OS files... gone?

Hey all,

I not too long ago bought a Dell Inspiron 14z with windows 7 home premium. The computer has been working wonderfully until this morning - I was still logged in from yesterday when I found that it was frozen after a few clicks; mouse stopped responding, so, unable to turn my computer off properly, I turned it off using the power button. I turn it on, and it follows the startup sequence normally, minus a few things.

The little colored balls that come together to form the windows logo did not appear, although "starting windows" did.
The login background appears, but the screen resolution looks... like 1024x768?
The cursor appears, then the working in background cursor, and then it reverts back to the normal cursor, and nothing else happens.

After all this, I decided to let it sit for a bit. I was cooking some food, come back 40 minutes later to the same screen.

Next I try opening safe mode using f8, both options... the part where it says loading files and the various files scroll up, no files scroll and the computer then moves into startup repair. Wait, you said... Yes, I started in safemode to have it automatically go to startup repair. The first option tried, safemode w/ networking, resulted in the 'searching for problems' screen. Left it there for 5 hours? Not sure. No problems found. Apparently they were journeying to the center of the earth for problems or something.

So, I need help. Basically:
Sudden malfunction.
Windows logon does not appear.
Safe modes lead to start up repair, while files appear not to load.
Start up repair reveals nothing(yet. It's still running)

Another important thing - My purchased computer does not seem to have come with restore disks... I think it was a partition, d:\, that was labled recovery, but I really don't know how to access that, considering I can't log on.

There should be an option at boot up, F2 or F12 or some other combonation to reset it factory condatition. I found this doing a quick google search.

Windows 7 PC Restore | Dell


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Shutting a system down as you did, can cause problems, depending on how it effects the system.

Bassfisher refers to going back to a factory install, Which may be necessary, but there are some other things you could try first.

For instance, running chkdsk may repair corruption on your hard drive. Running it from safe mode is best.

If that does not help, try running a System File Checker, either from Safe Mode, or from offline. Use the command SFC /scannow, and the following link might help with the offline option.

How to Run the System File Checker (Sfc.exe) Offline in Windows 7 and Vista - The Winhelponline Blog

Let us know, and keep in mind, using the system restore might be an option.

Of course, a virus is always a consideration.

Thanks very much for both your help- It would seem that waiting was all that was required. I guess the computer just needed time, and I was able to restore it, which fixed my problem.

Thanks again!

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