I have a mega mega problem with my laptop - it is a Dell Inspiron 1501 and it is really frying up. I had it on for a lengthy duration one day and next minute I was presented with a black screen as well as the hard drive really burning up. Didn't seem too good but it gets worse - I cannot get it past the BIOS at all. Vista is the operating system I am using.
When I first turn it on, I am presented with the message SMART Failure Predicted on Hard Disk 4 etc. press F1 to continue. After this, I can select from launching startup repair (which never loads; it results in an UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME screen) or start Windows normally. Selecting the latter, I am presented with the Windows loading screen which takes quite a while, although it then displays "ERROR 0200: Failure Fixed Disk 0. Press F1 to resume - results in screen displaying Operating System not found - F2 to setup - it actually displays the hard drive's name after expanding which is cool since I guess I can conclude it is not completely gone - F3 to reboot - results in a cycle of the aforementioned stuff happening again. Enabling Safe Mode doesn't even work, loading my Vista installation disc and selecting repair my computer does not work likewise with system restore or anything. One of my friends said I should burn the ISO image of Linux, boot from the CD drive and transfer whatever files I need from my Vista operating system to that but I've tried that and cant even access the files on my hard drive, I am just presented with the Linux OS I guess because it is running from a CD. Don't know if I misinterpreted what he said though it sounds like an ingenious method. He also stated that the hard disk should be fine if it can run the BIOS.
I even ran the diagnostics testing that came with my laptop and it literally shuts down during it. If I manually configure the testing to check out Hard Driver errors, it displays SMART errors and then shuts down.
There is one saving grace, if you can even call it that, a couple of days ago I was able to be presented with the Vista log-in screen (my custom display picture (Sonic yay!) and password input box) although it only loaded up the mouse pointer and a pink background. That was such a great moment because I thought everything was going to be cool! :) Its like I really just want my files from my laptop and figure out what to do with it after because this is not the first time something like this has happened, although the first time it did, I was able to run safe mode. I think if you cant run in safe mode then there is a worrying problem. I was able to run safe mode once but just like the previous incident, I was just presented with a mouse pointer and nothing loaded up after waiting for so long.
Guys any help would be greatly appreciated and sorry if this is too big a problem. Its greatly appreciated for you guys to go out of your way to help people. Awesome :)