Invalid partition table!

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Boatrocker
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Invalid partition table!

Unread post by Boatrocker » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:37 am

Okay- so I ain't no IT guy, got no C++ certs or any of that shit. But I could use some help. My wife was given a 3 yr old Dell Latitude e6430 from her employer when her job melted away last week. I was supposedly scrubbed and "reset"- whatever that means- by the IT department at Sealed Air. We intended to get it up and running and give it to our granddaughter. But . . .

It won't boot. I get the "Invalid Partition Table!" message during boot attempt, followed by "PXE-E61 Media Test Failure" and "PXE-MQF Exiting Intel Boot Agent" and "press any key to restart." Then the whole damn thing repeats until I press the off button. I have no recover disk, no factory restore disk or anything at all from the original box except the a/c power unit. I have the Dell scv tag# and the Windows 7 prod key. I think the original OS was Win 7 Pro, no idea of it's 32 or 64bit. Searching the interwebs gets me all kind of advice, but it's the kind of advice that doesn't mean much to a non-techie like meself.

Is there a [relatively] simple work around on this, or should I try to lay hands on a system restore disk and start from scratch? I did that with another laptop earlier this year and it was a biblical pain in the ass trying to update Win 7 (the dreaded "looking for updates" hang). I'd rather not do that again, but since the laptop was free . . . .
"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." — H. L. Mencken, July 26, 1920, in The Baltimore Evening Sun

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Vrede too
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Re: Invalid partition table!

Unread post by Vrede too » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:45 am

Boatrocker wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:37 am
... Is there a [relatively] simple work around on this ...
Don't re-gift? :P
So many liberals, so little time. :P

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bannination
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Re: Invalid partition table!

Unread post by bannination » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:55 am

Boatrocker wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:37 am
Okay- so I ain't no IT guy, got no C++ certs or any of that shit. But I could use some help. My wife was given a 3 yr old Dell Latitude e6430 from her employer when her job melted away last week. I was supposedly scrubbed and "reset"- whatever that means- by the IT department at Sealed Air. We intended to get it up and running and give it to our granddaughter. But . . .

It won't boot. I get the "Invalid Partition Table!" message during boot attempt, followed by "PXE-E61 Media Test Failure" and "PXE-MQF Exiting Intel Boot Agent" and "press any key to restart." Then the whole damn thing repeats until I press the off button. I have no recover disk, no factory restore disk or anything at all from the original box except the a/c power unit. I have the Dell scv tag# and the Windows 7 prod key. I think the original OS was Win 7 Pro, no idea of it's 32 or 64bit. Searching the interwebs gets me all kind of advice, but it's the kind of advice that doesn't mean much to a non-techie like meself.

Is there a [relatively] simple work around on this, or should I try to lay hands on a system restore disk and start from scratch? I did that with another laptop earlier this year and it was a biblical pain in the ass trying to update Win 7 (the dreaded "looking for updates" hang). I'd rather not do that again, but since the laptop was free . . . .
Couple things it could be:

1. The company nuked the OS off the hard drive. Reinstalling Windows 7 is the way forward here since you have a product key. You may just want to try downloading the ISO directly from Microsoft if it accepts your product key. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softwar ... d/windows7

2. Worse - The hard drive just happened to die as they were retiring the laptop. Pretty large coincidence, so I doubt it.

3. Make sure there are no cd's in the drive or flash drives or memory cards plugged in that it might be trying to boot from instead of the hard drive.

The Windows 7 looking for updates hang.... god what a pain in the ass. If you have to go through that this time, just know if you leave the PC on overnight or a long period of time it will work itself out, most of the time.

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Boatrocker
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Re: Invalid partition table!

Unread post by Boatrocker » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:21 pm

bannination wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:55 am
Boatrocker wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:37 am
Okay- so I ain't no IT guy, got no C++ certs or any of that shit. But I could use some help. My wife was given a 3 yr old Dell Latitude e6430 from her employer when her job melted away last week. I was supposedly scrubbed and "reset"- whatever that means- by the IT department at Sealed Air. We intended to get it up and running and give it to our granddaughter. But . . .

It won't boot. I get the "Invalid Partition Table!" message during boot attempt, followed by "PXE-E61 Media Test Failure" and "PXE-MQF Exiting Intel Boot Agent" and "press any key to restart." Then the whole damn thing repeats until I press the off button. I have no recover disk, no factory restore disk or anything at all from the original box except the a/c power unit. I have the Dell scv tag# and the Windows 7 prod key. I think the original OS was Win 7 Pro, no idea of it's 32 or 64bit. Searching the interwebs gets me all kind of advice, but it's the kind of advice that doesn't mean much to a non-techie like meself.

Is there a [relatively] simple work around on this, or should I try to lay hands on a system restore disk and start from scratch? I did that with another laptop earlier this year and it was a biblical pain in the ass trying to update Win 7 (the dreaded "looking for updates" hang). I'd rather not do that again, but since the laptop was free . . . .
Couple things it could be:

1. The company nuked the OS off the hard drive. Reinstalling Windows 7 is the way forward here since you have a product key. You may just want to try downloading the ISO directly from Microsoft if it accepts your product key. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softwar ... d/windows7

2. Worse - The hard drive just happened to die as they were retiring the laptop. Pretty large coincidence, so I doubt it.

3. Make sure there are no cd's in the drive or flash drives or memory cards plugged in that it might be trying to boot from instead of the hard drive.

The Windows 7 looking for updates hang.... god what a pain in the ass. If you have to go through that this time, just know if you leave the PC on overnight or a long period of time it will work itself out, most of the time.
I think MS did it on purpose to drive people to Win10, but . . . I struggled for 2 weeks with a 7 yr old Gateway with Win7 Home Prem 64bit, just trying to keep it running as a "2nd" (i.e. MY) laptop, not the household unit. I left it for over 48 hours once, with the "looking for updates" shit just sitting there, mocking me. After fiddling the Standalone Installer download, I managed to get it up pretty much current, but it still took 8-12 hours to update each time, for almost 2 weeks. That's why I'm REALLY trying to avoid that on this little freebie.
With the svc tag I was able to find a downloadable restore/repair utility from Dell, which installs and runs on a USB. Got that running, now. We'll see. At worst, I shitcan it, and it didn't cost me anything.
"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." — H. L. Mencken, July 26, 1920, in The Baltimore Evening Sun

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rstrong
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Re: Invalid partition table!

Unread post by rstrong » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:13 pm

bannination wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:55 am
1. The company nuked the OS off the hard drive. Reinstalling Windows 7 is the way forward here since you have a product key.
This seems likely.

Especially if the company has a site license. They wouldn't be allowed to give away their used computers with Windows still on it, so they'd delete the partitions.

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rstrong
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Re: Invalid partition table!

Unread post by rstrong » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:23 pm

Boatrocker wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:21 pm
I left it for over 48 hours once, with the "looking for updates" shit just sitting there, mocking me. After fiddling the Standalone Installer download, I managed to get it up pretty much current, but it still took 8-12 hours to update each time, for almost 2 weeks.
I've never encountered anything remotely like that. Even a MAJOR update - from Windows 7 to 10 - has never taken more than an hour and a half. (That's with the installer already downloaded.*) Mere normal updates only get noticed when they ask me to reboot.

That's one thing I like about Windows 10: Earlier Windows versions, after running updates, wanted to be rebooted NOW, Dammit! Windows 10 is much more laid back. It's good at updating in the background while you work, and prefers to reboot later, overnight.

* There has however been an issue where it didn't like to upgrade with the install package located on the local drive. You had to run it from a USB drive or CD.

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Boatrocker
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Re: Invalid partition table!

Unread post by Boatrocker » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:57 pm

rstrong wrote:
Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:13 pm
bannination wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:55 am
1. The company nuked the OS off the hard drive. Reinstalling Windows 7 is the way forward here since you have a product key.
This seems likely.

Especially if the company has a site license. They wouldn't be allowed to give away their used computers with Windows still on it, so they'd delete the partitions.
A little research seems to confirm that. The C:\ drive is, I think, empty, which is not what we were lead to believe. But Dell has special license deals with the hellspawn @ MS, and the product key (finally found that hiding under the fucking battery!) returns an error when I try to make a licensed reinstall copy download from MS. Not sure how much I wanna invest on a 4 yr old machine, but may be able to score Win 7 for less than $100.
Thanks for the input.
"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." — H. L. Mencken, July 26, 1920, in The Baltimore Evening Sun

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rstrong
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Re: Invalid partition table!

Unread post by rstrong » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:14 pm

I was thinking of a volume licence that Sealed Air might have. They'd be required to remove Windows if they give the PC away.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) licenses - the ones sold at a discount preinstalled on a PC - are different. The OEM might sell thousands of PCs with all the copies of Windows installed using the same key. (There may be a second unique key on a sticker on the case.) Then a couple month later they'll get new Windows CDs with the latest updates - and a new key.

So the key that you get with the PC will only work with the OEM Windows CD that came with it - or similar machines around that date. But there's no reason why they couldn't give the CD away with the PC.

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Boatrocker
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Re: Invalid partition table!

Unread post by Boatrocker » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:58 pm

rstrong wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:14 pm
. . . So the key that you get with the PC will only work with the OEM Windows CD that came with it - or similar machines around that date. But there's no reason why they couldn't give the CD away with the PC.
Since the office and everyone/everything in it Is going away, I seriously doubt they still had any of those disks, or just couldn't be troubled to look for them (you know how those IT shits are!). I'll just see if I can score a copy of Windows without paying a fortune for it.
"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." — H. L. Mencken, July 26, 1920, in The Baltimore Evening Sun

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