We see plenty of instances in business settings that still use older laptops with older operating systems installed on them. Many of the roles that these computers play are that of a very specific task, such as a file server for a relatively small group of users in a small department. These may have been in this role for many years and there is no real reason to upgrade them, as it tends to be perceived as an unnecessary expense. “If it is not broken, why fix it” happens to be a saying that applies to many businesses out there to this day when it comes to the computer systems they have on their networks. There is really nothing wrong with this arrangement on internal network segments completely segregated from the Internet.
Recently we resolved a situation which may help anytime a laptop is running say Win2k or XP for example. An error message stating that Windows could not start due to a missing or corrupt file, likely a .dll file, was causing some issue with the boot. This may happen to any computer user so we thought we would share what our approach was to this issue.
Ultimately this was the same install which had been on the laptop for many years. The company maintains a good backup system, and there was no critical data on this particular laptop anyway. Basically the hard drive tested fine and the customer had the Windows install disc available. By booting to this we chose to access the repair options, pressing R here, and then pressing R again at the next screen. Pressing F next will begin a full repair of the install thus replacing the corrupt file which was causing the booting issue.
Typically we recommend keeping an eye on the hard drive for any signs of it going bad after something like this where the customer confirmed that nobody had installed, or attempted to install any other updates or software just prior to the issue. However this was an older laptop which served a minimal, and ultimately easily replaceable, role in the grander scheme of things. While the operating system in this case was Windows 2000 this methodology can be helpful with other similar situations as well. While the vast majority of the cheaper laptops under 200 dollars displayed on Priceit.biz will not be using Win2k, there are going to be very similar steps to attempting to resolve this kind of issue on other Windows operating systems. The key points to always consider however are the data on the drives, which should always be backed up regularly, and the technical abilities of the user. While this is not a complicated process, there are decisions which will need to be made that might be better left to a competent laptop technician.