My main system is a Dell Insperon m5030 with and AMD Athlon II p340 Dual Core Possessor (2200 MHz).
Upon start up I get to the regular "DELL" screen with options to press either F2 or F12, then it goes (as usual) to the black screen with a blinking underscore cursor on the top left, then proceeds to the "Starting windows" screen with the windows logo. It is after this process that I am brought to a black but fully backlit screen with a cursor that is movable. I attempted waiting for it to load, but after 2+ hrs have up. If I press shift five times in a row then a dialogue box opens prompting me to turn on sticky keys, but this box does not link anywhere and only gives the options of yes and no. The keyboard shortcuts for the Windows Task Manager do nothing, as does the Windows key and all other keyboard shortcuts.
Upon the reboot of the system I am again prompted to press either F2 or F12, upon the pressing of F12 I am prompted to start windows and given the option to press f8 to access advanced settings. When windows starts the same thing as before happens. Upon reboot and the pressing of F2 when prompted I was led to the Apt io Setup Utility where I was given information about my system and allowed to configure it. I set everything back to Defaults and the saved and exited, where I was met with the same blank screen and cursor.
After rebooting again I went past the DELL screen and proceeded to the black screen with a blinking underscore like cursor were I pressed F8 and attempted to start safe mode, which was met with the same blank screen and cursor. The same happened for the other flavors of safe mode, and so I then went on to the "repair my computer" where I was asked my language (American English) and then prompted to log on (in a windows XP style dialog box with "Username" dropdown menu and "Password" text field). After logging on I was brought to a screen with the "System Recovery Options" the first one being startup repair. After running start up repair (which was extremely fast) it told me to unplug all devices from the computer (there were none plugged in) and so I looked at the detailed log of the run and found that there were no errors and windows was starting normally. After I was met with the same blank screen with cursor upon reboot I promptly restarted my computer and went back to the "System Recovery options" menu, where I did a restore and was again met with the same black screen and cursor upon restart. Going back to the "Systems Recovery Options" menu I went through "Windows Memory Diagnostic", which found no issues, but I was again met with the same blank screen with cursor. Once I had returned to the "System Recovery options" I opened command prompt and was able to open task manger. Everything seemed normal and so I clicked "New Task..." button and put in the path "C:\Windows\explorer.exe" which returned " The program can't start because EXPLORERFRAME.dll is missing from your computer. Try re installing the program to fix this problem".
I don't really know what to do now or what is causing my problem. I can not format my drive as I have lost my primary back up device and so the data on the drive is the only copy. I also do not have any spare storage or blank CDs. I have seen many many threads but they are all either not the same as this problem or not conclusive or working for me. I would really appreciate any help. Thank you in advance.
The navigation buttons of the Windows explorer are stored in the system file explorerframe.dll. The issue seems to be with the Windows Operating System. Most likely you will have to re-install the Operating System which will result in Data Loss. It is recommended that you backup the data. As you mentioned you do not have any means of data backup, please take help of a local technician or a friend to backup the data.
Try running Dell ePSA on your computer to determine there is no Hardware Failure. Dell ePSA can run a thorough test on the hardware components in your computer to ensure they are functional.
To run ePSA:
1. Tap F12 during startup.
2. Select Diagnostics.
3. The ePSA starts running the quick test without waiting for user input.
4. Tap the Esc key.
5. Select one hardware component at a time.
6. Click "Thorough" radio button at the bottom.
7. Click "Run Tests".
8. Repeat this process for each hardware component.
If the test returns any error code, please reply with the same.
I probably should have closed this question as my problem was already solved, but hopefully your answer can help someone else looking a solution.
Here is how I solved my problem:
I took a 4 gigabyte USB flash drive and copied all its data onto another computer (so that I could format it) and then made it a bootable USB with freeDOS installed as the OS and a couple of utilities to be able to recover the most important of my data (but not everything I didn't have backed up, as 4 gigs isn't too big). I booted from the usb and was able to access my data through the utilities I had installed on the usb (which I ran through a batch file I had written).
Then I went back to the other computer (which ran the same operating system, and was a similar dell model) and saved the data there, then reformatted the USB flash drive, copied the computer's explorerframe.dll file onto the flash drive and then went back to my computer and booted the recovery options command line, from which I replaced the explorerframe.dll and then booted into safe mode (which worked!) and ran a sfc scan and fixed everything. :)
You indeed did a great job. Your troubleshooting steps are really fabulous. Surely this thread will help other users in the forum who are facing similar issues. Please feel free to reach us if you have any further queries.