I borrowed a cd with multiple versions of window from someone who works in IT. Will I need my original cd and product code when I reinstall? Thanks again guys! I really do appreciate it!

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if you want to reinstall properly, and LEGALLY - you need to use the Dell CD.
as for the HDD - oyu can never be too careful with backups - check and recheck them before erasing your current data.
installed programs need to be reinstalled and re-unlocked, a fresh install will bring the laptop to the same state you got it from the shop at, and I don't think you had any games on it then :)

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If you have your other install discs for drivers and programs you can use the install disc from IT Dell will give you a new product code make sure you keep it in a safe place and make sure everything you want is backed up nothing gets save on a reinstall you will have reformatted your HD and will have to put all of your divers and programs back on it.

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You may be able to use the IT install disk by entering the Key Code on the sticker attached to your machine.
I have done this successfully in the past, and I don't see that there would be any legal problem.

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Thanks, I didn't mean to imply that I wanted to steal windows, it's just that the xp and boot disks are currently in a storage unit on the other side of the country. There's no way for me to get to them. The tech said I could download the drivers I need from the website, as I did with the diagnostic tools.

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your install disk may or may not fit the key on the sticker, anyhow, it is recommended to use the original cd of course.
and of course all drivers are available, there's no problem with that

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Hello,

This is Richard from Dell's Online Community Outreach group. I read your post about how you where in the process of reinstalling Windows, but you did not have the Dell installation cd.

I would strongly recommend that you obtain an actual cd from us. We are unable to supply you a cd-key for any Windows XP or Window Vista products. That is something we do not have nor does Microsoft allow. Also, using the product key located on the computer will not work, as that is a volume license that is directly connected with our original OEM installation cd. If somehow the install accepted the key it will not pass the Microsoft’s online verification and you would not be able to download updates.

Please, when you next speak with our technical support ask them to send you the same Windows installation cd that originally came with your computer. You can also PM me if you would like my assistance.

Regards,

Richard B
Dell Online Community Outreach

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I'm sure Richard is telling you truth as he knows it, but this seems to be a complex area. As I said, I've done this in the past, and had no problem at all with updates, activation, verification, etc.
As far as "supplying a key", Dell has already supplied you a key, and it should be attached to your machine.
I don't mean to be argumentative, but there's a lot of legalistic statements surrounding this area of activation that just don't hold up in reality.

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hey flashdance
*technician*

Dell techs aren't anything more than normal people who get paid to answer calls and read off sentences from a paper.

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Dell techs aren't anything more than normal people who get paid to answer calls and read off sentences from a paper.

read off sentences from a paper? and what makes you think you know that? have you been to a call centre, do you know every support technician out there?

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I know people who work in call centers, and I'm sorry, I shouldn't have posted that. Dell hires many people, and they don't require experience. They train you and teach you everything you need to know to help people. So for the most part, I would trust a Dell technician.

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the last guy I spoke to regarding my laptop was a student doing his masters in computer science. and in some areas he probably knew much more than me. in a call centre you have to follow certain procedure, and that is what makes people on the other side of the line think the tech doesn't know much. but if that procedure isn't followed, the result is usually dissatisfied customer and a tech getting all the heat for that.

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>the last guy I spoke to regarding my laptop was a student doing his masters in computer science.

Well, that's the exception, not the rule. You won't have Computer Science majors answering calls everywhere, they're mostly kids going to school, or out of high school that want to get a start in IT. But you're right, they have procedures they follow, which is why sometimes it sounds like they're reading sentences off a paper, and they do, but they also know what they're doing for the most part.

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that really depends on the call centre. the one I work in only accepts people with 5 years in IT at least, with experience enough to satisfy any company looking for an IT manager

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>which is why sometimes it sounds like they're reading sentences off a paper, and they do, .

you are both right of course ,in my local area there are many call centers ,we use to have many industry here that employed many ,like commercial Fishing , coal mines ,steel mill,and they are all closed ,and the ones that didn't go west work in the call centers selling ,and teck support ,Government gave money incentives to the call centers to hire these people ,because all the industry i mentioned were Government run!! I did work at one doing software and palm tech support for Franklin Covey , I had 6 days training ,2 days on the phone when i decided it wasn't for me ,and yes we read off paper ,and used the Covey on line tech support for all the info we used ,customer could have just gone there and got the same info i used .
long and short of it .most are average joe's who may or may not even used a computer before,we use to have HP tech support over 1000 people employed ,but it mover to India i think
We have Stream ,EDS ,2 large ones ,and about 6 or 7 small ones .

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It has become apparent to me that some corporations do not know what they are doing when it comes to tech support after I tried working at a call center for Earthlink. Now granted I did not have much experience with DSL support, but that was not a requirement for the job. I would have prefered to start at level 1 tech support, but I had to start at level 2 because all the level one for Earthlink is in India!
So they gave me 30 days of training and the instructor said it should have been 6 months, with very little hands-on training, some listening to support calls but no training with other employees at all, and during that 30 days only a couple of hours was given to the remote desktop software! I learned when I was thrown in to the job how important that should have been, as customers generally did not know much about their computer, and I could not see what they were doing! It was so overwhelming that I quit, yet I did fine on the entrance test, and made a very high score on the material they taught me, so I don't blame that on myself; I blame it on Earthlink.

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I think the best support I've gotten was from Apple. Every time I've called, I've talked to americans. They're helpful and they actually know what they're talking about.

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