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Reinstalling Windows Malaise

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I tried to reinstall Windows today. I don't think it really worked. A lot of the old stuff that was in my computer before is still there. I think I'm in this way over my head. I don't know where to begin rebuilding my computer.


In the disks that came with my Dell Inspiron 1525, there is one called "Application". The instructions say to let that run first, before reinstalling windows.


Problem is - I got this error message right off the bat: Timeout: Drive not ready, DELLPART - Error preparing hard disk partitioning.


So I just did the Windows Re-install (Vista - it came with the computer), and all is well, but I can't connect to the internet - not by wireless, and not even by ethernet cable directly into the router.


I'm beginning to feel like an idiot for trying to fix my own computer - I don't know what I'm doing.

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I tried the "Applications Disk" again. It gives me a choice about how much space to allot to the C and D partitions. I tried alloting 80G to the C, and I got a different error: "Timeout on ATA controller diagnostics"


It then gives me a choice about "continuing with the disk partitioning" - which just starts me all over - or quitting. If I quit, I get a command line. Is there any code I should enter?

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Same problem with the second article. My Advanced Boot Options doesn't list "Repair Your Computer" as an option. Here's what I have to choose from:


Safe Mode

Safe Mode with Networking

Safe Mode with Command Prompt


Enable Boot Logging

Enable low-resolution video

Last Known Good Configuration (advanced)

Directory Services Restore Mode

Debugging Mode

Disable Auto Restart on Sys Failure

Disable Driver Signature Enforcement


Start Windows Normally


Under "Directory Services Restore Mode" is a description: "Start Windows in Directory Services Repair Mode (for Windows domain controllers only).


So - I can't follow the instructions, as I have no "Repair Your Computer" option

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What do these re-install error messages mean:
"DellPart detected the following condition: Timeout on ATA controller diagnostics [DellPart] Total elapsed time is 00:00:08.8 [DOIT.BAT] DELLPART - Error preparing hard disk partitioning"
"DellPart detected the following condition: Source: BIOS Int 13h function 43h Code: 80h Meaning: Timeout (drive not ready) [DellPart] Total elapsed time is 00:00:09.3 [DOIT.BAT] DELLPART - Error preparing hard disk partitioning"

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If I google "Timeout on ATA controller diagnostics", only two entries come up - and both were just posted by me. This problem doesn't exist on the internet anywhere. My computer is broken. I need a new computer. (insert explicit, explicit, explicit words here).


OK. Hmmm. Really stinks. (more explicit words).


I guess I'll be opening a new topic about getting a new computer. Boy oh boy. Good thing Black Friday is coming! Ugh. So bummed out here.

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  • Root Admin

It would probably mean one of a few things.


1. Bad connection on the cable that goes from the hard drive to the motherboard

2. Disk Controller is malfunctioning (previous tests don't indicate that it an issue)

3. Bad hard drive.   Did the Dell Diagnostics pass all the disk tests ?

4. Possible some mbr infection that has gone undetected


Is this a Laptop or a Desktop ?

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Okay, please try to follow the instructions from these links.  Watch and read them first before continuing. 

Do NOT you use the reinstall method provided by Dell.  Just boot from the Windows DVD and choose Custom and delete your main partition.

Then choose the disk to install Windows on as shown.


How to Install Windows Vista

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I'm watching and reading these links. I want to list the things that I've found are/have been different for my specific computer. These differences might now matter, but I'm just going to catalog them anyhow. Hopefully it won't be too tedious.


1) When I did my Vista re-install - it seems that it should have connected to the internet automatically. Somehow - it seems that my internet capabilities are totally disabled. I'll follow these instructions and see if anything changes.


2) Both sets of instructions ask the user to pre-set the computer to boot to CD. My computer has not been able to do this. The only way I've been able to boot with CD has been to press F12 just after starting/restarting. Therefore, I'm going to follow the directions, but rather than preset the computer to start with bootable CD, I'm going to Start, and then press F12, and select "boot with CD/DVD".


Let me know if you think that makes any difference. Thank you!

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