So its more of a problem than a question...the mentioned laptop will turn on and then the Dell screen comes up and the F12 boot option is shown but is not functional. Then it goes to a black/greyish screen with the white cursor in the top left corner. From there I can do nothing. I have tried rebooting and hitting F8 repeatedly with no results. I haver tried F5 repeatedly - same answer. Before this I had GParted in there and it was operational but showed "no signs of a recognizable file system" on the 250GiB HDD. It, GParted, also showed the HDD as having 232.89 GiB of available space. Whats the deal with the other 17.11 GiB that are supposed to be there? Where did they go? This is not my laptop, it belongs to my neighbor who is completely computer illiterate, so I am simply trying to help him out. Could you get me headed in the right direction please?
Hey! apparently my neighbor does not have the patience for these things. He has collected his machinery and gone home to attempt a new hard drive installation with a clean install of Windows. I certainly do appreciate everyone taking the time to answer my plea for help. You guys are all totally awesome. Thanks again,
Windows programs always show the size in HEX GB's of the formatted disk. The drive manufacturers compute the advertized disk size in decimal GB's of the unformatted disk. So you don't have any LOST bytes.
1024 bytes in a kilobyte (KB)
1024 KB in a megabyte (MB)
1024 MB in a gigabyte (GB)
You might try removing the hard disk and starting the computer that way. The F12 option should always allow you to enter the BIOS. There are times when a failed HD will not allow the BIOS to complete the POST hardware checks. It can also happen with failed memory. So you might try to swap out one memory card at a time.