help with laptop (windows)

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  • help with laptop (windows)
  • Ive just bought a dell n5040. It wont update windows and just keeps saying unable to update and keeps just shutting down and restarting. Ive gone into ms services and turned on auto updates etc to still no avail.

    Is it worth just reinstalling windows 7 and start afresh would this solve the issue?


    2nd hand? If you put nothing on it, got no data/software on it, flatten it and start again rather try to ‘fix it’.
    Brand new? That’s kinda worrying, but still flatten and re-install, as Dell will want this done before any ‘support’ intervention

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Second hand presumably? Sounds virus-ridden.

    I’d certainly be flattening a used laptop. God knows what’s on there, could be a keylogger sending your bank details back to its previous owner for all you know. Simplest way would be to do a factory restore, F8 on the boot screen on the Inspirons IIRC.

    Do I need the windows disc that come with laptop to do reboot? Ive bought it off the old boy I work with n he bought it new last year and just upgraded. Think hes had a play and ballsed it tbh.

    Thing that surprised me is on the performance screen it says ram not available and memory not available.

    But on my computer it says its got a 1TB hdd??? I thought these only come with 500gb? I know hes not opend it as he can hardly work his work ipad or phone.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    It should have a recovery partition. Press F8 right after you switch on when it says “DELL” in big letters, you should be able to go to something like “Advanced boot options.” From there there’s a “repair” option which will take you into a menu where you can reload everything.


    Try this you shouldn’t need (probably didn’t get) any disc’s

    Doh! Too slow.

    Il try this whe I get back to digs tonight and let yous know. Thanks very much guys!!!

    It says on the image recovery that windows cannot find a system image. Then just takes me back to the system recovery options menu?

    You need a fresh install disk then. Good news since recovery images are only as good as when they were made.

    I’ll presume it’s Windows 7 given it’s age which is also good news since Win7 install disks are universal with a small file edit. I happen to have an upgrade version that I could rip, edit and burn a new disk for you that will work with the licence key if you like. I’m going to be busy till Wednesday (working over the weekend and have an exam on Tuesday) so feel free to ask around anyone else and see if they will do the same but the offers open.

    EDIT screw that, here you go!

    Read this:

    Then go here:

    You’ll need a 4GB+ USB (I needed an 8GB drive as my “4” didn’t have room for a 3.8GB ISO) or a blank DVD. If you plan on installing it via USB the official ISO tool is crap and never worked for me but I can let you know tomorrow which I used.

    If it’s another version of Windows let me know, I have geniune Pro ISO’s for 8 and 8.1 as well and I imagine it would work much the same for them (but not checked)

    So basically I download the version I need onto a usb stick then go back to service menu and select the usb drive to upload feom to restart the laptop?

    (win 7 64bit home premium) im sure ive sin a notice pop up that said win 7 sp1 already installed. But how can I find the exact one I need to download?

    How do you know all this lol : p

    Premier Icon Cougar

    No, boot off the USB stick. F12 for the boot menu instead of F8.

    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (media refresh) official image.

    Tool to transfer the image to USB.

    Cougar, we have a 404 repeat 404!

    (sorry, just worked for my tired brain)

    Phil, I know this from buggering about with computers a lot, no idea how I knew this particular info but it was a recent thing…

    You basically need to download , mnake sure the file described in the first link I sent is appropriately edited then burn the ISO to a disk or USB stick with an appropriate program. If you’re not confident with this step, as I said, I can burn you a disk but you’ll need to wait.

    You then open the BIOS when you start your laptop (DEL/F2/F1 will usually do it), go to disk management and then make sure that the optical drive or removable media (depending on which you are using) are a higher priority than the HDD. Save and exit and you’ll be good to go.

    The disk/USB should then boot up and you’ll be given the option to install the version you need. You’ll have to input the serial number and once it’s all installed go to the Dell site and download teh loatest software and drivers if you feel the need (though to be honest I doubt you’ll need any of that crap as 7 is clever enough to install appropriate drivers anyway).

    Im lost : / I read one of the links last night and followed that.

    1 I downloaded the eicfg remover
    2 downloaded the windows copy
    3 opened the eicfc remover and put the windows download into the box and it said completed.
    4 I formatted my usb just by right clicking and formatting.
    5 ive just copy and pasted the windows copy onto the stick.

    Is that all I need to do now? And then go into the bios and load the win copy from there? Ive sin steps to create stuff on the usb an loads of other steps and im getting lost : /.

    Could you email me a dummys step by step how to do it as im not the best at this stuff lol. I really appriciate the help an offers!!!

    Premier Icon Cougar

    1 I downloaded the eicfg remover

    You don’t need to do that if you download the correct version (I’ve fixed my link now, sorry).

    ive just copy and pasted the windows copy onto the stick.

    No, it doesn’t work like that. You need to use a tool to ‘create’ the image – see the ‘transfer’ link above.

    You then open the BIOS

    You don’t need to do that either. Pressing F12 will let you change it “this boot only”, whereas changing it in BIOS will result in a permanent change.

    My head is killing me now lol.

    Right I download the new win 7 link you posted for me cougar onto my laptop or onto the usb?

    Then run the win usb tool and select the new windows file for it to work with as I tried this last night and it said it was a invalid iso or something?.

    Anyway use the tool then do what? Transfer the new file the usb tool has created to my usb stick?

    Then press f12 in when the dell logo appears, then whats after that?

    Sorry as im useless when it comes to this stuff : /

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Download the ISO and the tool to your PC. (The ISO you already have should work; the only difference is that the one I posted is newer and has a bugfix in it.)

    Insert the USB key.

    Run the tool, it’ll ask where the ISO is and where the USB key is. Let it do its thing, it’ll build a bootable USB key using the information in the ISO. If it tells you it’s not a valid image then yell, there’s a fix for that.

    Put the key into the offending laptop.

    Switch on, press F12 on the boot key. It should take you into a “one-time boot menu.” Choose the USB drive.

    It should then boot into the Windows installer. Follow the instructions on screen. You want to do a “Custom” install rather than “Install Now” or it’ll try to upgrade the existing install, which we don’t want. When given the option you want to wipe the hard disk and start again. Ask if you’re not sure.

    Once installed there will be further work, but let’s get to that point before we go any further.

    going to start now. me pal had a quick look today at brew time and he said the virus has removed the image totally so hopefully this should work.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    That would seem… unusual.

    Fingers crossed.

    its running now buddy copying to pen drive

    Right up to the bit where it says install now im upto where do you want to install windows

    Diso partition 1 dell utility
    Disc0 partition 2 recovery
    Disc0 partition 3 os

    Refresh or load driver??

    Done the options tab and formatted all the drives and loaded windows to the hdd as its the only place big enough for install anyway. Its uploading now.

    All done. However screen resolution and brightness have got a lot worse (ive changed resolution to max in settings) and theres no bluetooth drivers or ethernet or wireless?

    Oh its also showing my graphics cards now a score of 1 when they were 4.2 earlier on the pc score?

    Premier Icon molgrips

    It hasn’t done the performance test yet.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Good work.

    Go to Dell’s website, punch in your service tag, start downloading drivers. First priority is chipset drivers.

    wow thanks so much for your help all installed working perfectly. base score of 5.9 not too shabby. avast installed and all windows defender up and running fast and sweet. thanks again boys for all the help!!!!!

    Premier Icon Cougar

    avast installed and all windows defender up and running

    You want one or the other of those, not both. Defender should disable itself if it sees another AV.

    Aye, glad you’re sorted

    Cougar, never use one time boot so wasn’t aware, never seen the point in not having your optical or USB as first boot.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Because eventually you’ll leave a key plugged in by accident, get a “no boot device available” or “missing operating system” error next time you switch on, and need to change your underwear.

    Never been an issue, I wouldn’t have thought it would do that unless there’s a boot loader on the key/disc anyway.

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