Today I finally got around to fixing my wife's laptop. It's a HP Pavilion DV8000 series machine running Windows XP which is about 4 years old. It died about 12 months or so ago and has been hiding under the bed ever since. I was reasonably confident that the problem was related to the power supply so I had it tested.
Problem #1 the power supply was indeed dead.
Great! That's easy to fix I simply bought a replacement. This lead me to...
Problem #2 UNMOUNTABLEBOOTVOLUME.
Hmm... this nut was not going to be quite so easy to crack. I tried booting from the recovery disk but that just hung whilst trying to prepare the hard disk. So then I examined the BIOS and found a program to test the hard disk. Unfortunately the disk failed. All the forums seemed to suggest that it was either a faulty hard disk or a faulty motherboard. I'd all but given up when I thought I'd have one last roll of the dice.
So I popped in an Ubuntu 10.04 live CD that I had lying around. When the system booted I ran the disk utility which did inform me that the disk had at least 1 bad sector. But what the heck. I formatted the drive completely and then put the XP recovery disc back in and rebooted.
Well what do you know?
It's now alive and well. Or as well as a machine can be when it's running Windows.